History of Hampton Falls, volume 3
by Collin Garcia
Three centuries have passed since the establishment of Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, in 1722, but it’s the most recent hundred years that have put the town through its most significant changes. Humble, sparsely populated, and mostly agricultural through the early 20th century, Hampton Falls enters its tercentenary as one of the most desirable places to live on the New Hampshire Seacoast.
History of Hampton Falls, Volume 3, 1917– 2020, picks up where the first two volumes of Hampton Falls history, written by the Hon. Warren Brown, left off in 1917. The events which have led to the town’s transformation from a farm town into a primarily residential area since then are investigated in detail, including the construction of Interstate 95 and the decline of the dairy and apple industries which were once nearly synonymous with the community. The evolutions of local businesses such as Applecrest Farm, Merrill’s Store, and Marston Farm are traced, along with the stories of the colorful characters who have made their homes within this town along the way.
Of course, what makes a town special is often not what changes, but what stays the same. This book also investigates the efforts to preserve the rural character of Hampton Falls which has long since given way to suburbia in many neighboring towns. From the introduction of the zoning ordinance in the 1950s, to open space conservation efforts in aFalls Free Library and other landmarks, the people of Hampton Falls have shown a tremendous regard for their town’s history and character. These efforts have resulted in a Hampton Falls which is certainly not the same as that of their forebears, but which retains much of its bucolic charm despite the past century of significant population growth.
The Hampton Falls Historical Society, founded in 1986, deserves much of the credit for encouraging this sense of preservation; they have also been an invaluable resource for putting this book together. Much of the information contained within the book comes from the Historical Society archives; combined with interviews with many of the town’s longtime citizens, this book offers the most complete picture of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries in Hampton Falls yet compiled.
About the Author
Collin Garcia is a proud son of New Hampshire—born in Dover, raised in Strafford, and educated at Dover’s St. Thomas Aquinas High School, where he first discovered his love of New England and United States history. He received a Bachelor of Arts with a double concentration in history and secondary education at Saint Anselm College in 2015 and taught junior high social studies for the following two years at Sacred Heart School in Hampton. He received the unique opportunity to research and write an updated town history of Hampton Falls in late 2018 and has spent the past several years working on this, his first historical work. Collin makes his home in Tennessee, where he works as a corporate recruiter and a musician. However, he still considers himself a Granite Stater at heart, and eagerly awaits any opportunity to return for a visit to New Hampshire.