A Brief History of Seacoast New Hampshire,
  Home of the James House

1640 map:
In 1640 our coastline was dotted with early English settlements. Four of these became New Hampshire's first towns: Dover, Exeter, Strawbery Banke, which became Portsmouth, and Hampton.

Hampton's settlement was built around the meeting house, near the river landing and the marshes. Gradually they replaced their crude shelters with well-build timber-framed dwellings, constructed in the English style of framing. These were to become known as the "first period" houses.

For nearly a century the houses were build in the first period style. By the middle of the 1700's the Georgian colonial became the style, and the older first period houses were beginning to disappear.

1806 map:
By the 19th century many of the first period homes were gone. In New Hampshire, only a precious few remained, notably in Portsmouth and Exeter. All of Hampton's first period houses were thought to be gone forever.