Joseph Dow's History of Hampton: Brick-making / Tanneries

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The "clay-pits" are mentioned in the early annals of the town, but nothing is on record in regard to brick-making. Within the present century, this industry seems to have been confined to one family, but when it was begun is uncertain. Dea. Samuel Drake, when a young man, eighty years ago, more or less, was a brick-maker, his yard being near the present residence of Mr. J. T. Brown; and later, back of Mr. Clarence T. Brown's. The last location of the brick-yard was in the large field south of Deacon Drake's house, where his son, Samuel Drake, manufactured about a hundred thousand brick annually. Since his death, in 1879, the business has not been pursued.


In 1711, complaint being made that there was a great waste occasioned by oak trees being cut down on the commons, for the purpose of stripping off their bark, to be used in tanning hides, a vote was passed, declaring all bark thus stripped off, forfeited, wherever it might be found, and subjecting the offender to a fine of five shillings for each tree so stripped or barked.

Tanning was, no doubt, formerly, an important industry in our town. In modern times, some shoe-makers and farmers have tanned hides for their own use, and occasionally for their neighbors. Dea. David B. Elkins once had a tannery of this kind, on the "old swamp run," flowing into the Bride Hill mill-stream, a few rotten timbers of which, may still be seen. The Garlands, at the "east end," operated such a tannery, situated in the meadow over the ridge, back of the Garland homestead.

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