Hampton Falls, New Hampshire

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Hampton Falls, New Hampshire
Town Hall
Town Hall
Official seal of Hampton Falls, New Hampshire
Location in Rockingham County and the state of New Hampshire.
Location in Rockingham County and the state of New Hampshire.
Coordinates: 42°54′58″N 70°51′49″W / 42.91611°N 70.86361°W / 42.91611; -70.86361Coordinates: 42°54′58″N 70°51′49″W / 42.91611°N 70.86361°W / 42.91611; -70.86361
CountryUnited States
StateNew Hampshire
 • Board of SelectmenEdward B. Beattie, Chair
Louis Gargiulo
Mark Lane
 • Town AdministratorLori A. Ruest
 • Total12.5 sq mi (32.4 km2)
 • Land12.2 sq mi (31.6 km2)
 • Water0.3 sq mi (0.8 km2)  2.4%
66 ft (20 m)
 • Total2,236
 • Density180/sq mi (69/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP Code
Area code(s)603
FIPS code33-33460
GNIS feature ID0873617

Hampton Falls (formerly the Third Parish and Hampton Falls) is a town in Rockingham County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 2,236 at the 2010 census.[1]


A map of the center of what is now Hampton Falls in 1638

The land of Hampton Falls was first settled by Europeans in 1638, the same time as Hampton, which it was then part of. The settlement of Hampton joined Norfolk County, Massachusetts Colony, in 1643, along with Exeter, Dover, Portsmouth, and Salisbury and Haverhill of Massachusetts. The county existed until 1679, when the modern-day New Hampshire towns separated from Massachusetts Bay Colony.[2]

Records indicate a building that became a church may have existed near where the Weare Monument now is in 1665, but when it was first built is unknown. It was not until 1709 that the town was officially established as the Third Parish of Hampton. The Third Parish originally consisted of all land south of the Taylor River and north of the New Hampshire/Massachusetts border, or the modern-day towns of Seabrook, Kensington, and Hampton Falls. A meeting house was built shortly after and Thomas Crosby became the town's minister for the church. Forty-nine members of the Hampton Church were dismissed late in 1711, only to become members of the new church in the Third Parish. Parish officers and a representative were chosen in 1718. The first town meeting was held and town records began that year also. The 7,400-acre (30 km2) town received its grant as an independent town with the name "Hampton falls" in 1726, but was still referred to as a parish until the Revolutionary War. Those who did use its actual name in writing spelled it with a lowercase f until around the same time.[3]

An attempt was made in 1732 to separate the western portion of Hampton falls and make it a parish of Kingston. The proposal failed in a way, yet succeeded in another; the land was separated, but it did not become part of Kingston – in 1737 it became a town of its own, Kensington.[4]

A disease known as the Throat Distemper (now thought to have been a malignant form of diphtheria) infected the town with its symptoms in 1735 and 1736. Two-hundred and fourteen people of Hampton Falls perished, 96 of them being under the age of ten. Only two homes in town were throat distemper free. It passed through the town again in 1754, with far fewer casualties, but still many.[3]

Town Hall, completed in 1877, designed by Portsmouth architect Isaiah Wilson
2008 Fidelity Jumper Classic, held at the Silver Oak Equestrian Center

Seventy-two people wanted Hampton Falls (which then included Seabrook and Kensington) to become a part of Massachusetts in 1739, including Meshech Weare, but the proposal failed in the end. In 1765, the Presbyterians of the town wanted to form a new parish in the southern portion of the town, where a church of their religion existed. A town meeting was held on December 30 when the rest of the villagers learned of the Presbyterians' plans, and it was decided that the town would be separated into two. The new parish was formed in 1768, and became incorporated under the name Seabrook shortly after. Hampton Falls was considered one of the leading manufacturing towns in the entire state of New Hampshire around the time of 1770.[3]

