Excerpts from The Hampton Union and Rockingham County Gazette
Thursday, August 18, 1938
Hampton Industries Give Employment To Many Town Residents
For half a century the Charles E. Greenman Co., whose large plant is located on High Street a few hundred feet off the great traveled highway known as Route No. 1, or locally as the Lafayette Highway or Road, has been making all kinds of leather soles for all kinds of shoes. Known far and wide throughout the shoe trade of the country, the Charles E. Greenman Co. has established a favorable name for its production and its methods of doing business. The business was founded in 1888 by the late Charles E. Greenman Sr., in Haverhill, moving to Hampton in 1919, where it has become one of the town’s principal industries.
Employing practically all local help, this concern has a yearly output running up to more than 5,000,000 pairs of outer soles alone. These were used in the manufacture of men’s shoes and were shipped to all parts of the United States and some foreign countries.
The factor, constructed of wood of the most modern type of structure, with the latest and most up to date sprinkler system, has the most recent and efficient equipment for producing its goods that can be obtained. Because of its growing business, a large addition had to be built a few years ago.
Up to the time of his death in 1925, the founder of the business was actively engaged in its direction. His son, Charles E. Greenman Jr., then became the active manager and still continues in that capacity.
Long associated with the concern and highly regarded by employer and employees, are G. Summer Fall with the longest record of starting from 1836 and still going strong; David Hamilton with thirty years of service to his credit and Benjamin Diemoch with twenty nine years. It’s the efficient interested and faithful work of all that enable the factory with its valuation of $50,000 to turn out a production yearly running above 1,000,000.
An associate corporation with the Greenman Company is the Winchester Co., which was organized in 1919 to manufacture turn and molded leather counters and shanks used in the construction of shoes. Located in the same building with the original or parent company, it employs about seventy men and four salesmen.
Another of Hampton’s manufacturing concerns is the Bradford Shoe Company which was founded in 1930 by J. O’Leary and C. R. Kershaw coming to this town from Haverhill in 1936. It has constructed a large wooden factory costing about $18,000 and employs more than 200 workers largely from Hampton and nearby towns.
When these industries are running at full speed and keeping all the citizens of the town busy, Hampton reflects the activity in all branches. The building that has been going on in Hampton for some time, the development of new streets and new home sites and the air of prosperity and progress which cannot fail to be recognized by all who visit this town, shows that it is a good place to live in.
Lamie’s Tavern in Hampton, N. H., on U. S. No. 1 enjoys the well deserved patronage of tourists from all parts of the country as well as that of residents in this section who have learned in the 7 years since the tavern has been open just how extraordinarily delicious are the foods so attractively served in the unusually delightful interior with its finish and soft harmonizing lighting effects.
Lamie’s Tavern was opened on the 22 nd day of January, 1931, under the personal management of Albert Lamie, for many years a former resident of Haverhill, who also is ably assisted in the supervision of this famous establishment by his wife, Madeline Lamie; The Tavern is in Hampton center at the junction of Exeter road and U. S. Route No. 1.
The name of Lamie is already known from coast to coast for its turkey, chicken, shore dinners, lunches, salads and refreshments of the highest quality. They specialize on a 65c luncheon which is served at all hours and which is proving especially popular now as it has from the start.
Four roads meet at the Tavern, one leading to Exeter, one to the beach and the through highway running to Boston and Eastern Maine.
In front and on the right side of the Tavern there is an unusually large parking space, yet there is hardly any part of the day or night when this space looks bare and in rush hours it is packed with cars.
The main dining room, with its ten extra large and comfortable booths and many well-arranged tables occupies the entire right hand section of the first floor. Much of the lumber used in the building or the entrance, and in the main dining room, was salvaged from the old Ashcroft estate and put to use in the building to give a unique expression of old colonial design. There is much in historic taste and beauty as one enters into the dining room, with not a single nail driven by hand in the construction. Everything is duplicated from Colonial fashion. Even the trays are made from boards of the famous old Ashcroft house which has a historic background in itself. The gorgeous dining room is very cleverly arranged with a large and beautiful fireplace over which is hanging a handmade ship, a design of the Norsemen, and it is an exact reproduction. Some of the mantel used in the fireplace was introduced from England and imported to its present location in the main dining room of Lamie’s Tavern. Wagon wheels of the old oxcart days were taken from their ancient resting places and put into service as chandeliers for the lights.
There is an addition to the dining room a large section devoted to the most modern lunch counter as well as a first class soda fountain.
Lamie’s Tavern is open throughout the entire year and is an ideal place for special parties, whether large or small.
One thing is certain when you visit Lamie’s you are sure of a cordial welcome and good food served in a colonial atmosphere. Mr. Albert Lamie has proven the fact that goodwill such as found at his establishment will draw people back from all parts of the U. S. and they stop repeatedly as they pass through town. Hampton certainly is proud of the Lamie’s Tavern and the reputation which it enjoys.
The Lobster Pot
The MacDonald’s Lobster Pot at Hampton Beach is most outstanding with its unique frontage of a nautical scene, its windows being trimmed with fishermen’s nets and at the entrance is a ship’s guide wheel which is enormous in size. The interior of the restaurant is beautiful in appearance with all tables covered with white linen table cloths and candles burning at night. The Lobster Pot features steaks, chops, sea food and sandwiches. The hostess in charge of the dinner room is Miss Annabel MacDonald, assisted by fifteen attractive waitresses.
The staff in the kitchen is headed by Head chef Arthur Pelletier who has had many years of experience and is an expert chef.
Mr. Donald Dean of Lowell is the proprietor and he extends to everyone at the beach an invitation to come in and visit the lobster pot.
Col. George Ashworth
Hampton Beach the resort of fish buyers and invalids gave way to Hampton Beach the gathering place of authors, writers and publishers and was followed by Hampton Beach the picnic and holiday terminus of the electric car lines. It remained for Col. George Ashworth, a good Kentucky colonel to set Hampton Beach toward a higher aim of Hampton Beach, the cleanest most attractive recreation spot on the New England Coast.
