The town of Hampton is nestled on the Lower Saint John River System, 30 km northeast of the City of Saint John, Canada's first and New Brunswick's largest city. Hampton is a small, friendly community with many points of interest and beautiful natural scenery. The rolling hills, water ways, world renowned marsh area, farmland and wildlife will reward you with a visual feast.
The Town of Hampton, as Shiretown of Kings County, has a rich heritage and culture. It boasts such historical buildings as the Court House, Kings County Gaol, Saint Paul's Church and Loyalist Burial Ground and many Heritage Homes.
The Kings County Museum, located in the Centennial Building, is operated by the Kings County Historical and Archival Society. It is open to the public and houses an extensive collection of artifacts related to past life in Kings County and elsewhere. Main exhibits are located in the Centennial Building, with further displays in the Gaol next door. The Museum also provides genealogy services for residents and visitors.
Late in 1966, with the approach of the Centennial Year, an agreement was made between the Kings County Historical Society, the Municipality of Kings County, and the New Brunswick Centennial Administration to have space for a Museum in the new County Centennial Building in Hampton. Keys for this facility were given to the Society on September 21, 1966. The official opening of our Museum was held on June 1, 1968.
This part of the Museum consists of four rooms. The main display area has a collection of beautiful crystal, pictures, furniture, guns, a 150-piece bell collection, a broad assortment of textiles ranging from clothing to quilts, and many other items. Two of the Museum's greatest treasures are the "Confederation Conference Quilt" made from the cuttings of dresses worn by the ladies to the balls and galas of the Confederation Conference in 1964 at Charlottetown, P.E.I., and a print dress worn by an 8-year-old girl who came to Kings County as a Loyalist over 200 years ago.
There are three other rooms including the vault where historical records, over 80 partial genealogies, community histories and other valuable artifacts are kept. This has been named the "Ernest C. G. Graham Room" after one of the Society's Presidents who contributed many hours to historical research. A collection of Royal and Military artifacts are kept in the "Lt. Col. Otty Corbett Room", named after the Society's founding President.
The Kings County Gaol is a historic building which was moved from the Kingston, New Brunswick area over the ice, one block at a time and reconstructed in Hampton. It presently houses part of the Kings County Museum. Tours of the building and the museum exhibits are available from June through September.
The Kings County Court House dates back to the early 1870's and still houses the historic and well-preserved county court and the registry office.
The Kennebecasis River flows through Hampton, and provides an excellent opportunity for boating enthusiasts with an easily accessible public launch. Anglers can enjoy fishing for salmon, striped bass, smallmouth bass, sea-run brook trout, sturgeon, gaspereau, pickerel, perch and eel. Downstream provides access to the Saint John River.
The Hampton Marsh is recognized as one of the most fertile and productive wetland systems in New Brunswick. These wetlands, covering approximately 2000 hectares (5000 acres), are located along the Kennebecasis River within and around the communities of Hampton, Quispamsis and Nauwigewauk. Wetlands support the most diverse wildlife communities of any natural habitats. 201 acres in the Hampton Kennebecasis Marsh system have been developed by Ducks Unlimited Canada. These sites provide brood habitat for such waterfowl as black ducks, blue winged teal, wood ducks, mallards and shovellers as well as nesting habitat for other marsh birds such as rails, yellow throats and bitterns. Birds and mammals including eagles, osprey, swallows, blackbirds, several species of crane, moose, beaver, muskrat and otter also use these wetlands as foraging areas.
Water levels are influenced by spring flooding and daily tides. During spring floods water covers the marsh and surrounding fields and replenishes nutrients. The flood waters disappear by late June leaving marshes, ponds, wooded areas and wet meadows.
The extensive marshes receive tidal water every day. The flushing of the tides, the unique vegetation and the variety of wildlife make these one of the most valuable marshes in the Province.
Fish such as chain pickerel, yellow perch, smallmouth bass and sturgeon attract hundreds of anglers to the waters each year. Commercial fishermen catch gaspereau and American eel. Salmon and sea run brook trout migrate through the marsh system on their way to spawning grounds.
Plants such as wild rice, arrowhead and bur-reed provide food for wildlife. Alders, willows and larger hardwoods such as silver maple and black ash provide nesting areas, food and escape cover. The wetlands of the Hampton area provide many recreational opportunities to local residents and tourists, including wildlife viewing, hunting and fishing. The rivers, lakes and marshes provide boating and canoeing opportunities, and during the winter are used for cross-country skiing and ice skating.
Hampton has four school: Dr. A.T. Leatherbarrow Primary School, Hampton Elementary School, Hampton Middle School, and Hampton High School. The Hampton Learning Center offers free adult scholastic programs.
Most religious denominations have meeting places in Hampton: Anglican, Baptist, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Seventh Day Adventist, Roman Catholic and United.
Hampton boasts two theatres: the Hampton Community Theatre, located in the recently built high school, and the Leah MacGowan Theatre in the middle school. Both are open to the public for many different forms of entertainment.
The business section of Hampton offers all essential services: restaurants, Bed & Breakfasts, medical, dental and veterinary services, hair styling, banking, vehicle service, pharmacy and wide variety of small businesses. Farm Vacations, Camping (with hookup for RVs, trailers and tenting) are available nearby.
Be sure to check out the official Town site @ Hampton