Letters to the Editor on the Fish House Case

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Selectmen Erred in Fish House Decision

Hampton Union, July 31, 2007

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

The last two original Fish Houses & dory at North Beach

To the Editor:

To Whom It May Concern:

Let us preface by saying we are both Hampton natives, deeply vested in our beloved town. Peter is third generation. Grandfather Myron Norton was a fish peddler who owned a fish house at Plaice Cove from 1944-1959.

Between 1952-1959, a court battle ensued. In 1959, the N.H. Supreme Court ruled that unless the fish house owner was currently an active fisherman, the fish house would have to removed or destroyed. Since Myron was retired, his fish house was relocated. So dictated the law.

This law is still in effect today. Therefore, the recent Hampton Board of Selectmen's decision to allow ownership conveyed from Arthur and Barbara Doggett to Mr. Cropper is illegal. The owner has to be a commercial fisherman.

Also, this location on Ocean Boulevard is Residence A. It is illegal to use this structure for commercial storage. Mr. Cropper stores surfboards, which is a business endeavor.

The selectmen need to change and rescind the decision, which was made without researching the history and legality of this proposal. This is an unfortunate situation, which must be corrected immediately.

You may find information related to the issue by visiting the Lane Memorial Library Web site, library@hampton.lib.nh.us. Click on fish houses.

Peter and Judith Curtis Hampton

Letters to the Editor

Thank You Due to Owner of Fish House

Hampton Union, September 11, 2007

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

To the Editor:

With reference to the historic preservation of the fish house at Ruth Stimpson Park: No one has done more to preserve the heritage of the area than the present owner of the former Doggett Fish House.

The original building was very near a state of total collapse and the only two possible actions were to demolish it and remove from the site or attempt to restore it.

At considerable expense to himself, the new owner decided on restoration because of his personal desire to preserve the heritage of the fishing industry in Hampton.

After obtaining every permit required by the town, to include discussions with the town manager, and a hearing before the Zoning Board of Adjustment, which includes a representative of the Board of Selectmen, the project was permitted to proceed.

While many of the fishing artifacts were preserved, to be restored on the site, it was determined all of the wood structure was decayed beyond any hope of reuse. The new building is a duplicate of the original building using the same size, shape and materials as the original. The significant difference is that the materials are all new. When weathering has taken place the building will blend very nicely with the adjacent fish house.

A thank you is due the new owner for undertaking this effort to help preserve our local heritage.

LA Rooney, Hampton, NH

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