By Brian Ward
Hampton Union, August 13, 2013
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
While all birthday parties must end, the Hampton 375th celebration wrapped up on a high note by righting a more than 300-year-old wrong.
At the event's closing ceremony, the Hampton Historical Society unveiled a new memorial plaque for Eunice "Goody" Cole, the only woman in New Hampshire history to be tried and convicted of witchcraft.
Centuries after her death, the town celebrated now that Goody Cole finally has a resting place that bears her name.
"I thought the ceremony went perfectly," said Robert McClung, a Dover musician and creator of "The Legend of Goody Cole," a progressive rock album chronicling Goody's life and trials. "I've been waiting a long time. It's nice to see my work realized and I'm glad Goody got the memorial she deserves."
Using the money he made from his album, McClung purchased the black marble name plate for Goody, which was unveiled at the closing ceremony. McClung said he grew up a few miles away from the large stone memorial in Tuck Field dedicated to Goody Cole and he always thought it was an injustice that it didn't bear her name.
"If Goody's ghost has been walking the streets all these years looking for her gravestone, and if the 1963 stone didn't serve the purpose, I would like to think this stone finally gives her peace. She can finally be at rest for eternity," McClung said.
Several members of the community came out to the ceremony Sunday bearing flowers to place on Goody's new memorial. Those in attendance included Dick Desrosiers, the chairman of the 375th, New Hampshire State Sen. Nancy Stiles, R-Hampton, 375th Committee member and resident Art Moody and McClung's wife Melissa, who dressed up as Goody Cole for the occasion.
"It was great to see so many people come out and see it," McClung said. "This was a labor of love for me and it's great to see so many people who feel the same way."
Eric and Alicia Fachon are Hampton locals and said they thought the closing ceremony and the dedication to Goody Cole was beautiful.
"I wasn't aware that the stone was being commemorated," Alicia Fachon said, "(but) I think that is very fitting seeing that the large stone was dedicated 50 years ago at the 325th."
Debbie Edwards and her brother Percy Annis are long-time Hampton residents and grew up hearing about Goody Cole. The two thought the ceremony was well done and it was great that Goody got her memorial.
"I think it's amazing, they finally laid her to rest properly," Debbie Edwards said. "It was a very nice event overall."
McClung said that when the stone had originally been placed there had been some wooden signs and crosses bearing Goody's name. However, the wooden markers kept being torn down and vandalized, a problem that McClung says is now in the past.
"It's cemented 3 feet in the ground, that plaque ain't going anywhere," McClung laughed.