A plan to unite Seabrook and portions of Hampton Falls together was thought up in 1782. The town would've been called New Hampton Falls, but Hampton Falls was successful in making the proposal fail. In 1835, the town of Hampton Falls had a new meeting-house erected. Where in town it existed is unknown.[3]

On the night between October 29 and October 30 in 1827, an earthquake struck the small town. A flash of light from a fault in the southern region of the town occurred, with violent trembling shortly following. It caused at least three chimneys to collapse partially or completely, with several others cracked. Another, more severe earthquake also struck Hampton Falls on November 18, 1755, causing more, but not a lot of damage.[3]

On May 21, 2006, an F2[5] tornado formed in the town at around 6:30 p.m. EST.[6] It was near Interstate 95 where it overturned a truck, leaving two injured men and a kayak in a tree.[7]


The city of Boston, Massachusetts is only 45 miles (72 km) away, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire is a mere 15 miles (24 km) to the north.[8]

The highest point in town is the summit of Great Hill, at 230 feet (70 m) above sea level), just north of the Weare mills on the Hampton Falls River, at an altitude of 61 feet (19 m) above sea level.[3] According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 12.5 square miles (32.4 km2), of which 12.2 sq mi (31.6 km2) is land and 0.3 sq mi (0.78 km2) is water, comprising 2.4% of the town. Hampton Falls lies fully within the Piscataqua River (Coastal) watershed.[9]

The town is served by Interstate 95, U.S. Route 1, New Hampshire Route 84 and New Hampshire Route 88.

Adjacent municipalities[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2017 (est.)2,348[10]5.0%

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 1,890 people, 704 households, and 546 families residing in the town. The population density was 153.9 people per square mile (59.4/km2). There were 729 housing units at an average density of 59.7 per square mile (23.0/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 98.46% White, 0.05% African American, 0.74% Asian, 0.05% from other races, and 0.69% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.69% of the population.

There were 704 households, out of which 34.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.5% were married couples living together, 5.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.4% were non-families. Of all households, 16.5% were made up of individuals, and 7.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 25.7% under the age of 18, 4.0% from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 30.4% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 102.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.3 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $76,348, and the median income for a family was $86,229. Males had a median income of $60,250 versus $36,750 for females. The per capita income for the town was $35,060. About 2.2% of families and 2.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.1% of those under age 18 and 3.3% of those age 65 or over.

According to State figures, "Population in Hampton Falls tripled over the last fifty years, growing above the statewide average rate in three of the five decades. Decennial growth rates ranged from a nine percent increase between 1970-1980 to a 42 percent increase between 1960-1970. Population in Hampton Falls grew by a total of 1,251 residents, going from 629 in 1950 to 1,880 residents in 2000."[11]


Like many New England towns, Hampton Falls has a town meeting/board of selectmen form of government. The current selectmen are Edward Beattie, Mark Lane, and Lou Gargiulo. Town meeting is held annually in the school auditorium, and elections are conducted using a New Hampshire Senate Bill 2 system.[citation needed]


The old East School, adjacent to the public library

Once a farming and lumbering community, the numerous falls on the Taylor River provided water power for mills operating within the town. Today it is largely residential, with numerous antique shops along U.S. 1.[11] Applecrest Farm Orchards, established in 1913, is the town's largest employer, with 18 employees.[13]


Currently, the Lincoln Akerman School is the only public school in town. But at one point, five public schools existed, the North, South, West, and two East schools. One of the East Schools, founded around the time of the Civil War, burned down in 1947 when its furnace exploded, and the Lincoln Akerman School replaced it in 1949. While a new school was being built, students had to travel to the neighboring town of Seabrook, New Hampshire to attend school. The other East School was moved to an area near the new library. Another school was turned into a home, and another was crushed by a boulder one winter when students pushed it off a hill.[citation needed]

High school students attend Winnacunnet High School in the neighboring town of Hampton.[11]

Heronfield Academy, a private Episcopal middle school, is located on Exeter Road on the border of Hampton Falls and Exeter.[14]