On July 21, 1868 George Ashworth was born in Haverhill, Mass., the son of Peter and Sarah (Butterworth) Ashworth. Educated in the public schools of the fast growing shoe city, Mr. Ashworth graduated and turned his hand toward leather board trade which he followed for a number of years. Mr. Ashworth went to Des Moines, Iowa. In the year 1887 but returned a short time later to Haverhill. Here he had an urgent desire to succeed. As Haverhill was growing rapidly at the time it was only natural for the young man to follow in the footsteps of the progress which the city was making in the building line. Here he learned the fundamentals of construction and home designing. The many hours of construction work gave him the practical ideas of beauty and comfort which became very useful when he built his hotels at Hampton Beach. He first came to the beach in 1900 when he built the Avon on B St. which he later sold to the present owner, Mrs. Ethel Powers Uhlig, in the year 1912. Later that year he built the Ashworth and rebuilt it on two occasions after complete losses by fire, and on each occasion a better and more beautiful edifice arose out of the one that had preceded it.
He has made a splendid success in the hotel business and his hostelry has always been noted for the dignity and comfort and its appointments and the excellence of its cuisine.
Mr. Ashworth is married, his wife, Grace Appleton Paul, being well known on Hampton beach.
George Ashworth has always been a leader in the community and has done much to develop Hampton Beach along the lines which have led to its pre-eminence among the Oceanside vacation places of the nation. In the course of these activities Mr. Ashworth has held many positions of responsibility and trust in the Hampton Beach Chamber of Commerce, in the Hampton Beach Development Commission, and the Hampton Beach Village Precinct, which has helped to form the present beach. He is a precinct commissioner and former president of Tuck Memorial Green association. He was one of the men responsible for the Memorial playground to its present high status among the free children’s playgrounds of New England.
But building and operating hotels, while Col. Ashworth has become famous at it, is only one of his outlets of energy. Believing that Hampton Beach could be made into one of the most attractive places on the coast, he early started planning to this end. The development of the Beach Village precinct, the elaborate plans for beautifying and making an enduring beach where his constant thought and the various steps which he instigated and sought the cooperation of other forward looking people is well known history.
Though his first plans were so far reaching and involving such a huge outlay that he was called a super visionary, he persisted and brought others to see that the thing was possible and after many years, that picture of an ideal that was branded impossible has become an almost line for line fact.
Even more than in lifeless though attractive building and improvements, Col. Ashworth thought of the children and youth. Except for him, there would be not such an attractive playground, nor so thoroughly fine equipment.
It was through his instrumentality likewise that the Daniel Webster Council of Boy Scouts from all parts of New Hampshire made Hampton Beach the yearly scene of their camporee, and as chairman of the beach precinct he has for years been a constant worker for everything which would make Hampton Beach a more beautiful healthier, happier place both to live and for a summer recreation spot.
The whole-hearted cheers of the visiting scouts as they greeted Col. Ashworth on the reviewing stand showed that young hearts could appreciate the thoughtful friend while the guests from far and wide who return year after year, indicate a real liking and friendship for the unassuming man whose greatest wish is to make Hampton Beach an every beauty spot for the enjoyment of the best folks.
Boar’s Head Inn
Historic Boar’s Head Inn, the only hotel on the beach that is open the year round, is itself in the center of the Hampton Beach beginnings. Located on the side of Hampton’s greatest natural phenomena, Great Boar’s Head, a deposit by the great ice cap which covered all this section centuries ago, it is surrounded by sites and remains of the ancient hostelries which started the fame of the beach as a summer resort.
In its more recent history, Boar’s Head Inn is the reincarnation, but greatly enlarged and improved, of the Boar’s Head Inn destroyed in the fire of January 23, 1929.
Leaving Route 1A, which in passing through Hampton Beach is known as the Ocean Boulevard, a few hundred feet up the slope of Great Boar’s Head is Boar’s head Inn right on the side of the sea. From its cheery pleasant dining room built out almost over the breaking waves, one may enjoy the surf. Often when the storms rage and the wind roars the spray beats up against the window panes. Usually, however, there is a more pleasant view of the great stretch of ocean, at night with gleaming lights from Lighthouses asea and ashore and always the fresh, wholesome, invigorating breezes which give rest and appetite.
Here good cheer, excellent fare, comfortable cozy rooms and an air of good fellowship is promised the guest. Fishing, golf, tennis and horseback riding, in fact almost any diversion which may be desired, can easily be enjoyed almost at hand.
The dining room and the splendid menus are also available to outings, clubs and other organizations at short notice. Great numbers of women’s clubs and small parties come here at intervals to enjoy good food amid the finest surroundings. Mr. E. E. Cushman is always glad to send descriptive matter to any who may ask for it, and reservations may be made or information gained by calling Hampton 8420. Whether it is summer or winter Mr. and Mrs. Cushman will always welcome you at Boar’s Head Inn.
Moulton – Janvrin Hotel
The present proprietor of the Janvrin Hotel has been continuously engaged in the hotel business on Hampton Beach since 1909. Mr. Ralph A. Moulton came to Hampton Beach 28 years ago and started to work in the old Leavitt Hampton Beach Hotel, as a clerk. From there he came to Janvrin Hotel, then under the management of Mrs. Munsey, where he stayed for 18 years. The spring of last year Mr. William Clancy sold the Hotel Janvrin to Mr. Moulton who together with his wife, are well known at the beach and are active in each affairs.
This prominent couple are also the proprietors of the Pennsylvania Restaurant at 320 Fourth Street North, St. Petersburg, Fla. They are well able to serve their patrons and give the best of service which assures satisfaction.
The Janvrin Hotel at Hampton Beach is an ideal spot for the vacationist. It is centrally located and is easily reached from any point on the beach.
Mrs. Katie M. Harrington, the proprietor of the Lawrence House has set a record that will be hard to beat. Mrs. Harrington came to Hampton Beach in 1901 and stated a small rooming house on the present site of the Lawrence House. This humble beginning with only six rooms was quite popular until it burned to the ground in the fire of 1915. This set-back did not discourage her and she rebuilt it into a twenty-three room house. After successfully operating for six years disaster again overtook Mrs. Harrington, completely ruining the place in the fire of June 25, 1921. Still endeavoring to have one of the best hotels on the beach Mrs. Harrington built the present Lawrence House with thirty-seven rooms and a large dining room which is operated on both the European and American plans.
