History and Profile of Hampton
The Town of Hampton is nestled in the Kennebecasis River valley between the Pickwauket Hills and Passekeag Ridge. Hampton has a long history reflected in the native names of its natural surroundings. In 1784 the Loyalists discovered Ossekeag and began to build what would become the prosperous and thriving community of Hampton: an independent town just a twenty minute drive from Saint John, the second largest city in the Maritime Provinces; an hour from Fredericton, New Brunswick’s capital city; or an hour from the city of Moncton.
Hampton is blessed with beautiful marsh areas, rich farmland and abundant wildlife. In the spring our marshes flood to prepare this nutrient-rich habitat to nourish the extraordinary wildlife and variety of vegetation it contributes to the Province of New Brunswick and to Hampton, a nature lover’s paradise. In the summer boaters sail our rivers and lakes, and hikers climb our mountains and walk our trails in unpolluted air. Brilliant reds, yellows and greens edge the roads, decorate our streets and replace the lupins before the snow comes. Then the skis come out, snowmen smile and skates skim the river.
Our heritage homes and streetscapes make exploring an architectural adventure, and a rapidly growing business park is an example of the hustle and bustle of town staff and volunteers who work tirelessly with industry, while Hampton’s well educated workforce continues to meet the growing needs of both the business and residential communities.
Through broad-based consultation with citizens, town council is determined to maintain the social, economic, organizational and cultural environment, without compromising Hampton’s unique and valued natural resources. All these considerations combine to create a solid base for the town’s vision of the future.
Don’t be surprised if on a summer night entire families are stretched out on their decks, or in a nearby field, staring at the sky. They’re probably watching a meteor shower. In Hampton the stars at night are almost always bright because fog is a rarity. We’re approximately thirty kilometers inland, so we can count on more sunshine in the daytime. This makes Hampton a great place to enjoy the outdoors in any season, day or night. The beautiful Kennebecasis River flowing through the town offers opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, fishing or just plain laid-back cruising.
Many properties in Hampton have the space to put in a pool or even a barn, for that horse or two they always wanted. You can manage to have both without any trouble. There’s a heated pool right in the centre of town where, come summer, kids of all ages splash from dawn ‘til dusk. There is a rumour that Hampton and surrounding area have more horses per capita than anywhere else in New Brunswick. There are stables here to provide lessons in either English or Western riding and there’s even a stud farm that’s home to some famous race horses.
Tennis anyone? The quality of our tennis courts and golf course attracts both residents and nonresidents from miles around, as do our walking trails. When strolling along the sidewalk isn’t enough to satisfy that urge to really get moving, a turn around Spooner Island, a jog through Dutch Point Park or maybe climbing a local mountain will get your heart pumping. Admittedly it isn’t always summer in Hampton but who would want it to be when we have so many great places to cross country ski and slide? Then there is the arena, home to boys’ and girls’ hockey, speed skating, figure skating, and just plain fun. Our curling rink may never host the Brier, but few rinks can claim a history to match ours. But if you get the winter blahs just think April, when the fishing season opens and, in a five-minute drive, you can cast your line and maybe catch a trout or hook and release a salmon or two. It’s great living in Hampton, all the time.
Through the high standards of its four schools, two philosophies lay the groundwork for Hampton’s future… first, education is a very serious business but second, school can be a lot of fun. It may be baking banana bread in kindergarten or producing an award winning human rights video in high school. Or perhaps it’s offering French immersion classes in our schools, or continuing to hone both bilingual and hockey skills at the middle and high school levels. Either way, curricular and extra-curricular activities combine effortlessly in Hampton.
Who knows what prompted a student to build a career in aquaculture? Was it walking past the fish tank every day at the Leatherbarrow School then, one day, discovering those boring fish eggs finally hatched into salmon fry? Did another student seek out a career in music because he or she fell in love with the cello or violin while involved with the school orchestra? Or was it, perhaps, being in the Human Rights award winning musical production Peace Cranes 2000? And when a future artist found his skills suddenly taking off in high school did having an art teacher, who received the Prime Ministers Award for Teaching Excellence, make a difference? One constant at every school level is the awareness and the legacy of the role Hampton native, John Peters Humphrey, played in drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, dubbed by Eleanor Roosevelt as “the international Magna Carta of all mankind.” More recently, Hampton High School has been recognized as the first school to use a comprehensive community approach to a tobacco-free school.
Surrounded by scenery that can soothe the soul and stir the imagination, Hampton is a small town with a big attitude. Enjoying a rich and diverse workforce, it is also unique in the quantity and quality of its artists and artisans, scholars, and writers. Tourists come here year round to visit workshops and galleries; others are eager to browse through books by local authors and research their genealogy at the Kings County Historical and Archival Society Museum. Encouraged by the town council, volunteers have a strong voice both in how the town operates and in the planning process. It is the firefighters, ambulance attendants, soccer and hockey coaches, members of the many service organizations and other volunteers who make Hampton a community rich in the kind of people who care for their environment and each other.
The blending of old and new homes makes Hampton streetscapes one of the town’s greatest attractions. They offer a charm that can only be created in the course of history. Main Street is a classic example. This mix-and-match affair finds its way through the entire town where modern bungalows nestle next to historic inns, modest homes rub shoulders with elegant old-time mansions and bustling small malls offer basic shopping requirements and banking choices. Throughout the town Victorian steeples and more modern architecture provide a choice of places of worship.
Conscientious doctors and dentists serve the community well from their homes or from clinics; a small community library meets the rainy-day needs of both parents and children; and an exquisite theatre regularly entertains with Shakespeare, Broadway musicals, live country music and classical quartets. Many families here reflect the work ethic of their ancestors, once honed on the farm and in the woodlot of yesterday, and bring it to the most sophisticated and modern industries of today. Their welcoming attitude toward newcomers has helped Hampton become the close-knit community we enjoy today.
After all, succeeding and enjoying what we do… it’s our nature.