It Began With a Bag of Popcorn

Dr. Stuart Barr, Dentist, of Hampton

by Mike Bisceglia

Seacoast Scene, October 12, 2011

[The following article is courtesy of Seacoast Scene.]

Dr. Stuart Barr has provided quality dentistry to Seacoast residents for 50 years.

"You might say it began with a bag of popcorn. I was on vacation here when I was about ten," Dr. Stuart Barr said, referring to his love of Hampton. "I came up Southbridge, Massachusetts with my family to visit my older sister and her husband. They were living on Dearborne Avenue, and were the owners of the Woodbury Press. I thought the area was wonderful, and I couldn't wait to come back again. That's about when I thought it would be so wonderful to live here."

"My father was the owner of the Barr & Campbell Brass Foundry in Southbridge, and he enjoyed taking the family to Hampton Beach. It was a thrill for all of us. When I was a young teenager, I managed to get job working at a popcorn stand across from the beach. It was great."

"After receiving my Bachelor of Science Degree from Springfield College, I went on to Tufts. I split my pre-dental training during my stint with the Navy from 1952 to 1956. I worked as a dental technician in the Portsmouth Navy Yard and aboard the U.S.S. Norfolk. I graduated from dental school in 1962, and there was no doubt in my mind where I wanted to establish my practice . . . right here in Hampton."

"This is an amazing time for us," Dr. Stuart said proudly. "This year marks my fiftieth year of operation in Hampton. Additionally, today Donna and I are celebrating our 33rd anniversary. Life is very good!"

The Stuarts have four children. Jim, the oldest, is a biochemist, and is living in California. Iaian is a computer specialist, and is living in Kittery, Maine. Colin is a fishing guide, and is living in Ilemena, Alaska. Sheena, the youngest, is teaching dental assisting in Connecticut. Dr. and Mrs. Barr have two grandchildren.

"Looking back," Dr. Barr mused, "we had our first office on Exeter Road. Then, in 1970, we opened our current office here at 12 Park Avenue. At that time, the facility was a medical building . . . the only one in the area. I am delighted to say that I still have some of my original patients, as well as the families of those patients. This truly is a family practice." When asked if he ever had any patients of any notoriety, Dr. Barr chuckled, "Only one; that was Pinky Lee . . . and that was many years ago."

Sue McGrail, Dr. Barr's dental hygienist, has been at the practice for only one year, although she has been in the profession for 31 years. "I love what I do," she said smiling. "I love it here. I love talking with patients, and I love the easy-going relationship Dr. Barr has with them."

In regards to hobbies, Dr. Barr grinned, "Well, I really only have one . . . playing the bagpipes. I always wanted to do it, so I began taking lessons in 1972. Coincidently, that's where I met my wife. Her father was the instructor! I guess I still play the pipes at an acceptable level, although I'm not competing any longer."

"As far as travel, Donna and I have traveled throughout the United States. And, we're particularly fond of traveling in Canada and Scotland. As it turns out, both my wife and I claim Paisley, Scotland as the home of our ancestries. Now that is remarkable."

Dr. Barr is making no plans to retire. "I love what I do, and I still take the required courses by the Board of Dental Examiners to retain my license. In addition, I do stay current in all of the latest dental trends and technology. Dentistry has come a long way since I first received my license."

Dr. Barr is well-versed in several aspects of dentistry. These include restorative procedures, dentures, root canals, veneers, and crowns. Further, Dr. Barr is accepting new and emergency patients, and he accepts all insurances.

Dr. Barr's office is located on 12 Park Avenue in Hampton. He keeps business hours on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays. His phone number is 926-7111.

Another smiling day at 12 Park Ave. (l-r) Mrs. Donna Barr, Dr. Stuart Barr, Sue McGrail, Dental Hygienist, and Jennifer.