This homelike hotel has gained an honest and excellent reputation for Mrs. Harrington specializes in giving the guest the best of care amid pleasant surroundings. The large piazza affords the guest a lounging place where they can enjoy the sea breezes or hold social teas and bridge games and here as part of the hotel’s hospitality refreshments are served.
When Mrs. Harrington first started the Lawrence House she had just one purpose in mind and that was to give the guest the utmost pleasure and a very restful visit. The rooms are large and airy with ample lighting both in the daytime and in the evening. The beds have fine soft mattresses insuring the guest restful sleep not to be forgotten and will cause him to select the Lawrence House when planning another vacation or visit to Hampton Beach.
Mrs. Harrington has set a high standard on the beach on what a vacation resort should supply. Though she has definitely reached the hearts of her patrons yet she is steadily trying to increase the pleasantness of the Lawrence House by improved appointments, more attractive and comfortable chairs and in many other ways.
Fred Lorenz, one of the best known business men on the beach, came here in 1921 and purchased the White Rock House in that part known as the White Island section. He was elected a director of the Hampton Beach Chamber of Commerce in 1925 and served as Beach Precinct Commissioner in 1927 continuing for eight years with Kenneth Ross and Col. George Ashworth and was instrumental with them in getting the sea wall and the jetties built and in having the town give to the state the ocean front. He was also active in the toll bridge getting favorable report from the state commissioners, resulting in the state taking over the structure. He takes much pride for what he has aided in accomplishing to make the beach better in all respects.
Fred Lorenz has built up a very large trade and has one of the most attractive business places on the beach.
Situated just as one leaves the mile-long bridge and at the junctions of the Ocean Boulevard and Marsh avenue, no more convenient place could be found for those who come here to buy fish, lobsters and clams just out of the ocean and at their prime.
Here he also carries a most complete line of package groceries, canned goods, ice cream, candy, cigars and the like as well as newspapers.
Oils and gasoline are dispensed by very conveniently located pumps in front, and at night, gleaming electric lights tell that here is Lorenz.
Just beside the store is the very attractive Sea Shell a charge of Mrs. Lorenz where fresh sea foods are served most temptingly. An almost steady line of patrons attests the excellence of the food and the satisfaction of the service.
The Barn Theatre’s history dates back to the year 1800 in which it was built and was the barn of the Leavitt Homestead. The barn then housed the horses and outfits driven from Canada, Vermont and other points to the Homestead, largely to buy fish. The original rafters are still intact and give an air of antiquity much appreciated by those who visit the converted barn to see the latest talkies and other attractions.
Mr. Elwin Avery of Portsmouth who is on the teacher’ staff of the Portsmouth High School has converted the old barn into a moving picture house or theatre. Having considerable previous experience in catering to the movie minded, Mr. Avery plans to mellow the sound without deadening or distorting it. The old beams have a mildness mellow with age and no wires nor other handicaps to interfere. Mr. Avery has in the past been complimented for his excellent judgment in choosing the type of films he thinks the audience will enjoy, and with the aid of new and modern equipment the barn has triple action thrills for the theatre goer. First, the sound is natural, not at all harsh, insuring a sensatory satisfaction to the ears. Second, the pictures are clear and distinct, adding to the pleasure of hearing the delight of seeing some of the best pictures ever produced. Third, and the most important, is the comfort of the patron, seats are so arranged as to give maximum sight and ease, and all these at moderate prices.
The Barn is conveniently located at the North Beach opposite the U.S. Coast Guard Station with ample parking facilities for those who come in their autos.
Chat Tea Room
The Chat Tea Room on Ocean Boulevard at C street has been in continuous operation for the past twelve years with accommodations for seventy guests and offering tables and booths for the convenience of its patrons.
The Chat employs a staff of 16 well trained and efficient employees, the waitresses being selected for their personality and appearance. All of those waitresses have had several years’ experience in fast and courteous service. Many patrons make a special trip to the Chat from Fitchburg, Hanover and intermediate towns to enjoy the special attention of their favorite waitress.
Pastry is all made on the premises by a lady baker and is comparable to the best of home cooking.
The Chat is likewise enjoying a reputation for the excellence of its meats and fish, all of which are fresh and of the best quality.
The popularity of the Chat is best attested by the groups of waiting guests during meal hours. Guests to the Tercentenary are especially invited by the management to drop in for dinner or tea during their visit to Hampton Beach.
Hampton Beach, N. H. – Protesting that the proposed bridge across the Hampton River to replace the present Mile-long bridge had too low a draw, 12.7 feet clearance at high tide, Lucien W. Foote presented the opposition of the Seabrook fishermen, calmers and lobstermen, Tuesday morning the 2 nd , citing the many difficulties they had already experienced with the present structure, and explaining that their various boats with jogging sails set for a trip could neither come in nor go out under the new bridge if built with the present announced specifications at high or near high tide without requiring the draw to be opened. He said they would prefer a higher bridge without a draw if the question of cost of operation was to be considered or at any rate asked to have the plans altered to make the draw give clearance enough for their boats to pass through at high tide without the necessity of lifting the draw. He also spoke of the need of dredging but was informed that the hearing was in relation to the bridge only and that anything in reference to deepening or improving the channel was a separate matter.
N. J. Hutchings, representing the Hampton Chamber of Commerce appeared against the bridge as proposed from the standpoint of the eventual construction of a large modern airport on the western side of the marsh, where about four miles near the Hampton Falls railroad station he said offered one of the finest sites for an air drome and landing base which could be used by not only the commercial airways or this country but for the western terminal or trans-Atlantic lines. As some of these might be sea planes, he thought a different type of bridge should be constructed with enough clearance between piers to permit the passage of sea planes with 125-feet spread of wings under the bridge as they might be taxied in the two miles from the shore line to the airport. This would require the bridge to be of much greater clearance than called for in the present plans and he favored one of the type of that the Bourne or Dover Point without a draw.
