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Featured Lifestyle: Little Boar's Head, North Hampton

Ocean Boulevard, Little Boar's HeadTake a drive along New Hampshire's 18 miles of coastline and you'll encounter the historic district of Little Boars Head Village in North Hampton. Without a doubt, one of the most stunning neighborhoods in New England! As you follow the undulations of Ocean Boulevard, the ocean vistas will take your breath away.

You'll see people walking along a beautiful path that stretches across Little Boar's Head's 1.5 miles of ocean frontage, with several benches for rest and contemplation along the way. There are grassy areas and spots to climb down over the seawalls to explore boulders and beaches. Just beyond the north end of the district is Rye's Bass Beach, a small but popular spot featuring a singing beach where the clacking of stones in the surf makes a lovely melody. On its southern end is North Hampton State Beach, a long stretch of sandy beach with parking near The Beach Plum, where ice cream and lobster rolls entice passersby all summer long. Explore our North Hampton Community Guide for more details!

A close second to Little Boar's Head's awesome natural beauty is the impressive architecture of the 88 or so homes within the historic district's 150 acres...most notably, turn-of-the-century mansions and seaside cottages set amidst sprawling lawns. More on that later!


A LITTLE HISTORY

The character of Little Boar's Head shows its evolution from farming and fishing in the 19th century to summer tourism in the early 20th century. From 1900 to 1926, the village was served by a trolley system that ran from Portsmouth to Hampton Beach with a little spur to the old North Hampton train station. The historic district was even listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1999! Beautification and protection of its natural and historic resources are of great importance to residents.

One of Little Boar's Head's greatest treasures is Fuller Gardens at 10 Willow Avenue, two acres of beautifully laid out gardens featuring over 1500 rose bushes, dahlia displays, and formal English and Japanese gardens. Commissioned by Governor Alvan T. Fuller for his wife Viola in the early 1920s, and open to the public since 1958, some of its most popular seasonal events are an annual plant sale, July Garden Party, and 'Reggae n Roses.'

Union Chapel, Little Boar's HeadUnion Chapel, by Mike Barron Photography

Across Willow Avenue from the Gardens is Union Chapel, constructed (1877) as part of the original Franklin Pierce property, where non-denominational services are held on Sundays in the summer, and the guest celebrants are a widely diverse whos who of regional clergy. The chapel has a lovely three-panel glass "of quiet hills and peaceful streams" which was donated by Louis Comfort Tiffany in 1926.

Fish Houses, Little Boar's HeadBath Houses, by Mike Barron Photography

Other than the State Beach, Fuller Gardens, and Union Chapel, Little Boar's Head is exclusively residential. The twelve Fish Houses on Ocean Boulevard are some of the oldest and most historic buildings here, dating as early as 1804; several of the bathhouses on the south side of the beach date as early as 1900. A smaller flower garden, just northeast of the Fish Houses, has been continuously planted since the 1930s and maintained by the Rye Beach Little Boar's Head Garden Club.

While its history is fascinating, Little Boar's Head is a vibrant area today with renovation, in-character new construction, and continual enhancement occurring at a steady pace. Many homes are summer retreats and many are occupied year-round. The area provides a neighborhood for families and retired couples alike who love the views, close access to Abenaqui Country Club, and the NH Seacoast lifestyle.

Tate & Foss Sotheby's International Realty Sales Associate Katie Fontana, a former resident of Little Boar's Head, offers:

The best part of living in Little Boar's Head is being able to walk past Fuller Gardens out to the seaside, watch surfers at Rye on the Rocks, and return home walking past the greens of Abenaqui!

Fox Hill, Little Boar's HeadFox Hill at 78 Ocean Boulevard, by Mike Barron Photography


PROMINENT RESIDENCES

The area along Willow Avenue and Ocean Boulevard is the setting for a series of meticulously maintained, extraordinary residences that present a beautiful view to those driving, walking, or biking along the Atlantic Ocean. Architectural styles in Little Boar's Head include Federal, Greek Revival, Second Empire, Gothic Revival, Stick style, Queen Anne, Shingle, Colonial Revival, Classical Revival and Craftsman Bungalow, along with several newer builds.

