Declaration of Independence Signer House Is Now For Sale
Ruth Albert has struggled for years to decide on the best long-term stewardship strategy for a house that has been in her family for seven generations. This month, the house has been listed for sale, and when a new buyer for the colonial home is found, the property of Josiah Bartlett, second signer of the Declaration of Independence, will be leaving the family for the first time since 1774.
The Josiah Bartlett House was built on The Plains in Kingston in 1774, and has remained in the family since then. It is one of only 23 National Historic Landmarks in New Hampshire, and stands in a local historic district along the town common on approximately 20 acres of fields and woodlands. No family members are available to purchase the property, and Albert, now retired, and her husband, have decided on a smaller property.
Realtor Donna Carter notes that the property is well-suited for a bed and breakfast or history enthusiasts. Albert is working with the N.H. Preservation Alliance on a preservation easement for the house that mirrors elements of the local historic district’s protection. Other New Hampshire National Historic Landmarks include homes of Daniel Webster, Franklin Pierce and Robert Frost.
About Josiah Bartlett:
The young Josiah Bartlett (1729-1795) moved to Kingston from Amesbury, Massachusetts in 1750 to establish a medical practice. When Kingston suffered a second outbreak of “throat distemper” in 1754, Dr. Bartlett discovered a successful treatment with quinine. In that same year, he married his cousin Mary Bartlett (1730-1789). They had twelve children, eight of whom lived to adulthood. Three of Bartlett’s sons became physicians; Dr. Levi Bartlett (1763-1828) lived in the homestead.
An active patriot, Josiah Bartlett became involved in Colonial era politics and was a vocal critic of the British policies. In 1774, he was chosen as one of the two delegates from New Hampshire to the First Continental Congress. He was unable to serve that year however, because his home was destroyed by fire, thought to have been set by British loyalists, and re-building his home required his attention. However, in 1775 and 1776, he travelled to Philadelphia as a member of the Congress and was the first to vote for the Declaration of Independence and the next to sign after John Hancock. He brought a linden tree back with him from Philadelphia, and it grows large and strong today in front of the house where he planted it, nearly 240 years ago. It blooms each year around the Fourth of July.
Despite not being a lawyer, Bartlett became involved in the judicial system. He was appointed to the N.H. Supreme Court and became Chief Justice in 1788. He remained active in the medical field and received an honorary MD from Dartmouth College in 1790. During the final years of his life, Josiah Bartlett served as the fourth Governor of New Hampshire from 1790 to 1794.
About the property:
The large home was built in 1774 and “updated” in the 19th century with Greek Revival detailing. A historic barn also stands on the property.
Realtor Donna Carter is handling the sale. Her number is 603-770-0516.
Nominations Open for Seven to Save!
Nominations are now open for the 2014 Seven to Save list, which will be announced at the Preservation Alliance’s annual meeting in mid-October.
Any significant historic building, property or structure more than 50 years old whose renovation and re-use could be helped by this program is eligible to be nominated. Criteria also include the severity of the current threat, and the extent to which the Seven to Save listing would help in preserving or protecting the property.
“We see the Seven to Save program as a positive way to encourage new investment in historic buildings,” said Maggie Stier, field services representative and coordinator of Seven to Save for the N.H. Preservation Alliance. “Obstacles to the continuing or new use of many of these landmarks can frequently be overcome through creative planning, new investment, and the hard work of local advocates.”
The Seven to Save program is now in its ninth year, with nearly half of the previously listed sites now considered saved. Examples of successful Seven to Save outcomes include Pandora Mill in Manchester, Ashland School, Upper Village Hall in East Derry, and the restored Acworth Meetinghouse. You can view details about the 2013 Seven to Save listees here.
Residential or commercial properties, industrial heritage sites such as bridges or transportation structures, agricultural buildings, threatened building types, or a group of similar resources are all eligible.
Download a nomination form here. The submission deadline is September 15. Questions? Contact Maggie Stier at (603) 224-2281.
Thanks to Milestone Engineering & Construction for their 2014 Seven to Save program sponsorship. Contact Jennifer Goodman at email@example.com if you are interested in participating.
Federal Investment Tax Credit Benefits N.H.
Your advocacy is needed to preserve the federal historic tax credit in the months ahead. As momentum builds for tax reforms, preservationists can help by making sure their elected officials understand the credit’s significant beneficial impact in our state.
Federal tax incentives are particularly valuable as part of the overall financing for large-scale, much-needed rehabilitation projects that that might not otherwise be feasible and that would serve as an important economic generator for financially-distressed areas.
More than 100 New Hampshire historic properties, involving investments of hundreds of millions of dollars, have participated in the program since it was created in 1976.
