No winter blahs here!

Visitation at the museum drops down in the winter but our parking lot is always full. Instead of showing guests around, our volunteers spend this time working their various pet projects. We have one person that is gathering all kinds of information from personal property books tracing ownership of the many hotels and business (and getting juicy tidbits of historical happenings); another is researching the Civil War soldiers in Hampton in preparation for our 375th celebration in 2013; while another is going through old records and bill heads from the Lane Store in Hampton Center. All this is happening while we “regulars” work on the cataloging of the collection and the day-to-day operation. With email and cell phones we don’t even let our vacationing volunteers off the hook. There is just nowhere to hide anymore.

We are wrapping up a project for the 401 Tavern on Lafayette Road- when finished almost 100 photos from the late 1800s – early 1900s will be on permanent display. Covering both town and beach activities; they are of the people, places and things that make Hampton so unique. They show vacationers enjoying the beach, the trolley that took these thousands of sightseers there, and images that capture life in a small town village. Most of these photos have not been seen by the general public.  A number of us worked on this project and we all had our favorites. It is well worth a visit to the 401 to see these unique photos (and have a great meal at the same time).

Last summer, Joshua Silveria, a high school history teacher, stopped into the museum. As a hobby he makes documentaries (award-winning ones I might add). Joshua became interested in the salt marshes that dominate our NH coastal area and decided to make that the focus his next project. We have enjoyed working with him throughout the process, finding old photos, interviewees and historical resources.  We will be hosting a “premier” showing of his work for the public on Wednesday, March 21 at 6:30 PM at the Lane Library. I have had a sneak peek and it is very impressive.

Wait until you see what the spring brings….

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