Young Preservationists on the Move

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This Thanksgiving season we are thankful for the many young people who are researching and documentating local history, taking on complex improvement projects, and investing in public education and celebration of history through film, painting and other arts.“Historic preservation activity is often seen as the purview of established practioners or older volunteers,” said Jennifer Goodman, executive director of the Preservation Alliance. “But in fact, many young people in New Hampshire are committed to history and celebrating and protecting special places.”

For the Alliance's 25th anniversary we profiled folks 25 and under who were making a difference in their communities.

Check out a recent profile of 21st Century Preservationist Mae Williams which profiles her interest in sustainability and 2013 project exploring the future of the fofmer Laconia State School in the Plymouth State University magazine.

Check out Josh Arnold's Habitat for Humanity-like venture to build commuity and sustainable practice at G.A.L.A. 

The Alliance has noticed many Eagle Scout projects that have promoted preservation goals, and, in national news, the Girl Scouts organization of Georgia unveiled a first-ever Historic Preservation patch at the National Trust conference in Savannah in November 2014.

Please send us your favorite stories of Young Preservationists!  Forward to Virginia Davidson at and we'll look for ways to share the good news.




Preservation Alliance Offers New “Road Map” for Creating Neighborhood Heritage Districts or Areas

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Interested in learning more about a new zoning tool that helps protect the distinctive and valued historic character of an area? The Preservation Alliance is pleased to announce the availability of new materials about  Neighborhood Heritage Districts through the NH Department of of Environmental Services website and its Innovative Land Use Planning Techniques Handbook.

New Hampshire’s innovative zoning statute, RSA 674-21, makes possible this concept. 


Designed to help community leaders and planners understand the purpose and use of this new mechanism to protect local heritage and historic character, the chapter draws on the Alliance’s  work with Hooksett and Greenfield, the two towns that received support in 2012-14 from the N.H. Housing Finance Authority, to explore  creation of a Neighborhood Heritage District.  

The Alliance has also posted on its own website additional material about Neightborhood Heritage Districts and other regulatory and voluntary ways to recognize, preserve, and protect historic resources.  Interested in knowing what towns have adopted some of these strategies and what their ordinance contains?   Want more information on Neighborhood Heritage Districts?  Go to or contact the N.H. Preservation Alliance’s Field Service Rep, Maggie Stier, at 603-224-2281 or

From the DES publication:

Neighborhood Heritage Districts offer a more flexible alternative to local Historic Districts (as distinct from National Register Historic Districts).  Neighborhood Heritage Districts (NHD) differ in two primary ways:  1) they are administered by the Planning Board with assistance from an Advisory Committee (in contrast to a separate Historic District Commission), and 2) their primary purpose is to protect an area’s overall character rather than specific architectural features and details.  They are most often initiated at the grass roots level by a neighborhood association or group that can generate widespread support for such a measure and help assure its adoption.   Through a customized set of guidelines and standards, and a team approach of advisory committee and the municipal planning board, NHDs review and regulate proposed change in a limited range of circumstances—usually new construction, demolition, major additions, and removal or installation of major landscape features.   

This land-use tool has been in use in other states since the early 1980s.  Elsewhere it is frequently called a Conservation District or Neighborhood Conservation District because the emphasis is less on preserving specific features and details of buildings and more on conserving the overarching characteristics of a neighborhood or area.  Resources in such a district do not have to be 50 years old or older, as is typical with traditional historic districts, but the designated area must convey some aspect of the community’s historical, architectural, or cultural heritage.  

Goals in creating a Neighborhood Heritage District may include protection of rural character, encouraging compatible new investment, controlling demolition, stabilizing property values, limiting unsympathetic commercial encroachment, or maintaining traditional scale, form or uses.  NHDs are most often adopted as an overlay to existing traditional zoning. 

In 2008, the N.H. Division of Historical Resources published Neighborhood Heritage Districts, A Handbook for New Hampshire Municipalities by Elizabeth Durfee Hengen and Carolyn Baldwin, Esq., describing an extensive collaborative planning process and setting forth the process to introduce and encourage use of this tool.  Subsequent efforts to create NHDs have relied heavily on that effort.



2014 Seven to Save Listees

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Each year, nominations for the statewide Seven to Save list highlight critical preservation needs and opportunities around the state. Selections for 2014 include some unusual places, highly significant structures, and a statewide listing of our historical agricultural landscape and family farms.

Help out by contacting one of the property or project representatives below, or contact Maggie Stier at the Preservation Alliance at 224-2281 or Support the Preservation Alliance and stay connected!



Brown Company House, Berlin

Believed to be the oldest wood frame building in the city and a key part of the history of mills and logging in Berlin; needed repairs are a big challenge for non-profit owner Tri-County CAP. 

Contact: Sandra Patrick 752 7001





Kimball Lake Cabins, Hopkinton

 A Depression-era lakeside resort with four remaining log cabins,  closed since the 1980s; now owned by the town of Hopkinton which seeks support for rehabilitation and new community uses.  