Precinct Commissioner Armas Guyon who said he was working on the present bridge making repairs favored the new bridge as shown saying that it was a great improvement over the existing structure and that a new bridge was needed now.
Mr. Foote again taking the floor called attention to the fact that in case of war, Hampton Harbor might be needed by the government for a blind harbor or base for submarines and further showed the need of great clearance at high water and a wider span.
Selectman Edward S. Bachelder appeared as a boat owner and favored the bridge as planned.
Chief Engineer Daniel H. Dickerson spoke twice explaining that the plans as shown were only tentative and that it was quite possible that the bridge when built would have several feet more clearance at high water. He said that if Hampton Harbor was improved and visiting yachts came in and had been suggested might occur, some clearance and then gave the approximate heights of various bridges which had been mentioned and others. He said that to build a type of bridge across the Hampton River would be to create a monstrosity, not to mention expense and that neither from an engineering view nor for its scenic relation to the surrounding locality including the State of New Hampshire’s bath house and other park property would he be in favor of it. He believed that the proposed structure substantially as shown would be the best.
The hearing was presided over by 1 st Lieut. W. B. Bunker and civilian engineer E. A. Porter from the U.S.A. engineering office in Boston with Miss Helen W. Scott of that office acting as official reporter. The Hampton Harbor Yacht Club was not officially represented. Among those present were Chief Engineer Daniel H. Dickerson representing the State, Selectmen, Harry D. Munsey, Edward S. Bachelder and Elroy G. Shaw; precinct commissioners Col. George Ashworth and Armas Guyon, Alexander H. Rogers of Seabrook and the Lawrence Eagle Tribune Publishing Company, J. N. Hutchings representing the Hampton Chamber of Commerce, former representative Charles F. Adams, Lucien W. Foote, representing Seabrook fishermen and numerous others.
The hearing which had been conducted in the precinct hall was then declared closed with thanks for those who had attended and spoken and the statement that the board would give the matter their consideration.
The Taybury Arms Hotel, beautifully situated at the North Shore, Hampton Beach affords the fine sea view to the East and the beautiful country background to the West.
With a history of some fifteen years of continuous service, the management this year has been taken over by Mrs. Helen Hoover who has been a very successful manager of hotels in Pennsylvania, Florida and Michigan.
With its large and airy and attractive rooms, many of which have been redecorated for this season and its exterior much improved by new paint, the Taybury Arms makes special appeal to the visitors who like quiet, spaciousness and pleasing surroundings,
Even more than comfortable rooms, the dining room and its service are of more interest to many vacationists. Mrs. Hoover in her successful career has always paid particular attention to the matter of cuisine and the meals served at the Taybury Arms will be found the equal of those served at any summer resort.
Contributing to the pleasure of the guests, a competent and agreeable staff of employees have been secured. Many of these have served here in former years and all endeavor to make each and every guest have a delightful stay.
Now that Hampton is celebrating its Tercentenary it may be interesting to note that Mrs. Hoover’s mother’s side of the family came to this country with Governor Winthrop’s party on the Arabela landing here in 1630.
Mrs. Hoover and her young sons, Richard and Charles 3 rd have made many friends.
Thousands of visitors each fair day come to Hampton Beach not only to enjoy the beach sands, the bathing, the sea breezes and the other natural beauties of the place buy also to partake of the good things for which the beach has for years enjoyed the reputation. Among these places which dispense good cookery few have a better reputation than that of Howard’s Grill.
Howard’s Grill is located in the picturesque north beach section on the Northern Boulevard which connects Hampton Beach with Rye and Portsmouth along the Ocean Front. Pleasantly situated on this Boulevard at the corner of High Street, Howard’s Grill with its genial proprietor is ready at all times to serve the visitor. Regardless of the vagaries of the appetite Howard’s Grill offers a menu of sufficient variety to satisfy.
The proprietor has had a long and varied experience in supplying tasty and appetizing food to people of many tastes and those who come to please their own appetite. Only food of the best quality carefully prepared is served here.
The motorists coming from either direction find Howard’s Grill easy to access and with ample parking space for all its patrons. Its location also tends to add zest to the appetite of the visitor as he looks way to the sea on one side and over the attractive country on the other. Those who have not already tried the menu of Howard’s Grill will find it worthwhile to visit this establishment and find out for themselves the pleasure of eating here.
Fairview Tea Room
Charles F. Butler, proprietor of the Fairview Tea Room at 227 Ocean Boulevard, has been actively in business at Hampton Beach since the reconstruction of the burned area following the great fire of Sunday morning, June 26, 1921. In the greatly improved Fairview Hotel Building, Mr. Butler opened up the Fairview Tea Room and has uninterruptedly continued there since building up both a splendid reputation for the excellence of his food and a constantly growing following of pleased customers.
Mr. Butler has by no means confined his activities to his business solely, believing that businessman owed it to his community to heartily cooperate in every movement to make his locality better and bigger. Mr. Butler early joined the old Board of Trade, at that time under the presidency of the late Frank James of Lawrence, and became one of the organization’s active workers. When the organization changed its title to Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Butler continued on with it. His interest was recognized by his election to the office of vice-president which he held for several terms, succeeding George H. Bushway as president and resigning after serving in that position for two years that John H. Cuddy, Jr., might be elected to office, since he felt that in view of Mr. Cuddy’s large interests at this beach it was proper that he should be thus honored.
In relinquishing his office as president, Mr. Butler stated that he felt the Hampton Beach Chamber of Commerce was one of the most powerful interests contributing to the growth and popularity of this beach. Acknowledging the services of any individuals, the Precinct, the town and the State, he called attention to the fact that the Chamber of Commerce has advertised the beach far and wide in paid advertisements and in other forms of publicity until no New England Beach is more widely known or more highly rated. Still continuing his activity with the Chamber of Commerce in the role of supporter and worker he is also active in the Hampton Beach Property Owners’ Protective Association. Mr. Butler is also owner of several valuable properties on the Ocean Boulevard.
