The Hurricane of 1938 at Hampton Beach

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Hampton Union & Rockingham County Gazette, September 29, 1938

Less battered by the storm than Hampton itself, this beach had not as much to offer the sightseers Sunday. Although the total repair bill for the beach will be considerable, no one person was a heavy loser, save perhaps the Dumas Hotel where a two apartment house was particularly destroyed and so there were no thrilling sights. The most spectacular sights of the storms had been the waves and the tearing of the boats from their moorings in Hampton Harbor and on the river. Between 15 and 20 boats were either broken away by the storm or cut away by their owners as they knew that the boats would only be blown up on the marsh and these have now all been brought back again, that of Irving Jones being the last to be taken off the marshes. Among the fishermen, those who go after lobsters took a big loss as their lobster traps are scattered all along the shore and will run into several thousand dollars while dealers like Fred Lorenz and others had their lobster cars where the lobsters are kept until wanted for the market, badly damaged but capable of being repaired. What surprised visitors and beach people alike was the fact that neither the Mitchell nor the Sturgis houses situated at the very base of Boar's Head directly in the path of the wind and waves had about ten dollars worth of repairs needed for the two. Neon signs, one large plate glass window, numerous small windows, awnings, railings, a few fences and many shingles blown off indicate how lightly the beach was hit. However from some misinformed source, a few radio stations sent out notice that Hampton Beach was hard hit and that helpers were badly wanted, thus some cottage owners hastening to the beach found negligible losses at these summer homes while their permanent homes suffered greatly. This was the case of Mr. and Mrs. William Carrupy of Pawtucket, R.I., found their house on Dover Street uninjured while their R.I. home was severely buffeted. Mrs. Lucy Eldridge who had been visiting friends here found that she would have been far more comfortable had she stayed here a few days longer instead of returning to Orleans on the Cape just in time to get the fury of the storm there. At the beach fire station, the men were resting up after working in three squads all the night of the storm trying to save electric signs, tie-up awnings, untangle fire alarm wires from trees and high tension wires blown down and since then cover their entire system that zigzags in many radiating branches all over the town removing grounds by falling wires or trees. Chief George H. Lamott's car has got to have a new windshield as the sand swept by the gale of Wednesday night dug, scratched and ground into the glass making it almost impossible to see through. Other cars were sandblasted so that the entire painted surface has been removed.

A pleasant message that brightened the stories of the damage by the storm last week was the announcement from Los Angeles where the American Legion was meeting that Mrs. Eva Colemen whose husband conducts one of the long established ice cream and refreshment stores of the beach had been elected National Aumonier [Chaplain] of the 40 and 8 [an American Legion group].

As usually happens after a severe storm, the beach is covered from C Street north with seaweed which is gathered in high heaps in many places.

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