Official Souvenir Program Book
January 1 - December 31, 1988
From the record of the first meeting of the
Meeting House Green Memorial and Historical Association:
"October 14, 1925 -- At the closing of the celebration of the Meeting House Green Memorial Park Association which continued for two days, exclusive of the exercises in the Congregational Church on the preceding Sunday, a meeting was held in the Log Cabin."
This event was the realization of the dreams of one man, the Rev. Ira S. Jones, who through untiring efforts, aroused first, the interest of the philanthropist Edward Tuck of Paris, France, whose ancestors were early settlers of Hampton, then secondly, the cooperative of a group of people of the eight towns originally composing Hampton. With the financial aid of Mr. Tuck, the purchase of the property and maintenance of the same for some years was made possible.
At a meeting held Oct. 14, 1927, a Memorial Service was held in honor of Rev. I. S. Jones, who died earlier in the year. "-- the grade schools and pupils of the High School and Academy marched in a body from the Town Hall, led by the school band to the Park. The exercises were held on the grounds of Tuck House." A tablet in his memory was unveiled and a dedicatory address by Richard Shelton paid "tribute to Mr. Jones and his great and everlasting contribution to the beauty of the town and to the preservation of the memory and history of the first settlers." Later he was referred to as a man of vision and courage who "had a vision of what he wishes for the town and its history. Others thought his vision too bright and too large, yet in two years, his courage had made the vision come true. The biggest celebration which the town ever had, was held, the Memorial was a certainty, the Park was dedicated, the dream fulfilled."
After the death of Mr. Jones, his wife, Mrs. Vina Jones, continued the friendship with Mr. Tuck, having visited him at his home in Paris. Mr. Tuck continued his support until his death in 1938. In a memorial service, the Association adopted resolutions "in tribute to the memory of our late Honorary President and distinguished friend, Edward Tuck. Through his generosity, the founding of the Tuck Memorial and the landscaping of the Meeting House Green and Memorial Park were made possible, --- He maintained always a keen interest in the town of Hampton, where his father was at one time principal of Hampton Academy. Also, through his generosity, the citizens of Hampton take pride in the possession of an excellent athletic field, --- A life such as his cannot end even at the advanced age of ninety-six without a deep sense of loss to society. His sterling character and high principles, his sympathetic regard and consideration for others, will continue to be an inspiration to the many who knew him."
During the years since the passing of these two inspired gentlemen, the organization has endeavored to carry out the aims and purposes for which it was formed. The House has been the home of a custodian who has welcomed hundreds of visitors who have almost without exception, expressed admiration for and interest in the unique memorial.
The Tuck Hall, where the meetings are held, is the Museum which houses the many valuable relics and documents pertaining to Hampton history. The Log Cabin, previously referred to, was built as a replica of the first Meeting House, on as near the original site as was possible. This building deteriorated and was torn down and is now replaced by Hampton's only remaining district school house. The restoration of this building is our current project.
The Memorial Park across the street with its boulder dedicated to Rev. Stephen Bachiler, the stones placed there by the daughter towns and bearing their names, and the family stones with the names of early settlers all continue to be of interest, as there is probably no other like it anywhere. And aside from welcoming visitors who may be interested because of their ancestry, the Association is carrying out its aim of perpetuating the appreciation of our heritage, by inviting groups of school children here. The interest they often show is most gratifying for herein lies the realization of the purposes of the Memorial and Historical Association.