In total, 22 New Hampshire projects have used or are currently using this program; half of these have occurred within the last five years. Since 2009, New Hampshire has experienced more than $69 million worth of completed rehabilitation under this program at places such as the Mountain View Grand in Lancaster, the mixed-use Oscar Brown Block in downtown Claremont, and new housing units at the former Cottage Hospital in Portsmouth. An estimated $62 million more is invested in projects now underway-- at a cotton storehouse in Nashua, a large mill in the Amoskeag millyard in Manchester, a former high school in Berlin, and a large commercial blacksmith shop along the Lamprey River in Newmarket. Learn more at www.preservationnation.org/take-action/advocacy-center/policy-resources/historic-tax-credits.html
Section 106 review process for Northern Pass now seeking consulting party input
Where are we in the Northern Pass process from a preservation process standpoint? After a long period with no communication, the Department of Energy has now invited those who requested consulting party status to share information about historic resources that might be affected by the project. During this Identification stage of the federally mandated Section 106 process, DOE will be gathering “initial input” comments at two upcoming open house meetings. These are on Thursday, June 19 at the Mountain View Grand in Whitefield, and Friday, June 20, at the Belknap Mill in Laconia. Both sessions run from 6 – 9 pm. Participation is limited to consulting parties.
The agency requests that consulting parties attend and share information on historic properties and significant archaeological sites that might be impacted by Northern Pass. For purposes of Section 106, properties listed in or eligible for the National Register for Historic Places are considered historic. Note that areas, districts, objects and structures are all eligible as potentially historic resources, not just buildings. Resources can be significant at the local or state level (not just of nationwide importance). Examples of National Register listings are the Boom Piers and Mount Jasper Lithic Source in Berlin, Garland Mill in Lancaster, Old Meadow Bridge in Shelburne and the Waumbeck Cottages district in Jefferson. What else do you know about that might also qualify?
The Preservation Alliance encourages our members to participate as consulting parties for the Northern Pass project under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.. Section 106 mandates public discussion as part of the process to avoid, minimize, or mitigate harmful effects or impacts on historic resources that stand to be affected by the proposed transmission line. The Preservation Alliance is a consulting party and will be participating in this Section 106 process, and we also want to help our members convey their concerns and information as well.
Not yet a consulting party? It’s not too late! Complete the Consulting Party Information Form here. Note that for logistical reasons, DOE will likely not process any new requests received between June 12 and the June 19-20 meetings. There will certainly be other meetings in this potentially long process.
To date, the Preservation Alliance has urged DOE to undertake a comprehensive inventory of historic resources that might be affected by the new line. Only a small percentage of historic resources have been previously evaluated. We have stressed that the setting and surrounding landscapes are just as important as the individual buildings or structures, and that the inventory of historic resources needs to include all areas within sight of the transmission line, not just those adjacent to the ROW’s. We understand that determining this is a complex and extensive task, but it is essential to understanding the impacts of the project.
A citizens guide to the Section 106 process is at http://www.achp.gov/docs/CitizenGuide.pdf. Please contact Maggie Stier with any suggestions, questions or concerns at 603-224-2281 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help Improve the State Site Evaluation Committee Process
Want to help improve the site evaluation committee process as it relates to historic properties in New Hampshire?
N.H.'s Office of Energy and Planning has been convening stakeholders to provide input into a process launched by Senate Bill 99 (2013) that requires the Site Evaluation Committee to adopt rules "relative to criteria for the siting of energy facilities."
More information here.
You can offer your own comments or help us improve our current draft.The Preservation Alliance seeks to clarify definitions, application process and selection criteria for applicants and reviewers.
Achievement Winners Announced
On May 13, seven projects across the Granite State were recognized by the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance for outstanding achievement in preservation at its annual announcement ceremony in Concord. The awards recognize individuals, organizations and corporations for work or projects in the categories of restoration, rehabilitation and stewardship as well as advocacy, planning and education. It is the Alliance’s 25th year of honoring preservation achievement, and a Manchester resident with exemplary commitment and contributions to heritage organizations, and a local organization that is considered a national leader in preservation innovation and practice were also honored.
The seven winning projects range from the rescue of a rare early 1800s store and stagecoach shop to a new design for a historic 1950s military structure and revitalization of an old textile mill. “We welcome this opportunity to recognize outstanding projects and people, offer thanks, and inspire others,” said the Preservation Alliance’s Executive Director Jennifer Goodman.
Ken Viscarello, chairman of the Alliance’s board of directors, noted the tenacity of the projects private developers and community advocates as well as the importance of investments by N.H. Community Development Finance Authority, the conservation and heritage license plate grant program, and the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program in several of the projects.
