The Hurricane of 1938 in Hampton

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Parts of Town Without Lights Three Days

The Hampton Union & Rockingham County Gazette, Sept. 22, 1938

The 88-Mile an hour hurricane, which at times was increased in velocity to 100 miles per hour, visited here on Wednesday night leaving disaster by floods and winds, with a toll of hundreds of lives lost throughout New England, swept through the town causing hundreds of dollars worth of damage to property owners and to trees. So far as can be learned no one was injured by the storm, which in its path throughout the town and beach lifted roofs, buildings, trees, skylights and uprooted many valuable trees in the various sections. Electric power and lights with wires and poles down in many places, causing disruption of the telephone service to Exeter and the extinguishing of all lights even street lights, leaving the town in darkness and crippling business establishments; caused the closing of both Lamie's Tavern and Johnston's Restaurant in the center of town.

Huge trees, landmarks of many years, uprooted by the hurricane, fell against wires, snapping poles, and caused not only darkness but danger to all from live wires, making roads impassible.

The worst of these was stated by Police Officer Jerome Harkness to be at Whittier's Corner where the main pole located in the triangular plot, which supported all power lines, with electric and telephone wires, was brought down with three large Elm trees--- landmarks of many years.

Trees at the corner of Park Avenue and Winnacunnet Road at Young's Corner were also brought down, bringing wires with them.

Officer Harkness, unable to reach Exeter by telephone, went to Exeter where he made a personal appeal to Mr. Edgerly of the Exeter & Hampton Electric Co. for men, stating conditions here and although men were busy at Exeter, where there was a similar situation, two men were sent to Hampton within a short time. Firemen, legionnaires and other volunteers, as well as men of the State Highway Department under the supervision of Agent Earl Speare, worked throughout the night in removing trees and dead branches and other debris from the roads so that at dawn Thursday the highways were for the most part cleared and normal traffic conditions restored.

On the Exeter Road a large tree in front of the Frank Benoit place fell about midnight, obstructing traffic there.

At the home of Police Officer Percy Annis on the Exeter Road, two huge trees from 40 to 50 feet high fell on the barn and garage completely twisting it off its foundation.

The Park Avenue section beginning with a beautiful large tree at the Tuck Memorial House, to Stephen Hobbs' were uprooted. Trees at Allston Snider's, the John Price place, and at Shady Lawn, uprooted trees by the storm, failed to damage the buildings when they fell. At Shady Lawn the rear of the barn was blown in and at the Dumas Hotel at North Beach, the sides of the annex were caved in by the terrific force of the storm.

At Hampton Beach a large plate glass window in the First National Stores was smashed and the flag pole near the bandstand was snapped off. At the homes of Daniel Cushing on the Exeter Rd., and Maurice Butler on High St. chimneys were blown down.

At Hampton Academy a large section of honey with bees attached was found in one of the trees at the front, blown there by the wind.

Six large spruce trees in the rear of the Arthur Brown place on the Lafayette Road succumbed to the storm.

The large pine tree at Miss Anna Mae Cole's home when uprooted fell across her many plants and flowers.

At Raymond Garland's on the Winnacunnet Road the roof of the brooder house [a place to raise baby chicks] was blown off.

At the beach the Coast Guardsmen went out at 6 o'clock to assist fishermen and other boat owners in finding and reclaiming their crafts of the various types. The Coast Guardsmen with a dory worked until 1 o'clock in the Hampton River.

The 18 foot racing boat belonging to Kenneth Langley of Hampton Beach which early broke from it moorings was found just north of the Hampton Harbor Yacht Club almost completely smashed between the rocks, and the 40 foot fishing boat owned by Fred Thompson which, dragging its anchor, had broken from its moorings and pounded into the racing yacht.

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