Although the area
had been settled by the Indians and French as far back as the 1600's, it was
not until the coming of the Loyalists in 1783 that any lasting settlement was
made in this area.
Kings County, one of the eight
original New Brunswick counties, was established on July 4, 1785 with four
parishes (townships) - Westfield, Springfield, Kingston and Sussex, with
Kingston the Shiretown. The County now has 15 parishes. The parish of Hampton
was "set off from parts of Kingston and Sussex in 1795. It is not certain how
the name Hampton was chosen, but it is thought that the name was brought by the
pre-Loyalist English settlers.
The Kennebecasis River was the chief means of
transportation. Over time, roads, a ferry, and the railroad all contributed to
the growth of this area. In the early 1800's shipbuilding flourished but
agriculture was the chief industry. There was also a tannery, a shingle mill, a
grist mill, a sash and carriage factory, a bobbin and spool factory, a mill and
two casket makers. On Front Street could be found various kinds of stores,
hotels, a lawyer, a blacksmith, a doctor and an undertaker.
Of the five bridges built over the years, the first three
were built between 1836 and 1888. The first steel bridge was built in 1890 and
the present one (shown above) in 1931.
Kingston had been
the Shiretown of the County (Kings) until 1870, when it was moved to Hampton. A
Court House was built, but the granite blocks of the jail were dismantled at
Kingston and hauled by oxen and horse, on ice and road, and rebuilt at Hampton.
The official weights and measures found in the Court House are made of special
metal and were brought from England in 1854. The grounds of the Court House
were the scene of the celebration of Coronation Day, 1937, for King George V.
To mark this historic event over 2,000 people gathered to watch a parade and
listen to music, speeches, and prayers. The program was timed to hear the
King's broadcast speech which was followed by a 'Fue de Joie' fired by the
machine gun troop of the 8th Hussars and then the National Anthem. In the
evening there was a Band Concert with community singing, a bonfire, fireworks
and a dance in the Agricultural Hall
Among other things,
the Village of Hampton had the honor of having the first recorded telephone in
the Province. It was leased by the agents to G. & G. Flewwelling Co. for
testing purposes. There was another line between the mill and the store. The
first Central for the NB Telephone Company was in T. C. Donald's drug
--Kierstead, David G. (1983).
Reflections: the story of Hampton. The Kings County Historical and Archival
--Humphrey, Mabel (1962). History of Hampton and Hampton
For more information on the Town of
Hampton be sure to check out the official town site @