Historic Marker for Historic Marelli's Market


Atlantic News, Friday, February 20, 2009

[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News.]

MAKING A MARK -- Heritage Commission members Fred Rice, Maryanne McAden,
Richard Reniere, June Bean, Jim Workman and Roger Syphers are pictured here
with Marelli's Market proprietor, Richard Marelli, who is holding the store's historic marker.
[Atlantic News Courtesy Photo]

HAMPTON --Members of the Hampton Heritage Commission were on hand recently to present an official Historic Marker to the Marelli family, proprietors of Marelli's Market in downtown Hampton.

The marker was given in acknowledgment of the market's recent recognition by the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources and listing on the State Register of Historic Places.

The building housing Marelli's Market was erected in 1841, first standing on the south side of Exeter Road (Route 27) next to the rail-road tracks. The structure was moved to its present location in 1900 as part of the effort to refocus the town center, when the bridge was constructed over the tracks.

Luigi and Celestina Marelli's family business has become an institution. Beginning as a fruit store in 1914, it is the longest continually operating business in downtown Hampton.

From sending Christmas packages to Hampton's servicemen during WWII and the Korean conflict, to today's popularity as a gathering spot where locals come to discuss local events over a cup of coffee, Marelli's Market has played a significant part of life in Hampton for almost 100 years.

Well-known to generations of the area's children for its large selection of candy, it also popular for its delicious roasted cashews. The store's current proprietor, Richard Marelli, is one Luigi and Celestina's four children. He is quick to acknowledge that it is a combined family venture that goes beyond just running the store. Even the extensive research needed for inclusion on the state register was conducted by Marelli grand-daughters, Marcia Raynes and Karen Hannon.

As the only site in Hampton to be recognized on the State's Registry of Historic Places, Marelli's Market is a wonderful example of local heritage, deeply rooted in the past, and an essential part of today.

For more information about the marker program, or to apply for one, visit the Heritage Commission's link on the town's Web site at www.hamptonnh.gov.

View a 30-minute video on the history of Marelli's