Skip to content

Hampton Falls, NH – Prototype and History

The primary indication today that you have crossed the town line from Seabrook into Hampton Falls is a change in the businesses and surroundings along route 1.  Whereas route 1 in Seabrook is now dominated by retail establishments, shopping plazas, and other commercial buildings, when you cross into Seabrook the number and nature of businesses changes to motels, small shops, and some remaining farmland that gives way to the salt marshes that extend a bit further inland along this stretch.

Nearly the entire roughly 1.75 mile stretch of the former rail line runs through the salt marshes, and is modelled as such along approximately 24 linear feet of the layout.

Photos of the period are hard to come by.  This grainy shot provides the best period view of the arrangement of buildings and tracks that I could fine for Hampton Falls station.

This photo serves as the primary basis for the arrangement of tracks and buildings on the layout.  The higher profile and rail size on the right is modelled as the mainline with the siding to the left closer to the depot.  In the distance on the left is a spur that can be seen holding freight cars by the freight house.

The postcard shot taken sometime after the depot had closed shows a bit more detail of the building and the fact that small boats were launched here into the waterways of the salt marsh. Eventually, the depot building itself was moved and converted into a residence closer to town on Depot Rd and nothing remains but a gravel lot and the end of the pavement of Depot Rd.

Of course, the salt marsh remains with the view of the cottages along route 1A in the distance.

Also remaining between Depot Rd and Brimmer Rd to the south is the remnant of the bridge over the waterway that winds towards the sea above.

This area was a prime location for access to the salt hay which was still being farmed in the period.  At that time, the transition had mostly been made from stacks of salt hay drying on platforms to instead using mechanized hay baling equipment. I also took note of this photo I found showing how matted and fallen over the salt hay becomes when not harvested.

The latter was the basis for how I modelled the salt hay in Seabrook.