The seven construction projects are:
- Danville Heritage Commission for the rescue and restoration of the Webster Stagecoach Stop and Store
- Old Allenstown Meeting House Steering Committee, Town of Allenstown and The Allenstown Historical Society for the restoration of the Allenstown Meeting House
- Shandra McLane for the revitalization of 32 Main Street, Ashland for Squam River Studios
- City of Manchester, Board of Mayor and Aldermen, Planning and Community Development, Department of Public Works – Facilities Division for the revitalization of Dearborn Memorial Hall/Odd Fellows Hall
- Dakota Partners, Inc. and Bank of America CDC for the rehabilitation of the Hillsborough Mills for the Pine Valley Lofts, Milford
- Friends of Stark Park for stewardship of Stark Park, Manchester
- New Hampshire Army National Guard State of New Hampshire, Adjutant General’s Department for outstanding design of new addition for the Milford Readiness Center.
Pat Meyers was recognized for her exemplary commitment and contributions to preservation efforts on the state and local level; she has made impressive contributions to individual historic places as well as several heritage-related organizations. After her family worked with the Manchester Historical Association and Red Cross, Greater Manchester Chapter, Manchester to place a preservation easement on the Frank Pierce Carpenter House in 1994, she became very engaged in preservation activities. As a board member, chair, committee member and volunteer of the N.H. Preservation Alliance, Meyers has played a major role in transforming and sustaining the organization, according to Alice DeSouza, former director of the N.H. Division of Travel and Tourism and advisor to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
She also has served as a trustee at the Manchester Historic Association, New Hampshire Historical Society and Strawbery Banke and helped with First Lady Susan Lynch’s effort to rehabilitate the Bridges House, the official governor’s residence in Concord. Under Meyers’ board leadership, the Moffatt-Ladd House and Garden in Portsmouth more than doubled its attendance and restored a significant 18th century coach house. Moffatt-Ladd Director Barbara Ward says that Pat is “a colleague to all, a woman who constantly reminds us of the importance of our mission of preservation and education, and is an inspiration to staff and volunteers alike.”
The Preservation Alliance acknowledged Historic Harrisville, Inc.’s commitment to innovation, good business, and community-wide stewardship in an award for outstanding leadership in historic preservation. The group formed in 1971, in reaction to the devastating bankruptcy of the town’s major employer and property owner, with a new, forward-thinking model of adaptive use to keep Harrisville a working town. One building at a time, the group raised money, found tenants who fit their vision, and preceded with renovation, while pursuing conservation and housing goals along the way.
Historic Harrisville continues to push the envelope with innovative and effective preservation strategies, according to the Alliance. They kept the post office in town when it planned to leave, reopened and now own and operate the village store, and they are reestablishing water power as a source of electricity for the mill, setting a new standard for energy conservation. Preservation leaders that participated in this award nomination were hard pressed to offer specific examples of places Historic Harrisville has influenced outside of their town because their influence has, and continued to be, so pervasive. “They made preservation about blue jeans, not blue hair,” said Linda Wilson, long-time deputy state historic preservation officer, “and they continue to be a shining example for towns everywhere.”
This year’s award program is sponsored by Sheehan, Phinney, Bass + Green, Preservation Company, Common Man Family of Restaurants, Dakota Properties, Inc., Great Bridge Properties, North Branch Construction, Inc., Elizabeth Durfee Hengen Preservation Consultant, Thurston Millwork and CMK Architects, P.A.
The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance is the statewide membership organization dedicated to preserving historic buildings, communities and landscapes through leadership, education and advocacy. Current priorities include providing assistance to community leaders and promoting the use of easements, barn preservation and tax incentives.
Early Town Meeting Results For Preservation
We have some early reports of preservation-related voting yesterday, and results are mixed.
Money for the renovation of town halls was a big issue in several towns, but only Wolfeboro came away with a big win as far as we know. There, $750,000 was pledged from private citizens to offset the total $4 million cost to renovation Brewster Memorial Hall (Seven to Save 2009). Kudos to the Friends of Wolfeboro Town Hall for a successful seven-year effort!
Disappointing votes came in on renovation projects for the Washington meetinghouse, the Bradford Town Hall, and relocation of town offices to the former Epsom meetinghouse (Seven to Save 2006).
Also from Seven to Save, Boscawen’s 1913 library got the $25,000 in planning money it requested. Rye approved funds for the final planning stage for renovations and addition to their town hall. And Belmont’s Heritage Commission has an additional $7500 to help with bandstand rehabilitation though their first try at adopting a Demolition Review ordinance failed.
Exeter voters approved the removal of the Great Falls Dam in Exeter, a head-of-tide dam that has been a landmark for centuries. In Winchester, a petition warrant article to abolish the Historic District ordinance was defeated.
Finally, funds were voted for the complete removal of the Cruft Block in Bethlehem, badly destroyed by fire last year.
We are still collecting and publicizing preservation-related votes, so please let us know what happened in your town. Contact Maggie Stier at email@example.com or 224-2281.
Alliance's weatherization tips on WMUR
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