Hampton's Town Clock
In 1897 John T. Brown of Newburyport offered the town of Hampton a "first-class eight-day clock with four dials" and a bell. The clock was to be installed in a tower to be built on the new Odd Fellows building, although the clock and its bell would belong to the town. This was one of three Howard tower clocks which Brown gave to towns along what is now Route One, two of which are still on their original sites, in Hampton Falls and Seabrook. Each of the clocks had wooden dials with the words "Memorial Gift."On January 27, 1990, the Odd Fellows Hall was ravaged by fire, leaving the building uninhabitable. The clock, badly damaged, remained on the top of the tower, although the weights fell to the ground. In February the clock was dismantled and the parts salvaged. The bell and two of the faces were also saved. A committee, led by Glen French and Judy Dubois, was formed to attempt to restore the clock, but their campaign was unsuccessful, and the clock remained in storage for over fifteen years. Some years ago the Selectmen raised the possibility of selling the damaged clock, since there seemed to be no interest in restoring it. At that point Robert Webber, a Hampton antiques dealer, came forward and offered to take on the task of restoring the clock. The Selectmen agreed, and the work began to put the clock into working order. Mr. Webber's son Harvey and Cliff Pratt spent several years repairing the works. After Mr. Pratt's death in 2014 a small committee continued to raise funds to fine-tune and house the clock in a new tower.
The town has voted to put the clock in a new tower on the green in front of Centre School. As of the beginning of 2016, the restoration of the clock is very close to being finished, and a new tower reminiscent of the old Odd Fellows building has been designed by Preservation Timber Framing of Berwick, Maine. The effort to raise funds is nearing its goal, although more funds are still needed. The Town Clock Committee hopes to start construction in the summer of 2016.