Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom - Emile Dumont

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1899 - 1999

Keeper of the Flame

Emile Dumont

Emile Dumont, owner of the Purple Urchin Restaurant, holds a plate used at the casino at the turn of the century.
[Photograph by Ralph Morang.]

He wants it, that is to say, if it came from the Casino. Dumont is the owner of the Purple Urchin, which is located at the Casino on Ocean Boulevard, and he is an avid collector of Casino memorabilia. He has an immense collection of postcards and one day while attending an auction he came away with an unexpected gem: a dining plate from the very early days of the Casino. He now wants to put some of the best items in a display which will be seen at the Casino during this 100th season.

"We're looking for signage, paperware, flatware, china, programs, movie posters, whatever is out there," says Dumont. "It'll just be a temporary loan."

Like so many people in the Hampton area, Dumont's association with the Casino goes way back. He was a baker there in the late 1950s.

There is, he says, one hundred years worth of stuff and he can't imagine the number of items that have actually been associated with the Casino. "The Casino has had most everything," he points out. "It's had various food operations, a vaudeville house, a movie theater, just everything."

He would like the display to be up, even if it is not yet fully complete, by the July 15 anniversary date.

"We're trying to develop a number of ideas," says Dumont. And if you have some-thing you'd like to be part of the celebration, or anything else you may think worth contributing, call 929-4100.

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