- Associated Press - Sunday, June 22, 2014

HAMPTON, N.H. (AP) - Visitors to New Hampshire’s Hampton Beach can learn about its history by viewing new, interpretative panels on boardwalk kiosks.

The project was completed by Grace Lyons, a 2013 University of New Hampshire graduate.

It chronicles such developments as European settlers in the area, the growth of the fishing, clamming and lobstering markets, and the beach’s transition from an agricultural to a recreational environment. The 19th century at the beach became known as the “Hotel Era.”

The history also looks at fires that took place through the years, and the transfer of the beach from the town of Hampton to the state with the requirement that it be used for “public highway, park and recreational purposes forever.”

It also looks at the development of the Seashell Oceanfront Pavilion Complex and the Marine Memorial.

“Particularly in the 1930s and 1940s, Hampton was known for its vast sandy beach and high attendance rates of swimmers and sunbathers,” according to Lyons’ research. “Hampton’s positive reputation was also due to the wildly popular casino and bandstand.

Sheet music for a ballad written about the beach boasted that it was “air-conditioned by cool ocean breezes.”

By the first half of the 20th century, Hampton Beach had become the “summer playground of all New England” and its reputation as a clean and pleasant beach had spread across America.”

___

Online:

https://www.nhstateparks.org/hampton-beach-history/


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