HAMPTON: A CENTURY OF TOWN AND BEACH, 1888-1988
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Chapter 23 -- Part 11
Salty Marsh Garden Club
On April 17, 1962, a group of women formed the Salty Marsh Garden Club. There were 33 members, and the first president was Velma Hansen. The purpose of the club is to "encourage interest in all phases of home gardening and promote better horticultural practices, civic beauty and conservation of natural resources." Many awards have been received from the New Hampshire Federation of Garden Clubs and the National Council of State Garden Clubs, both affiliates of Salty Marsh.
For Bicentennial Park at Hampton Beach, which the club planted and maintains, Salty Marsh was awarded the Governor’s Bowl, annual presentation of the NHFGC for outstanding projects. The members also supply plants and maintain the herb garden at Tuck Field and the town’s memorial markers. For several years, the club gave certificates of beautification to local companies for attractive plantings around their buildings.
Hampton Monday Club
The club has established an enviable record of projects that have benefited the community. In reviewing that record, the following are typical examples:
From contributing to a single charity in 1915, gradually the list has grown and changed until, in the club’s 80th year (1987-88), it contributed annually to 16 organizations. Time and funds were donated by club members to the establishment of the Tuck Memorial House, now the Tuck Museum. The Hampton Monday Club was responsible for the two fir trees planted (one in 1927 and the other in 1929) in front of Centre School that were used as community Christmas trees until they grew so tall that decorating them was no longer possible. The group continuously sponsored (1940-62) the Girl Scouts of Hampton.
Since 1950, the club has annually provided a scholarship to a member of the senior class of the local high school, and since 1974 this money has been given through the Winnacunnet Scholarship Foundation. In 1957, the Hampton Monday Club, the first federated club to be so honored, was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation by the Air Defense Command for the active participation by club members in the Ground Observer Corps and in other branches of civil defense during World War II. Because club members spearheaded efforts, in 1963, to have the Town retain the land at the intersection of Winnacunnet and Locke roads as a park, the East End School House Park became a reality that has been enjoyed ever since.
More recent years have seen the club responsible for placing 21 benches throughout the town for public use. In cooperation with the Hampton Police Department, the club sponsors the Neighborhood Crime Watch Program. Club members raise funds for their projects by holding bake sales, rummage sales, and white-elephant auctions; direct contributions; and, on occasions, enlisting the aid of local businesses.
(Photo from Hampton Union, 1960, '61 or '62, Old Home Day celebration,
not in original Randall's History of Hampton, 1988.)