McDonald's Comes to Hampton Beach

McDonald's Coming to Hampton Beach

By Ann L. Moore

Hampton Union, [date unknown]

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

HAMPTON -- McDonald's is coming to Hampton Beach. The national chain of fast food service has committed themselves to occupy the corner of D Street where the Ocean House is presently located.

Fred Schaake, one of the owners of the Hampton Beach Casino complex, told Hampton Union "It's definite. McDonald's is going to locate at Hampton Beach."

Schaake said the Ocean House will be demolished during February. He said the McDonald chain hopes to becoming open for the season on May 30, 1977.

"This is an experiment for McDonald's," Schaake said. "The building will be in the McDonald style, but will have unique features." He said the facility will have a patio dining area and the present plans call for the facility to be open for six months a year.

"This is the first operation, of this type, that McDonald's has tried," Schaake pointed out.

The company will construct the restaurant which will be on the corner of D Street and Ocean Boulevard.

Comments Concerning Doomed Ocean House

"Golden Era to Golden Arches"

To The Editor:

Hampton Union, [Unknown date]

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

Last week's [Hampton] UNION carried a couple of items on the turn-of-the-century Ocean House at Hampton Beach. Ann Moore's exclusive that the hotel definitely would be torn down in February and replaced by a McDonald's hamburger operation brings to mind an article in an old UNION. According to the piece, the Ocean House was built with all local labor and materials. B.T. Janvrin's (now Janvrin's, Inc., ) lumberyard, Hampton Falls, set up a temporary sawmill near the then-existing street railway car barns on Exeter Road and Hampton trees were felled and finished for the building.

In looking over the guest registers for the first 24 years of this century, one finds several names of Hampton residents who apparently went on the street railway to the Ocean House for a day or two of seaside enjoyment. A great many of the name bands and show business personalities also stayed at the Casino Associates' Ocean House while performing at the old Casino ballroom (where the upstairs bowling allies were until auctioned off last fall) and the present ballroom. With the hotel's razing, still another unique part of Hampton Beach's "Golden Era" will be gone.

By the way, in last week's historical museum's insertion about the assumed "early 1950s" Ocean House advertising leaflet, large plastic sign, etc., the leaflet, reprinted in full, is the one handed out -- to this writer at least -- during the hotel's final season -- the summer of 1976. There's good reason for the "quaint," descriptive language in this particular leaflet, but that's another story...

Wooden Towers Make Way For Golden Arches

Photographs by Ralph Morang

Hampton Union, Wednesday, March 30, 1977

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

Photograph by Ralph Morang

HAMPTON -- The old Ocean House on the beach was sold with the Hampton Beach Casino last spring, and it was emptied of its furnishings through an auction last fall. This past week the building was razed to make way for a seasonal McDonald's Restaurant.

The fifty year ownership of the hotel and the casino by the Dineen family ended last year with the sale of the properties to Fred Schaake, Paul Grandmaison, Samuel Waterhouse, James Goodwin, and James Goodwin Jr. Their plans include a new facade for the casino and a redecorated ballroom, a new hotel on the parking lot site behind the casino, a new parking lot on 'D' Street, and McDonald's.

An old promotional brochure boasted: "The Ocean House is an intimate and important part of the famous Hampton Beach Casino, one of the best institutions of its kind on the entire Atlantic shoreline . . . Ocean House guests are afforded direct contact with every one of the many vacation facilities which the Casino offers to its hundreds of patrons."

All last week during the controlled destruction of the hotel, passersby on Ocean Boulevard stopped their cars to watch for a while. Perhaps they had not stayed in the Ocean House, but watching the clamshell bucket chew it away in great chunks made each one realize that an era, good or bad, was passing.

The Ocean House was not elegant or even noteworthy. It was built at the tail end of the resort hotel boom in the last century. It became extremely outdated and an anachronism in a time of day-trippers and motels. So the loss is not mourned, but, perhaps, the passing of the time it belongs to is.

Photograph by Ralph Morang

Photographs by Ralph Morang

THE OCEAN HOUSE, one of the earliest hotel at Hampton Beach, was razed this past week in preparation for a branch of McDonald's fast food chain.
[Photo by Bruce M. Stott]