An Unexpected Visitor
Yesterday (September 15) we were getting ready for our last walking tour of the season when a couple of women stopped us and asked
where 40 Park Avenue was. This is the place we told them. On further questioning one of the women opened a piece of paper and showed us an address, a name, a time and a date.
On August 4, 1961 Olivia Nourse (age 22) married John Paul Millet (age 26), they had decided to elope so they drove to New Hampshire from Massachusetts and were looking for a Justice of the Peace. They were given this address, showed up and were married by Helen Hayden, Justice of the Peace, (and town clerk) who lived at what was then was Tuck House – the front part of our building. Helen and her husband were caretakers of the property. Helen’s husband, Jack, stood as their witness in the parlor of the house as the ceremony took place.
So Olivia was back 51 years later with her granddaughter Sierra Millet, to see if she could find the place on the piece of paper she had saved all these years. We brought them into the parlor, now the exhibition room of Charles Henry Turner paintings. They were thrilled to find the building and we were thrilled to be part of their wonderful story.
It runs full circle. Many early marriages performed in Hampton were civil ceremonies and took place on the grounds of what is now the Tuck Museum in the early meetinghouse(s).