By Liz Premo
Atlantic News, Thursday, July 29, 2004
[Atlantic News Photo by John Morgenstern]
HAMPTON — The Hampton Historical Society (HHS) held an open house and a ribbon cutting ceremony on Sunday, July 25 to celebrate the grand re-opening of the Tuck Museum, located on Meeting House Green on Park Avenue in Hampton.
HHS members, town and county officials, Hampton Chamber of Commerce staff, and members of the public were present for the day's activities, held on a beautiful, sunny afternoon.
The museum has been closed for several months while improvements were made to the facility. The list includes a new HVAC air conditioning system; the installation of two ground-floor restrooms and an indoor ramp; major changes to the exhibits; and renovation of the museum's 1960 wing. Members who contributed their time and labor included Percy Annis, Doug and Elizabeth Aykroyd, Bud DesRochers, Sammi Moe, Ben and Betty Moore, Paul Powell and Dann Shaw.
With new paint, a new ceiling (complete with track lighting), new carpeting, refinished wood floors (and a roomier Tuck Hall available for meetings among all the improvements), the museum is "updated and fresh," says Hampton Historical Society President Ben Moore. "It turned out really well; we're really happy with it. The community can be proud of this."
These much-needed and much-anticipated changes were made possible in part by HHS fundraisers, such as yard sales, garden tours, and the annual southern-style pig roast, organized by members Catherine Fletcher and Cliff Pratt. Recently, additional funding came in to the Tuck Museum thanks to a local supermarket.
According to Moe, arrangements were made with the Hampton Hannaford store on Route 1 for the non-profit HHS to be recipient of donations dropped by customers in a small fundraising kiosk stationed near the registers. To raise additional funds, the store also hosted an "Adventures in Grilling" event, held on a somewhat drizzly July afternoon.
"Despite the rainy day we had for our 'Adventures in Grilling,' we had a decent turnout," commented Hampton Hannaford's Myra Shaw Logan. "The Dining Experts sampled our Angus rib eye steaks on the Viking Grill that will be raffled off in mid-August. We had a dunk tank, basketball shoot, face painting and street bowling, along with a hot dog, chip and soda special. We also were entertained by 98.7 'The Bay' radio station." Between the kiosk and the grill-out, added Logan, "we raised over $300 for the Tuck Museum."
"We really appreciate all they did for us," said Moe, noting that such community fundraising efforts "help us get our name out there and get people to the museum."
The Hampton Historical Society is currently assisting Hampton Eagle Scout candidate Chris Larivee, who has selected the Fire Museum as the "beneficiary" of his Eagle Scout project. The organization is also currently accepting donations for an anticipated 2005 barn raising project after successfully dismantling and moving a c.1796 barn located on the former Sanders-McDermott property.
Members of the Seacoast area community are invited to contribute much-needed donations to help bring the HHS's barn project to its completion. Contributions of any amount will be gratefully accepted; those over $100 will be recognized on a permanent plaque which will be on display in the barn. Four levels of recognition are available: "Donor," $100 and over; "Supporter," $250 and over; "Sponsor," $500 and over; and "Benefactor," $1000 and over.
The Hampton Historical Society is also making plans for other upcoming events, including the Rockingham County Craftsmen's Fair, taking place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, August 7 on the grounds of the Tuck Museum; the Hampton Community Band Concert, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, August 23; a presentation on Tuesday, September 14 at 7 p.m. by Adult Services Librarian Jeanne Gamage about historical resources available at the Lane Memorial Library; and the third annual Southern Pig Roast, taking place on Saturday, September 18 from 12-3 p.m. on the grounds of the museum.
The newly improved Tuck Museum is now open, and the public is invited to stop by and experience Hampton history in accessible, spacious surroundings. Hours at the Tuck Museum are Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from 1-4 p.m. now through September 30. New HHS members are always welcome. For additional information about the Hampton Historical Society or the Tuck Museum, call (603) 929-0781 or visit www.hamptonhistoricalsociety.org.