Mr. Butler said that he felt the average person did not fully appreciate what a great undertaking the work of the Beach Chamber of Commerce was. He pointed out the fact that in the winter and spring it prepares advertising both in direct form and in publicity to interest visitors, in the summer carries out various forms of amusement and entertainment, maintains an information system which not only supplies answers to the common questions of when and how can I go to this and that place but even such questions as ferry service between distant points in New York and elsewhere, train and airplane connections between cities, bus and steamer service and other matters outside of travel. The Chamber has the most complete directory of beach cottages and people that is in existence though because of the constantly changing population it can never be complete. Its public address system quickly unites lost children with their parents, often 15 to 25 a week and locates older folks for whom important telegrams or other messages are waiting. It tries to maintain a high standard of business ethics on the beach and to keep out the undesirable element which would hurt its reputation and drive the better class away, and in a multitude of ways serves to make the stay of the visitor happier and more interesting. This, he said, inadequately told the story of what the Chamber of Commerce was doing as he had found in his connection with it, a connection that he had changed only as far as holding office was concerned.
Reminiscences of Hampton
Perhaps it would be interesting to the readers of the Gazette who live in Hampton, particularly the young people to know a little about our town as it was. We are all pretty well acquainted with today’s gossip, if not there are plenty who will tell us, but the old stories, romances and legends, numerous and interesting, are a little harder to get at.
I we could in reality lift “the twilight curtain of the past” without the aid of tongue or pen, and see our pretty town as it was a hundred or even fifty years ago, the pictures would be strange, beyond doubt. Then there was no railroad, no cars coming in with a mighty rush six or eight times a day. In their place were stages from Boston, Newburyport, and Portsmouth, bringing the mails and passengers, and then a person who went to Boston once a year in the state was looked up to by all ye country folk and kept busy the long winter evenings describing the wonders of the city and the journey there. `Twas at the tavern where the Union House is the stages stopped to change horses while the mail was left at Squire Leavitt’s where Mrs. Jabez Towle lived, and later at Squire Toppan’s. In revolutionary times there was no post office but the people had little boxes on their fences where the post rider might drop the weekly newspaper. I suppose letters were almost unknown then. The houses were few and far between, solid and substantial structures like the sturdy, honest inhabitants.
In the early history of the town the Landing was the busy part. Vessels were built; there was a store, and there court was held; and all the grand people dwelt there; Chases, Friezes, Potters, Moultons and Philbricks. Even now as I look on the pretty spot with its background of fields and forest, with roofs and spires of the present village and charming outlook across the marsh to the beaches on one side and Kensington hills on the other. I can see in mind the old mansions, the court room and the stern visages of the prim, puritanic people, and I recall, too, sundry witch, ghost stories and romances connected with the place. If you will take the trouble you may see the burying ground and read the above mentioned names on the old block stones.
The church was near where the Academy is, and a fine structure it was for those times with its high backed pews, sounding board and tithing man on the alert to catch all rude boys and escort them to the stocks nearby.
Grandest of all the house was that of Gen. Moulton the rich man of the town. It had a beautiful garden on one side of which was a summer house and well for travelers who might pass that way. This portion of the town is an interesting as any part. There is many a delightful tale told of the old Moulton house itself. We have all read the story about the ghost of the first wife taking her rings from the new wife’s finger and it is whispered that she still rustles about the house. We knew how the old General along with Col. Toppan made a fortune buying a part of the “old mast ship’s” cargo; and how eager for gold, he sold his soul to the Devil for money, and that the boot in which it was measured was slily deprived of its sole and placed over a hole in the floor thereby being hard to fill.
We have heard, too, of the beautiful Rachel whose death was foretold by a set of gossips at a tea drinking they were having in the absence of the men, for this was when tea was taxed. `Twas in one of the cups that the maiden’s coffin and funeral were seen. We know that not far away dwelt the witch Goody Cole, about whom a chapter might be written; and we have listened with something like amazement when hearing about the lady at the landing who could beat all the Revolutionary boys drumming, and who when old and bed ridden, used to sing in a clear rich voice that could be heard a mile.
Hampton & Seabrook Gas Company
1914 was one of the outstanding years in the development of Hampton Beach with the ushering in of this year found the laying of the first gas line to what is today the greater Hampton Beach. Little was it realized in those days that in but a few years to come the little community would boast of thousands of visitors daily.
John Cashman of Haverhill in 1914 sponsored the laying of the Hampton Gas Company’s first pipe from the present toll bridge lines which consisted of a single to the present North Shore Hotel or what is perhaps better known as Dumas Corner. The gas manufactured in Haverhill, Mass. and piped twenty-six miles to Hampton Beach.
The service was efficient for a good many years but following 1924 such extensive drain on a small pipe proved to be too much but still the main was unchanged. The lack of gas plus pressure led to poor supply and in 1926 the company did not turn on the gas in Hampton until forced to do so by the public service commission in Concord. This was not until early in August the company complied and shortly after that time the company filed for bankruptcy. Early in 1927 the receivers for the Hampton Gas Company sold the organization to J. P. Proctor of Franklin, N. H. at a public sale. The next year Mr. Proctor began to branch out the lines and extended services to residents of North Beach.
1929 was the beginning of efficient service which has been maintained ever since to many satisfied patrons. It was in that year the Colonial Utilities Co. purchased the Hampton Gas Co. and at the same time bought the Exeter Gas Light Co. It was at this time too that the company purchasing its gas from Haverhill found that unsatisfactory service could only be expected so went about building a plant of its own in Exeter and connecting that plant with its lines in Hampton; Hampton proper therefore receiving gas facilities for the first time in that year. The connecting line from Exeter to the Beach is of the latest type namely that of a welded high pressure type
Since 1929 there has been a series of rate reductions, the latest one being made in May, this year. Through these rate reductions the beaches and the town are now enjoying the lowest rate for gas service in the history of the company in fact one of the lowest rates for gas service on the North Shore coast.
F. L. Moody has been the active manager of both offices since 929 and has always seen to it that consumers are well satisfied with the service of the company.
As the present system services Seabrook as well as Hampton the Colonial Utilities Corp. named their local unit the Hampton & Seabrook Gas Co. and today many people are well pleased with the service that they have a right to expect from one of Hampton’s great assets--the Hampton & Seabrook Gas Co.