Contact: Jim O’Brien,, 856-5378


Hill-Lassonde House, Manchester

This vacant bank-owned Italianate style home, opposite a city park, is highly vulnerable; without a new owner and investment it may fall victim to arson or demolition.  

Contact: Michael Duffy II,, 603-493-4055.


Poore Family Farm, Stewartstown 

Needs more support to preserve its early house and barn and fulfill its potential as a place to learn about life on a farm without electricity, plumbing, or other modern conveniences.   

Contact: Rick Johnsen, 237-5500





Neighboring Town Treasures

Bradford Town Hall: Iconic landmark now vacant pending voter-approved funding for upgrades that would meet current codes and allow reopening of the second floor hall for community use. 

Contact: Sonny Harris, selectman,,  568-8059.

Washington Meetinghouse/Town Hall: An 18An 18An 18An th century building that doesn’t meet the town’s 21st century office and meeting space needs.  A workable plan and 2/3rds voter approval for funding are needed. 

Contact: Ron Jaeger, 495-3618,

WatsonAcademy Epping



Watson Academy, Epping

This rare Queen Anne style school building needs town support for a simple plan to address damage caused by a minor earthquake.    


Contact: Sandy Goodspeed, 734-2799


Historic Family Farms and Agricultural Landscapes, statewide

The trend of dramatic loss in cultivated acreage and challenges facing family farms will require strong creative efforts to help maintain historic buildings and traditional landscapes throughout the state.     

Contact: Beverly Thomas, 224-2281,    


For a printable version of this list, please click here.


On October 22, 2014, the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance announced  its 2014 Seven to Save list of threatened historic landmarks from throughout the state that are significant and worthy of preservation. A bonus 8th listing this year focuses on historic family-owned farms and agricultural landscapes statewide.  Seven to Save is a means to recognize the value of saving and reviving historic places that are important to both local communities and our statewide heritage. 


This year, listees include town halls in the neighboring towns of Bradford and Washington, the historic Watson Academy in Epping, the Hill-Lassonde house opposite Manchester’s Bronstein Park, and Hopkinton’s Kimball Lake Cabins.  In Coos County, the Poore Family Farm in Stewartstown and the Brown Company House in Berlin made the list. 

According to Seven to Save chair Hunter Ulf, “Seven to Save recognizes the value of saving and reviving historic places that are important to local communities as well as the state’s identity and economic vitality.  And it is a call to action so that these important places might get what they need and help keep New Hampshire New Hampshire.”

Since 2006, when the Seven to Save program began, over 30 properties have moved from “threatened” to “saved” or out of danger.  Major successes include Pandora Mill in Manchester, the restored Acworth Meetinghouse, and the Mill Pond Dam in Durham.  Some past listees like the Balsams in Dixville Notch and the Gas Holder in Concord still have uncertain futures.

Lorraine Merrill, Commissioner of the N.H. Department of Agriculture, Markets and Foods, spoke on behalf of historic family farms.  The owner of a historic farm herself, she noted that New Hampshire has, over the last 25 years, lost one out of four acres of prime farmland to development—and about 1 out of 3 acres in the seacoast.  Solutions include more farm-friendly land use policies, direct marketing and conservation efforts. “Farms and farming activity contribute to the rural character so prized in New Hampshire communities. We hope that this designation will foster creative efforts to support farms, farmers and farm buildings in a powerful coalition,” she said.

Loss of population, not growth, has affected the two North Country properties on the Seven to Save list.  The Brown Company House in Berlin, believed to be the oldest wood frame building in the city, was a central part of the history of mills and logging in Berlin, but suffers from a long list of needed repairs.  Likewise, the Poore Family Farm Museum in Stewartstown needs more visitors and more financial support to preserve its early house and barn and fulfill its potential as a place to learn about life without electricity, indoor plumbing, or other modern conveniences.

Historic Town Halls in Bradford and Washington garnered Seven to Save nods because of the challenges in obtaining voter-approved funding for upgrades that would bring the buildings into code compliance and allow re-opening of now-shuttered second floor halls for plays, meetings, and community gatherings.  Epping’s Watson Academy, a rare Queen Anne style school building, needs town support for a simple plan to address damage caused by a minor earthquake.  Kimball Lake Cabins, a lakeside resort building during the Depression and now owned by the town of Hopkinton, needs support for building rehabilitation and a new plan for sustainable uses.  A bank-owned Italianate style home in Manchester, opposite a city park, made the list because of its vulnerability to vandalism and squatters.

Before the announcement, the Preservation Alliance held its annual meeting and offered a walking and driving tour of selected historic buildings in Kensington in conjunction wit the Kensington Historical Society.  “We chose to hold this year’s announcement in Kensington because it’s a great example of preservation in action,” said Maggie Moody Stier of the Preservation Alliance. In 2012, the Kensington Town Hall was named to Seven to Save, and since then, improvements have been made to return it to town use.  Granges, statewide, made the Seven to Save list in 2013.  Kensington’s former Grange hall hosted the Seven to Save announcement event, and was recently repainted thanks to a generous private donor. 

