Priscilla Triggs Weeks
By Skip Webb,
President, James House Association
Special to the Atlantic News, Friday, July 24, 2009
[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News]
[Atlantic News Photo by Liz Premo]
It is a time of mixed emotion. It is time to be happy and yet a time to be sad. One in our community is excited about her new life. Because she is close to us, we are excited with and for her. It is time to be sad because she will be moving away. She will no longer be with us and that is sad.
This is especially so because she grew up in Hampton, NH. She graduated from Hampton Academy and was a teacher at the Academy. She is Priscilla Triggs Weeks; we know her as Pat. The Seacoast population knows her as Priscilla Triggs Weeks, as "Fannie," as "Goody Cole," and as the "School House Teacher."
The James Homestead has a history which started in 1705. Pat has become a part of that history. The James House Association (JHA), Inc. remembers Pat's 13 years of dedicated service to the JHA:
Pat was one of the early workers for the JHA. She was a member of the "James Family" a group which showed up in 1700 dress to describe early life on the Homestead while visiting Hampton Academy. Some other members of the "James Family" were Betty Moore, Ben Moore, Ansell Palmer, Lori Cotter and Harold Fernald.
That program evolved into the "Education Days at the James House," a program for Hampton Academy and North Hampton School. On "Education Days" Pat was there in early period dress. Pat discussed taking care of cows with Joe Chencus as he prepared to take a group to the Hurd Farm and observed instruction on salt marsh haying given by Paul Corbett and Ansell Palmer.
Pat also attended many open house days. She is remembered playing croquet on Games Day with Paul Corbett. She provided a musket and powder horn for Muster Day. She provided costumes and props for many of our special and "Lives Past Lived" programs. At the JHA booth, during the first Town of Hampton Summer Fest, she supervised games of horseshoes, color croquet and ring toss. She also provided instruction on how to play with a hoop and stick, and diablo.
Remember those Hampton Sidewalk Sales Days. Pat was there with Skip and Liz Webb, all in early period dress in 90 degree temperatures. During the subsurface survey, Pat was there helping Skip clear the property and set the survey grids with Ann Kaiser and Lori Cotter. Pat was always dressed up, even for heavy work activities.
Pat served as Membership Chairwoman for two years, "Lives Past Lived" Chairwoman for four years, and Secretary for three years. She hosted many meetings at her house. Pat assisted with the James House conversion from a local museum to a museum on the National Historic List. She helped broaden services provided to Maine and Massachusetts.
Pat was most known for being chair of the "Lives Past Lived" programs. She proofread the scripts and reviewed them for historical accuracy. She arranged to have the programs presented at nursing homes, retirement housing and historical societies. She was a member of the last class to graduate from the original Hampton Academy building. Thus she was interested in its history.
She found a James had helped finance the construction of the Academy building and that another James was instrumental in having it moved from the now Founders Park to the location on Academy Avenue in Hampton. She also found that Fannie James had attended the Academy. She wrote and presented "Fannie" which describes the history of Hampton Academy through Pat's graduation and student life at the Academy. She wrote it in such a way that it equates to life in any early school house.
The "Lives Past Lived" programs which were written and presented by Pat, Skip and Liz Webb became very popular. They are still in demand today after a five-year run. Liz died in October 2008; Loris Burbine, a professional story teller and actress, will be performing Liz's program "Martha." We are sad to have to search for a replacement for Pat to perform her program, "Fannie." We are also sad that Pat will not be able to write new "Live Past Lived" presentations.
Pat, thank you for your wonderful years of service. You have become a true friend. We offer you congratulations and felicitations. We are happy for and with you, but we are sad you are leaving.
(For more information about the "Lives Past Lived" programs visit www.jameshousemuseum.org.)