Interesting and Beautiful Scenes Along Line Of Exeter, Hampton and Amesbury Street Railway -- Chapter 16
By D. Fisher -- 1900
The Railway and the Beach
If the railway brought a new lease of life to the country, it has been a resurrection to the beach. The line has been opened from near Little Boar's Head, on the north, to Hampton river, on the south. With the foresight of a keen business man, the gentleman who has carried this enterprise to success went south of all of the cottages, and secured a large tract of land near the centre of South beach. Here has been erected a large building known as the Casino. It is of two stories, each surrounded on all sides by piazzas so ample that they afford shade and shelter to the largest crowds. From the front piazzas can be seen the best view of the ocean, and Great Boar's Head and the Isles of Shoals, that is to be had from any part of the beach. The first floor is devoted to bowling and billiard rooms, fruit and confectionery stands, a private office for the superintendent of the road, and other offices, the kitchen, and store-rooms. The upper floor has a spacious dining-room, and a large, well-lighted and comfortably-seated hall where conventions and temperance meetings, Sunday-school and church reunions are held. Here, too, hops and dances take place, or -- if occasion require -- it is speedily transformed into a comfortable theatre. A large bathing-house has been erected, where ladies receive especial attention. A beautiful kiosk, for the use of the band, stands in front of the pavilion. In the rear, a large baseball ground has been nicely graded and thoroughly rolled. All of the buildings are provided with electric lights, and an ample supply of fresh water.
A large and perfectly appointed hotel is now being erected on land adjoining the Casino.
And so, where once a farmer's wagon, or a livery hack, or a hotel coach once brought a few occasional visitors, the railway now brings a neighboring board of trade, or a church excursion -- or it is "Farmers' Day," or "Merchants and Manchester day," or three or four carloads of school-children, who have the merriest, noisiest, best times of all. Every day there is something going on, from the beginning to the end of the season. Even the dullest of visitors can see that this great change is but the commencement of greater ones to come.