Ruth Stimson        
Seashore Park, #1        
prior/next sign prior/next sign prior/next sign

A Park Instead of a Parking Lot, Part 1

picture A view of Seashore Park
It is because of Ruth Stimson that Hampton Seashore Park is not a parking lot.

In 1960, the town had plans to "hot top" what was known as "the fish house area" along Route 1A at North Beach. The Hampton Garden Club, of which Ruth was a member, vetoed the idea. Then Ruth initiated a petition asking that the area instead be made a park for all to enjoy.

A warrant article for a park, presented at a town meeting, passed. It stated that Hampton Seashore Park would be "free public property forever" and "a recreational, non-commercial, non-parking part of the Hampton Park system."

picture The fish house area
Ruth again went to work. She developed a plan for the park The Hampton Garden Club hoped to create, which included pictures she drew. She entered her plan in a Sears and Roebuck Foundation Contest two years in a row, and each year was awarded one of five $100 dollar prizes. The Garden Club used the first $100 to landscape the north end of the park and the second $100 to landscape the park's south end.

The State Federation of Garden Clubs honored Ruth for her work by presenting her with its sterling silver Paul Revere "President's Bowl."

But Ruth wasn't just the brains behind the operation. She also provided brawn during the two-year beautification project, along with the others in the Garden Club. Learn how in Part 2.