By Steven Tobias
Atlantic News, Thursday, February 27, 1996
[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News]
The Lane Block, one of the first purely commercial and mercantile spaces in Hampton was built in 1900 as a result of the dislocations of several businesses by the construction of the railway overpass on Exeter Road. The Block first housed Howard Lane's general store and Ervin Dow's department store. Charles Orrin Stevens was the builder of both the Lane Block and Howard Lane's residence on Lafayette Road, now the headquarters of the Foss Manufacturing Company. Note the trolley tracks in the left foreground."
[Photo not in original article and courtesy Hampton Historical Society 1995 pictorial calendar]
HAMPTON - After 23 years of operating Hampton Village Hardware, Robert M. Wallace passes the keys to the business to the new owner, Alexander J. Stephens.
Mr. Wallace, a long time Hampton resident and well known businessman, purchased the store in 1973. Centrally located in a landmark building on the corner of Lafayette Road and High Street, the store has become one of the most visible businesses in Hampton and the starting point from almost all directions given to visitors of Hampton. "Turn left at the hardware store and go about two miles…can't miss it…etc."
Mr. Stephens, the new owner of Hampton Village Hardware, is also a long time Hampton resident. He is returning to the business world after a forced retirement in 1990 due to a serious accident on a construction site. Mr. Stephens has held upper management positions for over 25 years while working for several companies. In addition, Mr. Stephens has been the featured speaker at business conferences throughout the country speaking on business management, advertising, and marketing. Mr. Stephens has extensive experience in the construction industry including design and rehabilitation of commercial buildings.
Mr. Stephens plans to retain the old New England style of the hardware store to capitalize on its long history of personal service. However, new interior layouts and designs, product expansion, a contractor sales department, and new pricing are all in the works.
Residents, old customers, new customers, and visitors are invited to stop by an old landmark in town and welcome the new owner.