Mrs. Florence Munsey Has Been In Business Many Years at Beach
Mrs. Florence M. Munsey, well known proprietor of the Munsey Sea Grill, has a record of many years’ successful management of eating places which have helped make Hampton Beach famous. Coming here from Haverhill in 1899, Mrs. Munsey took over a small building almost on the spot where she is now located where she began serving meals and keeping a few guests. So successful was she that the first year more room was required and her business and reputation as a good provider grew.
The result was that much more room was needed and a fine large hotel, the Janvrin, was built for Mrs. Munsey and here she continued to serve the public with good meals and furnish modern enjoyable hotel facilities until the memorable fire of Sept. 23, 1915 which utterly destroyed the hotel and contents while she was taking a few days’ vacation at the Rochester Fair. Immediately rebuilding, she opened the second Janvrin Hotel in 1916 which continued to have the same successful career until the next great fire of June 26, 1921 which again totally destroyed the hotel.
On the 17 th of June, 1922 Mrs. Munsey opened the Munsey Café in the Dance Carnival, just constructed, at Boar’s Head, the opening being marked by what almost amounted to a great reunion of her old patrons while those who were unable to be present sent their regrets by mail, telephone and telegraph.
In 1927 Mrs. Munsey took over the Cutler’s Sea View House continuing there until the new Janvrin Hotel, built by W. J. Clancey, summoned her return to the place of her first success and here continuing under the changing ownership of the hotel to Ralph A. Moulton who for many years had been clerk when the hotel had been owned by Mrs. Munsey.
Here Mrs. Munsey has continued to serve an ever growing group of patrons the shore dinners and other dishes which have helped to make her name and her Sea Grill such a Hampton Institution.
Cutler’s Hotel, under the management of Emma S. Montville and with its long and splendid history is again serving the traveling and vacationing public. It is operated under both the American and European plans. A feature this season of great interest to the many who enjoy tennis is the fact that new tennis courts have been laid out on the Cutler ground and are available for use by all tennis players of the beach at a moderate change.
The returning guest will note changes and improvements although the features which have made the Cutler Hotel so popular are still retained.
Cutler’s Hotel can hardly be mentioned without bringing in the memories which are associated with this famous hostelry. Started as a small cottage by John G. Cutler of Exeter about ten years after the close of the Civil War and soon with other buildings added; burned down in the fire of 1885 which destroyed the Ocean house and numerous small houses and rebuilt almost as it stands today in thirty days, this house has welcomed thousands of visitors, many of them of much prominence in the world, and established a name for excellent hospitality that spread from sea to sea. On its registers have been written the names of guests from every state in the Union and from almost every nation of Europe. Among the presidents of our country, James A. Garfield and Benjamin Harrison. Gen, Robert Lee, James G. Blaine, and Thomas E. Reed Sen. William Chandler, and hosts lf other politicians, every governor of New Hampshire during the period of Mr. Cutler’s life, John Greenleaf Whittier, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Celia Thaxter and many other poets; Tom Thumb, the midget, J. L. Sullivan, the pugilist, Phineas T. Barnum, the showman, and many others in the public eye are but a few of those who have eaten and slept here. Grover Cleveland was the last ex-president to register here, Millionaires, legislators and members of the electorate, inventors and men of science have joined with the great mass of those who have sought healthful recreation and pleasure at this inn.
Cutler’s, its hospitality not one whit diminished through the long years, still sends out its cordial invitation to traveler, vacationist and those who seek, pleasant, wholesome relaxation and rest.
The reputation at Cutler’s for an excellent cuisine is still being cherished. Fish caught at sunrise are served at lunch or dinner; vegetables come from nearby farms and in season the sweet corn picked fresh daily. Miss Montville makes a personal supervision when purchasing the choices of meats which are served so tender and delicious.
“As famous as the beach itself” is not a self-given phrase, but a well earned slogan. This slogan has proved itself as Mahoney’s has grown year by year with Hampton Beach.
Sixteen years ago, Mahoney’s opened its doors to Hampton Beach vacationists. At that time, it was a different type of restaurant from the usual eating place on the beach. All electric fixtures, the urns, the frankfort grill and steam table, made it unusual.
Mahoney’s has a “sparkling” quality, always clean and shining but this only takes second place to the motto ”IT’S THE FOOD.” Mahoney’s popularity and reputation is built up on the fact that all foods must be of first grade quality because is a primary factor in getting repeat business. Even to the coffee, Mr. Mahoney was very insistent, not being satisfied until he had tried many different blends and at last found one that met with the universal acclaim. Today, “Let’s go to Mahoney’s for coffee,” is the by-word with many vacationists.
The food, its quality and manner of serving have made Mahoney’s not only the favorite dinner and supper spot, but the place where the crowd gathers after the dance. Incidentally, the Home Made pastry is bringing many favorable comments and fast gaining a reputation of the finest on the beach.
And, so, Mahoney’s salutes the 300th Anniversary season of Hampton Beach, again enjoying the reputation of serving the finest food on the beach.
The Old Mast Ship
Hampton Long Ago
It has been a gay week, and hops and parlor concerts at the hotels, have been frequent for the crowd is here, and Hampton begins to look like herself. Saturday night-last, was the gayest of the season, the hotels, boarding houses and cottages being filled with people on pleasure bent. The masquerade at Boar’s was quite a brilliant affair, many of the costumes being very effective There was one of those good times at the Union House, in honor of Mr. Whittier’s birthday, The hotel was gaily illuminated while fine music, elocution, dancing and a supper made a pleasant programme. The hops at other hotels were very enjoyable affairs and are repeated during the week. But for a short season I am away from it all, quite alone with sweet sounding sea, and singing birds. As I loiter along, pictures keep coming of what it was like years ago, and I had in mind many tales told by those who have nearly run life’s course.
Just off here it was, that the old “mast ship” was wrecked causing a nine days wonder in the quiet colony; for it was verily in the old colonial times about one hundred and sixteen years ago this happened. You never heard the story? I will tell you.
