Marked: The Witchcraft Persecution of Goodwife Unise Cole

Marked: The Witchcraft Persecution of Goodwife Unise Cole. Puritan superstition confronts an indomitable will in this richly researched, groundbreaking biography of Goodwife Unise Cole, the woman known as the Witch of Hampton. Unise Cole’s story has great appeal for anyone interested in the history and mystery of the New England witchcraft persecutions and their aftermath….

A Meet and Suitable Person

Blending historical fact with a sprinkling of well-crafted storytelling, A Meet and Suitable Person takes readers on a back door tour through the taverns of Puritan Hampton, detailing the lives of 23 men and women who kept the town’s public houses of entertainment when America was still part of the English domains. Read more… Townies…

Prince of Winnacunnet Road

Anna May Cole was a favorite Hampton Academy teacher. Born in Maine in 1865 and brought to Hampton, New Hampshire as an infant, she lived for much of her life on the Winnacunnet Road homestead of her Page ancestors who had settled in Hampton in 1639. Teaching ran in the family line—her mother Susan Page…

New Book Coming in 2017

The Queens of Hampton Beach: The History of the Carnival Queens and Miss Hampton Beach Beauty Pageant, 1915-2015. Like fried dough, henna tattoos, and the arcade, choosing a queen to represent Hampton Beach has always been an important part of the summer rituals at this popular seaside resort. What started out in 1915 as a…

The Enticing of Ann Smith

A TALE OF VVITCHCRAFT IN OLD HAMPTON The consequences of bad mothering are subjects of ancient and enduring interest. The all-consuming and overbearing mother—who is at heart a terrifying hag—is a staple leitmotif of folktales like Beowulf, Hansel and Gretel, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella. One of the finest modern examples is the 2009 animated film…

The Checkered Past of Hampton’s Trolley Tycoon

Wallace D. Lovell of Newton, Massachusetts holds a special place in the history of the development of Hampton Beach. Lauded as an ambitious man with “imagination and vision,” he was the driving force behind the construction of the street railway in 1897, the Casino in 1899, and the wooden ‘mile-long’ Hampton River bridge, which opened…

The Traveling Bowling Alley

Writing in the Hampton Union newspaper in the 1930s, historian Caroline Lamprey Shea informed her readers that the Puritans of Hampton, New Hampshire had kept a bowling green in a field near the lower end of the road to the sea (Winnacunnet Road). Now, Puritans aren’t remembered for their tolerance of games and other time-wasting…

The Dudley Dynasty of Beach Queens

Beauty contests, it seems, have always been with us. The ancient Greeks gave us the story of Hera and her stepdaughters Athena and Aphrodite, three goddesses who wanted to know which of them was the fairest of all. Hera’s husband Zeus wisely refused to get involved, and instead appointed a shepherd prince to settle the…

Carnival Queens & Miss Hampton Beach

Like fried dough, henna tattoos, and trips to the arcade, Beach Queens have long been an important part of the summer rituals at Hampton Beach. What started out as a way to sell raffle tickets with the Queen of the Carnival contest, open to all women, had by the 1940s evolved into the Miss Hampton Beach beauty pageant, for which only young, single women were eligible.

100 Years at the Beach

After 10 months of squeezing 100 years of history into a one hour documentary film, Karen Raynes and I are excited to finally be bringing this program to the public!  

The Franklin Hotel Round Pool Table

In the 18th century the game of billiards, or pool, was popular with the colonial gentlemen of Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, and billiards tables were commonplace in their taverns. In New England, however, the general attitude about the game was summed up in a letter to the Boston Evening Post in 1757. Every sort of…

Hampton’s Country Doctor

 A merchant tailor at the turn of the 20th century said he could tell a man’s profession by the clothes he wore. A doctor’s clothes, he stated, were “generally clean and well preserved” but reeked of iodoform (an antiseptic) and more often than not a small vial of morphine tablets could be found tucked into…

The 1923 Carnival Cottage

…where’d it go? During the thirty-nine years from 1915 to 1953, Carnival Week at the beach was a Labor Day holiday tradition. Created by the Hampton Beach Board of Trade to extend the summer season, it was a week-long exhibition of vaudeville, games, parades, fireworks displays, and, until 1940, the Queen of the Carnival contest…

Splendid Articles of Baseball

Twenty-first century baseball historians are an unromantic lot. By exposing as myths Abner Doubleday’s invention of baseball and Alexander Cartwright’s “father” status, they’ve altered our view of the game and stripped away some of its mystery. Lucky the fans of 100 years ago, their joy undisturbed by the modern day historian’s dull realities. By the…