Criteria for Seven to Save include the property’s historical or architectural significance, severity of the current threat, and the extent to which the Seven to Save listing could help in preserving or protecting the property. 

The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance is the statewide membership organization dedicated to preserving historic buildings, communities and landscapes through education, resources and advocacy.  For more information, visit


2014 Seven to Save sponsors include:

The Lewis Family Foundation


Ian Milestone

 Christopher P. Williams Architects PLLC

 HEB Engineers

Lavallee | Brensinger Architects

TMS Architects

Preservation Company

Ned Tate, Tate & Foss/Sotheby’s



New Fund Honors Rick & Duffy Monahon

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October 22, 2014

Today the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance announced the availability of new seed grants to help community preservation projects. Friends and colleagues of preservationists Rick and Duffy Monahon came together over the past year to create a new fund that honors and advances the Monahons’ work and provides this resource.

Rick and Duffy, who died in a car accident in 2013, had a lasting influence on projects and people across the state, said Jennifer Goodman, executive director of the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance. They helped shape the preservation movement in New Hampshire with signature projects like Historic Harrisville, highly engaged service on statewide and local boards, and award-winning projects like the rehabilitations of the Gregg Free Library in Wilton, the Newbury Meetinghouse and Temple’s Town Hall. 

The Fund has nearly reached its initial goal of $100,000. “There are local projects all across the state that need this sort of funding to move forward effectively,” said Jennifer Goodman.

The small planning grants may be used for hiring a consultant to conduct a building assessment, to develop a feasibility study or to help with a group’s fundraising plans. An advisory committee will assist the Preservation Alliance in selecting projects and include representatives from the American Institute of Architects New Hampshire Chapter and the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources.   Rick and Duffy both served on the Preservation Alliance’s Board of Directors at various times since its inception and supported its activities in many ways.

The Rick and Duffy Monahon Fund also launched a new Historic Preservation for the Future Fund at the N.H. Charitable Foundation. This Fund is designed to accept future gifts to honor others and meet changing preservation needs and opportunities over time.

For more on applying for grant funds, or to make a donation, click here.

More information:

 The Fund’s purpose:

• to provide lasting recognition of Rick and Duffy Monahon;

• to celebrate their impact on New Hampshire’s people and communities through their architecture, preservation, and planning efforts;

• and to inspire the kind of work necessary to save, revive and steward the special places about which they were so passionate.


Leaders of the Fund efforts are long-time friends and colleagues of the Monahons. They also served with Rick and Duffy on the Preservation Alliance board of directors. Here are some of their thoughts:

Donations to the fund often have come with a Rick-and-Duffy story that captures their positive energy and colorful lives--and brought laughter and tears. Great stories testify to great character. Francie Von Mertens, Peterborough

 I am really happy that the Rick and Duffy Monahon Fund has been established to carry their passion for preservation and planning forward into the future through  efforts of the NH Preservation Alliance, the NH Charitable Foundation which will manage its assets,  and the many friends of the Monahons.  Rick and Duffy Monahon’s commitment to helping community based efforts throughout this state was profound.   This Fund will help provide support for future preservation projects and will also initiate the Historic  Preservation for the Future Fund, an umbrella under which other preservation funds can be established in the future,  Developing such a fund is really important since there are so few preservation funding opportunities in NH. The legacy being left in the Monahon's name is actually a seed for a much bigger opportunity. Chris Williams, AIA, Meridith.

 Rick and Duffy were always there when a good planning, architecture, preservation or land conservation issue raised its head, be it in Peterborough, around the Monadnock Region, elsewhere in New Hampshire, or, indeed, anywhere. The fund being created in their names will help other communities and organizations do things that the Monahons would have supported, encouraged, rallied for, and, if necessary, fought for. And if they were still with us, they would be out there now in the vanguard. Rob Stephenson, Jaffrey.


Visitors to Be Welcomed With NH History

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Jennifer Goodman and Beverly Thomas of the N.H. Preservation Alliance toured the new I93 northbound visitor center in Hooksett yesterday, along with other members of the N.H. Historic Agricultural Structures Advisory Committee. The Preservation Alliance and the Committee promote and support barn preservation throughout the state with technical and financial services. “The commitment by Alex Ray (in hard hat in photos) and the whole development team to New Hampshire businesses and traditions, and celebration of the state’s historic character, in this new development is tremendous,” noted Goodman.  UNH Cooperative Extension, the NH Division of Historical Resources and other agencies contribute to the Committee’s activities and positive impacts.

Links to stories about the tour below.


Declaration of Independence Signer House Is Now For Sale

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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.  In July, the house was 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.  Check out the WMUR-TV Chronicle piece on the place here.

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.


Help Improve the State Site Evaluation Committee Process

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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

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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.

See photos and read more about the 2014 Preservation Achievement Awards.



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