Fast Company with the Two Jacks of Hampton Beach
Compiled by Dave Waller
Edited by Carol and Lynn Waller
[Special Thanks to Peter E. Randall for Facts and Photos]
'Doc' and Jack Hines:
[Photo above] We had a little extra time in the day, see, because the Dance Hall was a night prospect. So we hung out at Cuddy's Drug Store days and helped 'Doc' Hewett. Well, Johnny Cuddy wanted to put his dough into a new Casino project, so 'Doc' said to us -- 'This would be a good deal for you guys. Why don't you see if you can do business with him?' So we took it over."
Postcard above, shows Cuddy's Rexall the year the Jacks' came to Hampton. At the far end of this view, behind the cars on the right, sits the Carnival Dance Hall.
Hines & Walsh:
Above photo lower left corner: They bought the business and fixtures, but not the building. This would be a problem in the mid 30s, but in the roaring 20s everything was rosy.
1927 Cuddy Drug Store Staff:
Above lower right photo Joe, Millie Gleason, Jack Hines.
Bottom: Ray Fountain, unknown, Jack Walsh, Joe Hines.
Joe never worked full time, but would always help when it got busy.
Modern Ice Cream:
Photo above, left side:Cuddy's was the meeting place for the whole beach. Even Walter the Cabbie used it as his office.
Top right hand photo: "Irene and I started dating, and due to the fact that I had a partner it was good business if I fired her."
Agnes & Irene 1929:
Bottom photo right: Banished from working there, the two Jack's wives were always welcome customers.
J. Hines 1937:
Photo, top left: Famous poses by famous men. No prescriptions, but pretty much everything else to make beachgoers happy.
July 1936 Interior:
Photo, top right: Hines waits patiently for service. Realtor Joe Dolan used this booth as his personal office. The booths were along the right in the rear.
Children's Day 1934:
Photo, lower right: Jack Hopkins Jr. (nephew of Irene and Jack) all dressed up in front of the Drug Store. Hampton had plenty of summer holidays to bring in business.
Tom quit school in the third grade and left his native Nova Scotia for sunny Hampton Beach with his brother Pat. He was into everything - buying ponds full of ice and hiring men to cut it, banking, trucking via a fleet of wagons and sleds, anything relating to horses, real estate, and of course, local politics. It was said he could go into a barn at night with no light and come out with the best horse.
Jack Hines elaborates on Tom:
"Well, the apples. He used to take four or five guys on a rainy day and find a farmer with 40 or so apple trees. He was able to convince the farmer he didn't have as many apples as he thought he did because the wet leaves covered the apples. And when they were picked, he'd leave a bushel on another farmer's front porch the day before he visited to buy a horse. Just to 'grease the skids.' He was a rogue."
Tom was able to rub elbows with anybody, and that was his secret weapon. He did have a few annoying sayings, though, like calling interest 'Little Niggers - They work for you or against you day and night.' Tom Cogger died 1940, and was widely considered the leading businessman in Hampton.
When Tom made his Monday rounds to collect debts, he'd leave the engine running, a box of cash and a loaded .45 on the front seat. He'd say "Never show your hand - shake with your right hand and swing with your left hook". He would be a faithful friend to Hines & Walsh at a time when the two men really needed an ally. Perhaps his best expression was:
"You can't go broke taking a profit".
Ku Klux Klan Rally 1925:When the Klan marched down High Street, Hines and Tom were curbside. All Tom could see was their shoes, but next day he called due all their mortgages. "I can tell 'em by their dogs."
Walsh & Hines 1933:
Photo above: By 1934, the two Jacks had experience and contacts, and they set their sights on bigger game. The two businessmen had failed at a Sporting Goods store in Manchester, N.H. six years before, but their Flying Yankee Diner in Lynn and their Cuddy's Rexall Store in Hampton gave them capitol enough and a strange turn of events was soon to follow.
Johnny Cuddy 1940:
John Cuddy stayed friendly with the boys, and frequently entertained Hampton businessmen at his summer camp in northern Maine. But in the height of the depression, Cuddy's Casino project wasn't going as well as he had hoped. He got involved in a 'numbers, scheme' - activity which the respectable Two Jacks found distasteful. In short - it wasn't 'on the up and up.'
Winter storms like this one in Feb 1933 were common and Hines drove up from Lynn to check on things at the Drug Store. The men had moved the entire • contents to a dry barn in town for the winter, but Johnny Cuddy had other plans. Wanting to move his friend James Garland into the Drug Store, the barn mysteriously burned down and Garland took over by spring.
Ocean Blvd 1925:
Backtracking a little bit. This is White's Cafe, a small eatery run by the popular Jack White. Fish Chowder was the specialty. But there was a problem...
White and neighbor Joseph Dudley were losing business to the big Casino down the street, so they concocted a scheme to lure customers to their block. .....Fireworks!
With a collection of $7.65, the men bought Roman Candles in Portsmouth and a Wednesday night tradition was born.