Ruth Leavitt Palmer of Hampton
Who's Who in Rockingham County
Exeter News Letter -- 1938
As proprietor of "Palmer's" at Hampton North Beach, which enjoys far-reaching fame for its tasty sea foods viands, Mrs. Ruth L. Palmer has earned a fine reputation as a caterer to those who delight in shore dinners. The latter part of May will mark the beginning of the thirteenth season that Mrs. Palmer and her husband, Charles H. Palmer, have conducted the establishment, and each year has shown a marked increase in its patronage.
Mrs. Palmer is a native of Hampton and descended from some of Hampton's earliest families. She was born August 15, 1891, the daughter of Irvin E. and Agnes (Merrill) Leavitt; attended the Hampton schools, and graduated from Hampton Academy in 1909, and the Portsmouth Training School in 1912.
Following her graduation, Mrs. Palmer taught for seven years in Portsmouth Junior High School. Her marriage to Mr. Palmer occurred in 1918. Mr. Palmer, also descended from Hampton's early settlers, had long followed a family vocation, that of a fisherman. Five years later, they began their restaurant venture with the serving of fried clams as a specialty. Situated in one of the oldest houses on North Beach, opposite the coast guard station, the business began with seating room for thirteen guests and one small three-burner oil stove. On the other side of the boulevard they operated a small market. Now the restaurant has a greatly enlarged seating capacity with fifteen waitresses in service on Sundays. There are two kitchens, frying and order departments, the former now equipped with three modern friolators, is in charge of Mr. Palmer with two assistants, while Mrs. Palmer superintends the order kitchen, from which a diverse menu, including lobster and fish courses, are now served.
Mrs. Palmer's life is too busy during the summer months to permit much outside activity. She does, however, maintain an interested membership in Oceanside Grange and the Mothers' Circle, of Hampton.
Mr. and Mrs. Palmer have two sons, Philip and Richard, the latter a student at Hampton Academy, graduating in 1938.