Lincoln Akerman School[edit]

Lincoln Akerman School

Lincoln H. Akerman School (42°54′59″N 70°52′01″W / 42.91639°N 70.86694°W / 42.91639; -70.86694) is a kindergarten through 8th grade elementary school and middle school. The school was constructed in 1949 and named after Lincoln Akerman (1916–1942), a local war hero and member of the prominent New Hampshire Akerman family. Akerman was the first Hampton Falls soldier reported to lose his life in World War II.[15] Another famous Akerman from the area was Amos T. Akerman (1821–1880), United States Attorney General from 1870-1871.

In 1993, kindergarten was added to the school, though it is not required in the state of New Hampshire.

In the mid-1990s Dan Brown, future best-selling author of The Da Vinci Code, taught Spanish to the school's 6th, 7th, and 8th graders.

In 2003, Lincoln Akerman was cited in The Hampton Union for, according to the New Hampshire Educational Improvement and Assessment Program (NHEIAP), being notable for having scores that were "significantly above the state average" and climbing. Specific subjects cited were social studies, language arts, and math.[16]

The current principal is Beth Raucci, who has held that position since 2018.[17]

Notable people[edit]

Elmfield, built in 1787, where summer resident John Greenleaf Whittier died in 1892. Image c. 1910


  1. ^ a b United States Census Bureau, U.S. Census website, 2010 Census figures. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
  2. ^ Coolidge, Austin J.; John B. Mansfield (1859). A History and Description of New England. Boston, Massachusetts: A.J. Coolidge. p. 515. coolidge mansfield history description new england 1859.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Brown, Warren (1900). History of Hampton Falls Vol. I. Manchester, New Hampshire: John E. Clarke Co.
  4. ^ Brown, Warren (1918). History of Hampton Falls Vol. II. Concord, New Hampshire: The Rumford Press.
  5. ^ North Hampton, New Hampshire (03862) Conditions & Forecast : Weather Underground
  6. ^ Storm Prediction Center 20060521's Storm Reports
  7. ^ NCDC: Event Details
  8. ^ Town of Hampton Falls, New Hampshire Archived 2006-08-04 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Foster, Debra H.; Batorfalvy, Tatianna N.; Medalie, Laura (1995). Water Use in New Hampshire: An Activities Guide for Teachers. U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Geological Survey.
  10. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2017 (PEPANNRES): Minor Civil Divisions – New Hampshire". Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  11. ^ a b c d "Hampton Falls, New Hampshire". NH Dept. of Employment Security. Archived from the original on 2007-10-09. Retrieved 2008-07-22.
  12. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  13. ^ Applecrest Orchards official site
  14. ^ Heronfield Academy
  15. ^ "Pvt Lincoln Herbert Ackerman".
  16. ^ Hampton Union Local News: Lincoln Akerman sees higher language, math scores Archived 2004-12-31 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ "Certified Staff". Lincoln Akerman School. Archived from the original on 2013-04-15. Retrieved Feb 4, 2013.
  18. ^ "Alice Brown". 2014 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  19. ^ Brown, Warren (1919). The Granite Monthly: A Magazine of Literature, History and State ..., Volume 51. New England Agricultural Society. pp. 483–484. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  20. ^ "Ralph Adams Cram". North Carolina State University. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  21. ^ Leavitt, Benson (1919). Proceedings of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. New England Historic Genealogical Society. p. 35. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  22. ^ Leavitt, Jonathan (1900). History of Hampton Falls, N.H. Warren Brown. p. 452. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  23. ^ "Wesley Powell". National Governors Association. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  24. ^ "Franklin Benjamin Sanborn". 2014 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  25. ^ "John H. Sununu". NewsOK.com. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  26. ^ "Meshech Weare". National Governors Association. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  27. ^ "John Greenleaf Whittier". 2014 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  28. ^ "WINGATE, Paine, (1739 - 1838)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved January 16, 2014.

External links[edit]