The ship was a government vessel, and remember was not “Uncle Sam” then, but the power across the water for it was before “fourth of July” was a Calendar day with us. The ship used to come to the continent, up and around the Dominion of Canada, for timber to be used in the British Navy and got the appreciation from the many masts she bore across the sea, and she carried a thousand tons. When worn out, and considered unsafe, she was sold to London merchants, for a nominal price. They first put a large insurance upon her, loaded her with a valuable cargo and hiring the officers never to bring her back sent her to Boston. Sailing safely over the ocean she entered Boston Harbor, and there disposed of most of her cargo. Then she continued her course to Portsmouth. The weather insisted on being pleasant and anything but propitious for a wreck. However, when off Boars Head it began to snow, but there was no wind and the sea was calm; despairing of a better chance, the captain ran the faithful old ship on the rocks, south of the fish houses, and now in years when the tide runs unusually low, our grandfathers will show us the keen of the ship and tell the oft repeated tale again.
There was yet enough of the cargo left to supply the colonies around. And the goods consisting of everything from a copper skimmer, to fine broadcloth and cannon, were sold at auction. Gen. Moulton, the same old fellow who sold his soul to the devil for gold, and Col. Toppan were the heavy buyers and both laid foundations of large fortunes; “for said Col. T. when one lot fell to him, I made a thousand guineas on that bid.” Even now about town may be found buttons, copper utensils, knives, bits of chain etc. that came from the memorable wreck, while an old cannon is buried in the sand nearby.
There was a little romance too, for the Captain dare not return to England and so lingered in Hampton, and there was a certain fair widow, young and comely; with a snug little fortune; one Prudence Marston or “Aunt Prue” as we have come to know her. It happened that Captain Bonscombe saw Mistress Prue, and no sooner saw than loved. Of course marriage followed, and he settled down on her little farm. Think ye, good people who are becoming familiar with our pretty town, its pleasant streets, cozy farms, comfortable homes and above all, its delightful, picturesque bit of coast, that the Captain and his fair bride ever visited the beach? There was no causeway there across the marsh but from the place where now is, a mile measured up toward town, and this was a famous race course for Capt. John Marston to whose door step the mile was measured, sent for miles around for all the owners of fast horses to come and try their speed with his.
Along the whole course there now are many happy homes there was only one house, Then it was Boar’s Head was a veritable boar’s head, and poked its snout eight yards further out than into the sea. Time and tide have washed it all away but to us who know not of its pristine glory it looks just as fair.
After the causeway was built the land below was one vast common, so a gate was put across, about half a mile above to keep cattle out. Here all the long summer day, groups of barefooted children, brave, sunbrown lads, and pink cheeked, fair haired lasses, waited a chance to throw open the gate and scramble for silver pieces thrown out, for pence-ha’ penny, ninepence or quarters as the case might be.
“Uncle Jerry” was the first to keep a public house at the beach the Winnecummett” where Hampton Beach Hotels, and the Ocean House were built. These were the only houses there for years.
Below the “Leavitt House” where the road now is. “Squire” Thomas Leavitt use to plant his corn, but each year the ocean steals away the land, pushing the street farther toward the marsh. Down on the beach where the great white sand hills, like little mountains, covered with pine trees and tall beach grass, where hundreds of birds found homes, and where poor people kept their horses in winter. The changes have been many.
The flowers, the trees, the birds, and the sand hills are all gone, and the solitude too, for where once the wild sea bird roamed, are numberless cottages and throngs of pleasure seeking people. The ocean is even the same. The high tides, and the low tides, the calm and the storm come without ceasing.
Back of the Ocean House on the “Island”, there was once a solitary dwelling. When the twilight hour had come, and the spinning was done, and the cows all milked, the gay girls used to row their little boat up the river to the landing, from whence they walked to town. And not far off is Cole’s Creek, where Goody Cole upset a boat and drowned several men. To test her prophecy, the old witch put a wooden bowl into a kettle of furiously boiling water; as long as it floated, so long would the boat ride the waves.
Diamond C. Market
Fred and Victor Grandmaison are proprietors of one of the busiest markets on the Beach. It is the Diamond C. Market located just off the boulevard on Marsh avenue. They carry a complete line of groceries, meats and vegetables and offer free delivery service. They have their own bakery plant located in the building and keep several bakers busy making bread, cake and delicious pies. Their bakery products are sweet and wholesome and are made fresh daily.
The Grandmaison Brothers have built a business with quality that has insured a foundation for larger developments each coming year.
Leo Dupuis coming to this beach in 1934 saw a future in real estate and opened up his office the following year on H Street to a select class of people. Mr. Dupuis is a member of the New Hampshire Real Estate Association and is one of the younger and progressive realtors. After being here only a season business was so good he moved to Marsh Avenue, his present location, where he opened up a larger office.
Mr. Dupuis is also a member of the National Real Estate Association and has become one of its foremost members through his very successful renting and leasing of cottages. Plans have been made to open up a branch office on Route No. 1 where he will list farm, town and village property.
Being a member of the Hampton Beach Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Dupuis has done much towards the promotion of the better welfare of the beach. Last year he circulated a petition for the renaming of Marsh Avenue to change it into Sunset Avenue which many believed to be a pleasanter and more appropriate name.
Believed to be one of the youngest Justices of the Peace in New Hampshire, Mr. Dupuis is willing to settle any problem that confronts the beach visitor or vacationist upon the subject “Where can I find a place I can afford to spend a vacation or stop for the night”? Having gained practical experience and knowledge from the Real Estate Associations of which he belongs Mr. Dupuis can give sound advice to the vacationists as to what cottage they can rent or lease with the utmost satisfaction, comfort and convenience. Assurance of a better time and rest may be depended on by those who go to a real estate agent who gives reliable advice and services based on a wide experience and the desire to be helpful.
Mrs. Ethel Powers Uhlig is completing her twenty-fifth year as proprietor of the Avon Hotel, which is one of the oldest hotels on the beach.
It was built by Mr. Ashworth, owner of the Ashworth Hotel and was operated by him until 1913 when it was purchased by Mr. Thomas H. Powers.
Of historic interest are the unusual wide panels in the lobby, originally in the Christopher Toppan house at Hampton that was erected before the Revolutionary War, and a show place of that period.
