The Hampton Beach Casino: 115 Years Old and Going Strong in New Hampshire

Photograph of the original Hampton Beach Casino from "Hampton Beach; the Atlantic City of New England," by P.G. Lamson, Manchester NH  (1922)

Photograph of the original Hampton Beach Casino from “Hampton Beach; the Atlantic City of New England,” by P.G. Lamson, Manchester NH (1922)

My interest in the Hampton Beach Casino was renewed recently when I read the following article, dated 9 April 1898 from the Portsmouth Herald. “CASINO AT HAMPTON BEACH–The Exeter Street Railway Company has received and is submitting to contractors, plans by Architect R.M. Bailey of Boston, for the casino which it will build this spring on a site near the terminus of its line. It will contain a theatre of seating capacity of 1000, a dancing hall that will seat 300, 85 bath dressing rooms, four bowling alleys, a billiard hall, bicycle check rooms, etc. It is expected to have the casino completed by July 1.”

The building of the casino was a bright spot in an unusually grim year for the residents of Hampton, New Hampshire.  1898 was the same year that the an unusual cyclone touched down, just 3 months after the above newspaper notice, killing or injuring those who happened to be standing in the unfortunate locations hit by the freak storm.

The casino itself really heralded the age of ‘vacationism’ and ‘tourism’ in this small town.  Oh yes of course there were those who had visited Hampton, especially in the hot summer months, to catch the ocean breezes–to relax, write or paint.  But the advent of the casino, and the trolley lines being built to the town, increased the summer population exponentially.  With the advent of the automobile, Hampton Beach’s fate was sealed as a place for fun in the sun.

I had to wonder who the R.M. Bailey mentioned, and discovered that he was a partner in the firm of Bailey & Lennon (Boston MA), and a well respected landscape painter, in addition to being an architect.  Some of his buildings still exist in New England, especially in the Boston MA area. The current building was rebuilt and renovated more than once, but at least part of it sits  on the same footprint as the original.


Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom

Hampton Beach; the Atlantic City of New England, by P.G. Lamson, Manchester NH (1922)

Turn of the 20th Century: A Seaside Tourist Destination

William Bailey of England
Thomas Bailey of England and New London CT
Thomas Bailey & Lydia Redfield (of New London CT and Deerfield Co. MA)
John Bailey & Elizabeth Smith (of New London CT)
Obadiah Bailey & Elizabeth Williams (of Haddam CT)
Obadiah Bailey & Azuba Rogers (of Groton CT & Oneida Co. NY)
Obadiah Bailey & Esther Williams (of Groton CT)
Frederick Bailey & Polley/Dolly Witter (of Groton CT and Brooklyn PA)

Robert Morris Bailey, son of Frederic & Polly/Dolly (Witter) Bailey, b. 15 June 1822 at Brooklyn, Susquehanna PA, d 5 March 1892 in W. Newbury MA; m. 25 October 1848 in West Newbury, Essex MA to Sarah Leonard Smith, dau of Moses & Mary Ann (Bailey) Smith. She was b. abt 1825 West Newbury MA, and d. 22 May 1898 in Dedham MA, a widow. He was a merchant of Derry NH at the time of his marriage.
Children of Robert M. & Sarah L. (Smith) Bailey: [may be more]
1. +Robert Maurice Bailey, b. September 1849 West Newbury MA
2. Katie E. Bayley, b. 1852 in MA and d. 6 July 1866 in West Newbury MA
Robert Maurice “R. Maurice” Bailey, son of Robert Morris & Sarah Leonard (Smith)Bailey b September 1849 Boston MA (West Newbury), died 28 December 1935 in Brookline MA. He married 13 Dec 1871 in Boston, Suffolk MA to Ella Robinson Dearborn, daughter of Axel & Margaret W. (Robinson) Dearborn. She was b. 19 May 1851 in Dorchester, Norfolk Co. MA.
Monday, December 30, 1935
Boston Herald (Boston MA) page 11
Services for members of his family and personal friends will be held for Robert M. Bailey, 86, widely known architect and landscape painter, at his home, 1874 Beacon Street, Brookline. Mr. Bailey died at his home Saturday, following a brief illness. Mr. Bailey leaves his widow, Mrs. Ella R. (Dearborn) Bailey, two daughters, Mrs. George R. Sparrell and Mrs. Frank B. Carter; and three sons Dearborn Bailey, Frederick W. Bailey, and Robert M. Bailey Jr. There are 11 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Mr. Bailey was one of the first members of the Boston Art Club, a member of the New England Historical and Genealogical Society, the Bostonian Society and a life members of the Horicultural Society.
1900 US Census > MA > Norfolk > Dedham
Robert M. Bailey Head M 51 Sep 1849 MA PA MA
Ella R. Bailey Wife F 49 May 1851 MA ME MA
Ella Bailey F 24 MA March 1876 single
Catherine E. Bailey dau F 22 MA July 1878 single
Robert M. Bailey Jr. son M 20 MA December 1880 single
Dearborn Bailey son M 17 MA March 1883 single
Frederick W. Bailey son M 7 Oct 1893 single
Susan Smith Aunt F 69 MA Dec 1831 single
Annie McCloskey servant F 25 Ireland Ire Ire March 1875 imm 1892
Nellie Shand servant F 25 Canada-English C-E C-E March 1875 imm 1892
Children of Robert M. & Ella R. (Dearborn) Bailey:
1. Ella Dearborn Bailey, b. 17 March 1876 Boston, Suffolk, MA; m. 15 October 1903 in Dedham MA to George R. Sparrell; son of William P. & Mary E. (Rogerson) Sparrell
2. Katie Eliza Bailey, b. 19 July 1878 Boston, Suffolk MA; m. 9 June 1906 in Dedham MA to Frank B. Carter, son of Charles N. & Fanny (Wood) Carter.
3. Robert Maurice Bailey Jr., b. 10 Dec 1880 Boston MA; he m. Ida C. Smith. Dau, Ruth Margaret Bailey, b. 20 April 1891 Somerville MA; son, Stanton C. Bailey, b. 29 April 1886 Somerville MA; he m2d) 31 July 1909 in Dedham MA to Marjorie K. Harlow, dau of Louis K. & Julia A. (Coombe) Harlow.
4. Dearborn Bailey, b. 10 March 1883 Boston, MA
5. Fredrick Witter Bailey, b. 1 October 1893 Dedham, Norfolk MA
6. Unnamed male child, b. 1 October 1893 Boston, Suffolk MA


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One Response to The Hampton Beach Casino: 115 Years Old and Going Strong in New Hampshire

  1. Ginny Young-White says:

    Jan, I began reading a little bit in the book about Hampton Beach and had to chuckle about how he described the ocean water as “the warmth of the water in all seasons”. When my best friend and I would go there in the summer with her family, we would literally have to stand in the water until our legs got numb in order to enjoy the “warmth of the water”. And that was in the heat of the summer! Anyway…great article, and I sent it off to my friend, Candy, who is now in CA, but longs for NH.

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