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Travel Guide to Seacoast NH in 1899
trolleyThe year is 1899. You are among millions of the rising American and European middle class who now have vacation time to do some sight-seeing. You have purchased a travel guide of almost 600 pages. Automobiles are not yet practical so you are traveling by rail, trolley and ferry – and approaching the city of Portsmouth, NH. (Continued below)

Editor’s note: This is the entire entry for Secoast NH with a brief excursion into York county Maine. Note the nightly price of rooms in the many hotels and guest houses listed and the mileage between stops. Notice also what attractions are recommended in an era before Portsmouth had any official historic house museums open to the public. -- JDR


In leaving Newburyport we cross the Merrimac by a bridge 600 yds. long (view). Beyond (39 M.) Salisbury (electric line to Salisbury Beach) we traverse the Folly Hill Woods and enter New Hampshire ('Granite State'). Farther on we cross salt marshes. 46 1/2 M. Hampton (Whittier Ho., $2) is the station for Hampton Beach (Leonia, $ 3-4; Boar's Head, $ 2-3; Hampton ISourh Ho., $2-3), 3 M. to the S.E. (stages at the station), and from (49 M.) North Hampton stages run to (3 1/2 M.) Rye Beach (Farragut, $4-5; Sea View, $3 1/2, etc.), the most frequented of the New Hampshire beaches. At the N. end of the part of Rye Beach known as Jenness Reach is Straw Poiint, a station of the submarine cable to England and also a U. S. life-saving station. — 5 1/2 M. Greenland is the station for (2 1/2 M.) the N. end of Rye Beach.

57M. Portsmouth. (Rockingham, $4; Kearsarge, $2-3; Langdon, $2), the only seaport of New Hampshire, is situated on a peninsula 3 M. from the mouth of the Piscataqua. It is a quaint and quiet old town, with 9,827 inhab. and pleasant tree-shaded streets. Many of the old colonial houses are interesting.

St. John's Church, rebuilt in 1806, contains some curious old relics. The Athenaeum contains a library and museum. On Continental or Fernald's Island, in the river, is the Kitten/ U.S. Navy Yard (ferry from Daniel St.), where the 'Kearsarge' was built. This island is connected by a bridge with Kiltery, a village on the N. bank, with some interesting Colonial houses.

T. B. Aldrich (b. 1836), James T. Fields (1817-81), and B. P. Shillaber ('Mrs. Partington'; 1814-90) were born at Portsmouth. In Vaughau St. (No. 32) is the house to which Daniel Webster brought his young bride in 1808. Seavey's Island was occupied in 1898 by the captive seamen of Adm. Cervera's fleet.

Stages run daily to (2 1/2 M.) Newcastle ('Wentworlh Ho., $4 1/2), a summer-resort on an island at the mouth of the harbour. Close by, at Little Harbor, is the interesting old mansion of the Wentworth family (1760).

From Portsmouth to The Isles Of Shoals, 10 M., steamer several times daily in 1 hr. The Isles of Shoals are nine rocky islands, 6-9 M. from acre, frequented as summer-resorts on account of their pure sea-air and immunity from mosquitoes. The chief are Appledore (Appledore Ho., $3 1/2, 700 beds) and Star Island (Oceanic Ho., $3, 700 beds). On White 1sland, to the S.W., is a powerful lighthouse. See Celia Thaxter's 'Among tlie Isles of Shoals' and Lowell’s 'Appledore'.

From Portsmouth To York Beach, 10 M., railway in 3/ hr. — York Beach (Marshall, $ 3-31/2, Albracca, $2-3, Yorkshire Inn, $2 1/2, aud Harmon, $2 1/2-3, station York Harbor; Garrison, $2 1/2-3, at the Long Sands, Long Beach station; Passaconway Inn, $5, Youmgs, $2 1/2-4, Fairmont, $2 1/2, Ocean Ho., Atlantic, $2-3, etc., York Beach station) is another Ions stretch of sand, with numerous hotels and summer-cottages.

At ils N. end is Cape Neddick, with the rocky 'Nubble' (lighthouse) oil' its extremity; and 4 1/2 M. farther to the N. is "Bald Head Cliff (85 ft. high). To the N. of this is Ogunquit Beach (Cliff Ho., $2-3). York Harbor is the fashionable resort, but the Passaconway Inn, some way to the N. of York Beach station, is also frequented by the best class of visitors. Inland from York Beach rises (6 M.) m. Agamenticus (673 ft.; View).

On leaving Portsmouth we cross the Piscataqua and enter Maine. At (67 M.) Conway Junction diverges a line to North Conway (p. 130). At (74 M.) North Berwick the Eastern Division of the Boston and Maine R. R. crosses the Western Division, and becomes in reality the W. or inland route.

Excerpted from an 1899 guide

The United States, with an excursion into Mexico: handbook for travellers
By James Fullarton Muirhead, Karl Baedeker, Karl Baedeker
Transcribed courtesy of



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