2000s & Beyond          
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Time Flies When You're...
...Running a Museum
Betty Moore joined the Society in 1987 when her family gave her a gift membership. As her husband Ben recounts, 'Our son Jason and I visited the Museum on a Sunday afternoon. Rollie Paige gave us the tour. It was a nice community organization, so I bought Betty a $25 life membership. If only I could have predicted the future.'

Betty soon joined the Board and volunteered her services in areas such as membership, public relations, exhibits, tours, fundraising, landscaping, collection management and preservation. To gain a professional view of museum management, she earned a certificate in Museum Studies from Tufts University. She served as Vice President (1991-1993), President (1993-1995), and Tuck Museum Committee Chair (1995-2002).

In 2002 the Museum was opened year-round to the public and Betty became its first Executive Director. With determination, creativity, and unflagging cheerfulness, she has carried out the Society's mission to 'increase the public knowledge and understanding of the history and cultural heritage of the town of Hampton.'

Ben Moore joined the Society not long after that fateful day in 1987, helping out whenever his work schedule allowed. Drawing on his experience as the president of his own company, Ben has naturally taken a role as hands-on leader, helping to guide the Society into the 21st century. He was President (2001-2004, 2008-2012) and has served as Treasurer since 2012. He's pretty handy with a shovel, too.

Since 2000, the Society's buildings and grounds have been improved and expanded with a restored barn and tourist cottage. The Museum received air conditioning and humidity control (at last!), new signage, paved walkways, wheelchair access, a new kitchen and restrooms, with much of the work provided by volunteers. The Society abandoned its long-held plan to build onto the Museum, instead expanding offsite in 2015 to the new Collection and Research Center on Lafayette Road. Through fundraising, memberships, charitable gaming proceeds, and several large private donations, the Society ended 2014 with $160,000 in the Treasury.

Society volunteers often wear period garb to make history fun for both kids and adults. Dressed as Hampton's 19th-century seer Madam Ellen, trustee Sammi Moe tells fortunes in her tent at the Old Hampton Tavernwalk.
Pat Triggs (in white blouse at left) and Harold Fernald, with nearly 120 years of combined membership, are the longest-tenured members.
Bob Dennett is the Society's longest serving officer and board member, with 23 years as Treasurer (1989-2012) and three years as a Trustee (2012-present).


Preserving an 18th Century Barn for Future Generations
Built c. 1796, this barn was originally located in the 'Widow Leavitt' office complex at the junction of Lafayette and Drakeside roads. In 2004 the property was sold and the new owners planned to demolish the barn. Advised by the Hampton Heritage Commission of the barn's historic nature, the owners instead donated it to the Society for preservation.

Led by Chet Riley, volunteers dismantled the building and placed the ancient timbers into temporary storage, giving an opportunity to admire and photograph the 200-year-old joinery.

Over the next two years, Al Casassa, Charlotte Preston, Bob Wallace, and Ben Moore raised $65,000 to rebuild the barn at the Museum, while a volunteer crew led by Chet, Dave DeGagne, and Percy Annis made repairs to the timbers and prepared the new site. On June 2, 2007, with help from Preservation Timber Framing, the Society volunteers raised the barn. The barn was completed over the next year and dedicated on June 1, 2008. For more info about it and its restoration, see the Barn page.



Preserving a 20th Century Tourist Cabin
This cabin was originally part of the Sea Castle Motel on Hampton Beach. It was saved from demolition and brought to the Museum in 2005. The exterior and interior were renovated, and the grand opening held on August 10, 2008. For more info about it, see the Beach Cottage page.

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Annual Pig Roast
In 2002 the Society hosted its first annual Labor Day Pig Roast, proposed by Cliff Pratt (black hat, rt) as a way to raise funds for the Museum. The 11th generation of his family to reside in Hampton, Cliff was 'Pig Master' for the event until his passing in 2014.