Poet Odgen Nash once lived in a cottage on Atlantic Avenue, the inspiration for 'I Didn't Go To Church Today':

I didn't go to church today, I trust the Lord to understand. The surf was swirling blue and white, The children swirling on the sand. He knows, He knows how brief my stay, How brief this spell of summer weather, He knows when I am said and done We'll have plenty of time together.

  • 31 Atlantic Avenue, former summer home to a prominent family from St Louis, Missouri...legend has it that Harriet Beecher Stowe spent time and wrote part of Uncle Tom's Cabin here.

  • Bell Cottage at 4 Atlantic Avenue, the first such summer home in the District, built-in 1862 by Mary Bell White on land given to her by her father, US Senator James Bell.

  • Balmoral, also known as Spaulding-Bottomley House, a Colonial Revival-style home located at 5 Willow Avenue...has the only brick exterior in the district. It was previously the site of a home owned by US President Franklin Pierce and, later, NH Governor Huntley Spaulding.

  • Fern Cottage at 25 Atlantic Avenue and Seaside Cottage at 27 Atlantic Avenue were built in 1869 by Charles Coffin of Newburyport Massachusetts, as part of the 'Terrace Hall Cottages' designed to accommodate summer visitors.

  • Williams House at 19 Willow Avenue, was built by Norman Williams of Chicago's Pullman Car Company in 1897. Just across the street, also on Willow Avenue, once stood 'Gates Ajar,' the summer home of Robert Todd Lincoln (son of US President Abraham Lincoln), who happened to be Vice President of Pullman Car Company.

  • Testarossa al Mare, translated as 'Redhead by the Sea', at 34 Willow Avenue, named for its distinctive red-shingled roof, constructed between 1902 and 1904 for Manchester philanthropists Dr. Leonard Melville French and his wife, Emma Blood French (founder of NH Institute of Arts).

  • Breakers, also known as 'Breaknolle' and 'Studebaker House,' at 40 Ocean Boulevard, former summer home of Colonel George Studebaker, executive of the Studebaker Corporation, once the largest maker of horse-drawn vehicles and, of course, Studebaker automobiles.

  • Willow Wind, also known as 'Williams-Merritt House,' at 25 Willow Avenue, once rented by Jimmy Roosevelt (son of US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt) after his marriage to Betsy Cushing in 1930.

  • Sans Souci, translated as 'Without Worries', at 12 Willow Avenue, is an extraordinary Queen Anne Colonial (c.1895). You'll be captivated by its distinctive setting and Victorian-era architecture with bowed windows, gabled roofs and elaborate ironwork. 

Willow Wind, Little Boar's Head12 Willow Avenue  |  Offered at $3,800,000

NOTABLE SALES + STATISTICS

From January 2019 to November 2023, there were 54 residential sales in Little Boar's Head, with an average price of $1,488,697.

Tate & Foss Sotheby's International Realty was involved in some of the neighborhood's most notable sales ever recorded, including:

 Little Boar's Head | $7,000,000 in June 2023

74 Ocean Boulevard, North Hampton 74 Ocean Boulevard  |  $2,200,000 in November 2018 and $2,425,000 in April 2021
   34 Willow Avenue, North Hampton 34 Willow Avenue  |  $2,840,000  |  July 2018
    51 Chapel Road  |   $2,950,000  |  February 2017

Tate & Foss Sotheby's International Realty also brokered Little Boar's Head's most significant transaction to date (in April 2011), which involved the sale of both 19 Willow Avenue (pictured below, far right) and 70 Ocean Boulevard to one buyer for a combined $7,900,000.

Willow Avenue, Little Boar's HeadFox Hill Point Area, by David J. Murray/Clear Eye Photo

Curious to know what's currently For Sale throughout North Hampton NH? Click here. For more information about living in Little Boar's Head, North Hampton NH or anywhere in the Greater Seacoast Area, please Contact a member of our real estate sales team. At Tate & Foss Sotheby's International Realty, we pride ourselves on having in-depth knowledge of our market area. We'd like to share that knowledge with you.

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