The Avon has the distinction of having guests return year after year, many who came as children with the parents, now return with their children. Forty of this year’s guests have enjoyed their vacation every year for fifteen years or more at this well-known hotel, several who were guests the first year, have returned every year of Mrs. Uhlig’s management, whose aim is to have every guest always feel at home while at the Avon.
Orville A Gauthier
Orville A. Gauthier who ranks as one of the youngest and most modern barbers of the state has established his shop here at Hampton next to the Post Office where he has built up a large following of satisfied customers.
Having learned his trade in Exeter he specializes in the modern modes of hairdressing, hair cutting as well as shaving. Having all the latest equipment and fixtures, Mr. Gauthier is able to treat each individual according to his or her type in giving his tonsorial services.
Installed in his two-chair barber shop is an automatic heater insuring pleasant and comfortable surroundings. Of a genial and capable nature the customer will be attended to in a pleasing and satisfactory manner taking into consideration the latest styles and the personal characteristics. The result is more pleasing than that of a barber that has only a set way for everybody.
Children’s hair cutting is also one of his specialties giving advice as to what kind of hair cut would look the best, taking into consideration the child’s age and type of hair.
Everyone likes to appear at his best and the expert services of Mr. Gauthier will be found helpful in making the hair dressing a pleasing feature of one’s ensemble.
A very interesting bit of history concerning Hampton Beach can be found right here at the Lawrence House.
Mrs. A. Harrington, proprietor of this famous hotel. She came to the beach on July 21, 1901 and started a small rooming house on the present site of the Lawrence House. This humble beginning with six guest rooms lasted until it was destroyed by fire in 1915 when it was rebuilt to a capacity of 23 rooms. Here the Harringtons operated until again in June, 1923, the hotel was leveled to the ground by fire. But such courage as Mr. and Mrs. Harrington possessed was not to be discouraged with such an incident. So again they rebuilt. This time bigger and better than ever. Today the Lawrence House has a total capacity of 37 rooms and a large airy dining room which is operated on both the American and European plans.
It is a comfortable homelike hotel for vacationists and is very popular with young people. The Lawrence House enjoys an excellent class of patronage. Special care is given to the comfort of the guests. The large piazza overlooking the ocean offers the ideal place to rest. You can even play bridge or have refreshments.
When the Lawrence House was built Mrs. Harrington had only one purpose in mind and that was to take care of guests in every way, even to the slightest detail.
One of the oldest hotel men on Hampton Beach in the point of service is Lester Ford, proprietor of the Hotel Pelham.
Mr. Ford first started in the hotel business back in 1903 when with his father he rented rooms to the summer visitors on B Street.
The following year, 1904, Mr. Ford purchased the present Pelham and made two additions with two annexes, giving him a total of 42 guest rooms in his establishment.
Mr. Ford has a novel plan of his own on organization of his dinner menus, they being all hand drawn with the artistic design in several colors.
The many guests who have stayed at the Pelham have remarked how attractive and beautiful the menus are.
Mr. Ford remembers when the beach did not have a house or cottage south of the Casino building and where the beach boulevard is now located, there was nothing but large sand dunes.
Two of the oldest restaurant men in the point of service who have been actively engaged in that line are the Downer Brothers who have been in the restaurant business since 1904.
Starting one of the first lunch rooms on the beach on the Corner of B and Ocean Boulevard on May 30, 1904, Mr. George Downer with his brother John E. Downer, have continuously been in business since that time; staying for years at that location and in 1908 moved to C street, just off the boulevard where they stayed for 18 years. In 1926 they again moved from that location to their present site. Where in 1932 they opened a connection with their lunch room a very appropriate tea room known as the Renwood. This is operated on the European style and has booths and waitress service. Together with the Renwood and Downers lunch room combined they employ 22 people.
Downer Brothers are now located in a finely appointed building between A and B streets.
Among the popular places of entertainment for the summer visitors at this beach is the Regis, located at the northern end of the beach on the Ocean Boulevard near Great Boar’s Head. Although Mrs. J.F. Moran, the proprietor has been conducting the Regis but four year, she has built up a patronage of pleased guests covering not only wide sections of New England but extending south and west into Canada. From the pleasant porches of the Regis and its associated cottages one gets a fine view of the wide beach with its occasional rocks, the nearer Great Boar’s Head making a sharp ending to the scene on one side and the very distant outline of Cape Ann completing it on the other.
The pleasant sound of the braking waves, the invigorating tang of the ocean breezes, these are memories that each guest carries away to be often recalled after reaching home, together with the delightful air of friendly companionship that has pervaded the place during their stay, the thoughtfulness of Mrs. Moran and her assistants, and the fine meals which have been their daily experience.
Sunny, airy, comfortable is only a part of the description of the rooms, for the surrounding atmosphere plays a very important part in tinging one’s recollections. That those recollections are happy ones is evidenced by the yearly return of so many of those who have once signed their names on the Regis register.
With all the multiplicity of things to attend to, Mrs. Moran still finds time to give friendly aid to the other things to aid the beach, as for instance, she was complimented last season by the Beach Chamber of Commerce for her remarkable sale of tickets in the Queen of the Carnival contest.
Exeter & Hampton Electric Co.
On March 1 st , 1897 in Exeter, N. H., a company was formed by the name of Rockingham Light and Power Company. Its purpose was to sell electric current to homes that were being wired for the purpose of obtaining light. This change was taking place as a man by the name of Thomas A. Edison had just a year or two back invented an illuminating lamp that was sweeping the country over and rapidly changing the method of illuminating the home from the old fashioned kerosene lamps to the new method of lighting. Thus gradually, day by day did lines of the Rockingham Power & Light Company of Exeter begin to extend its poles through the streets to the homes of the people where today are approximately 866 miles of wire over the company lines. In 1908, April 1st, the present company of Exeter & Hampton Light and Power Company which affiliated with the old Exeter, Hampton & Amesbury Street Railway Co.
In about 1900 the first electric wires were strung on poles to Hampton Beach for the purpose of supplying lights and power to the fast growing summer resort.
At the present time the town of Hampton has its white way and the Beach as well as the town lighted as brightly as any of the large cities.