CONCORD, NH – The N.H. Preservation Alliance, partnering with The 1772 Foundation, has awarded grants totaling $125,000 to sixteen private non-profit organizations in New Hampshire to assist in preserving their historic buildings. The grants give a boost to community landmarks from Coos County to the Seacoast to the Monadnock Region and range in amount from $4,250 to the grant maximum of $10,000. Each grantee was required to have matching funds for their project.
These grants will support new roofs, foundation and sill work, repainting, and porch repair, and will be used by historical societies, museums, a grange, a women’s club, friends groups supporting local landmarks, and an affordable housing organization.
The funding will assist in the preservation of historic buildings that range in date from 1774 to 1912, and new and continuing uses that include housing, community meeting space, museums, and educational programming. Six of the awardees had previously been named to the Preservation Alliance’s Seven to Save endangered properties list and six had received similar grants in recent years. In some cases, the grants will advance multi-phase projects, while in others the funding will help a non-profit organization get started or complete important preservation work.
Applications were reviewed by a selection committee of experts and the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance staff. “We are so pleased to be able to make these grants to worthy projects in many regions of the state,” said Beverly Thomas, deputy director of the Preservation Alliance. “The 1772 Foundation’s investment in New Hampshire is protecting and revitalizing sixteen historic buildings, positively impacting communities by bringing needed capital investment to important community landmarks.” She emphasized that evidence of good planning was essential for success in this grant round.
Thomas noted that grant criteria included the uniqueness or significance of the resource, visibility within the community, availability of additional funding, strength of local support, imminence or severity of threat to the resource, a demonstrated understanding of the building’s needs, and the proposed plan’s adherence to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.
Margaret Waldock, president of The 1772 Foundation, said that “With these grants, The 1772 Foundation continues its investment in preservation efforts that protect assets of community importance. While the individual grants may seem small, we have found they leverage considerable local resources and opportunities: community-provided matching dollars, support for local businesses and tradespeople, and the long-term power of incremental, small-scale capital investments in roofs, windows, and structural improvements that protect and maintain the value of assets over time.”
Grant recipients are:
- Antrim Grange No. 98 (Antrim), Antrim Grange foundation and sill repair/replacement: $10,000
- Friends of The Colonial Theatre (Bethlehem), Colonial Theatre roof replacement: $10,000
- Canterbury Shaker Village (Canterbury), Dwelling House roof replacement: $5,000
- Woman’s Club of Concord (Concord), Chamberlin House slate roof repair: $9,000
- Danbury Historical Society (Danbury), North Road Schoolhouse roof replacement: $4,250
- Gilsum Historical Society (Gilsum), Wright’s Blacksmith Shop roof replacement, and foundation and sill repair: $7,500
- Historic Harrisville, Inc. (Harrisville), Abel Twitchell House roof replacement: $8,500
- Haverhill Heritage, Inc. (Haverhill), Wentworth-Brown House porch repair: $7,500
- Haverhill Library Association (Haverhill), Haverhill Library roof replacement: $7,500
- Hill Center Church (Hill), Hill Center Meetinghouse window restoration: $10,000
- Lancaster Historical Society (Lancaster), Wilder Holton House sill replacement: $5,000
- AHEAD Affordable Housing Education & Development (Lisbon), Lisbon Inn exterior painting: $10,000
- Poore Family Foundation (Stewartstown), Poore Family Farmhouse sill replacement and exterior repairs: $7,500
- Stratham Historical Society (Stratham), Stratham Library window restoration and masonry repointing: $7,500
- Sunapee Heritage Alliance (Sunapee), The Livery exterior painting: $5,750
- Sutton Historical Society (Sutton), District 9 Schoolhouse exterior painting and window restoration: $10,000
The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance strengthens communities and stimulates local economies by encouraging the protection and revival of historic buildings and places.
For more information, visit www.nhpreservation.org.
The 1772 Foundation was named in honor of its first restoration project, Liberty Hall in Union, NJ, which was built in 1772 and is the ancestral home of the Livingston and Kean families. The late Stewart B. Kean was the original benefactor of The 1772 Foundation. The 1772 Foundation works to ensure the safe passage of our historic buildings and farmland to future generations. More information about The 1772 Foundation may be found at www.1772foundation.org.
Detailed Descriptions of the grant recipients are listed below in alphabetical order by town:
Antrim Grange No. 98 (1785/1832)
This beloved community gathering space has been closed for several years because of structural concerns. The building is the second floor of a previous one and it was constructed without adequate sills or foundation. A 2021 N.H. Preservation Alliance building assessment prioritized the failed sills and needed foundation repairs as immediate concerns. This $10,000 grant will complete the Grange’s fundraising for this first-phase project and allow the much-needed work to be completed this summer. Other work scheduled this summer includes roof replacement supported by a matching grant from the N.H. Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP). Granges, a symbol of progressive rural principles and vibrant civic life, are an endangered property type in New Hampshire and were named to the Alliance’s Seven to Save list in 2013.
“The Antrim Grange Hall is an example of the evolution from early settlement construction to modern day rehabilitation. The efforts of our members to preserve this historic meeting space serve as an important example to the community and Granges everywhere that with responsible stewardship, bold action, and idealistic visioning we can make a lasting contribution to society,” noted Beth Merrill, Committee Chair, Antrim Grange Rehabilitation Project.
Bethlehem, Colonial Theatre (1914)
The Colonial Theatre was built in 1914 in Bethlehem (known at the time as a premier summer destination for its clean air) and is considered the oldest operating movie theater in the United States. This $10,000 grant to the Friends of the Colonial Theatre will help fund a stand-alone roof replacement project that will preserve this historic theater. Historic preservation is one of three goals of the Friends’ strategic plan. Since the Friends group formed in 2000 and secured a lease to save the building, they have raised over $1.5 million, purchased the building, and incrementally carried out the theater’s full restoration. Today the theater is an economic driver on Main Street and a significant architectural link to the history of motion pictures and the region’s era of grand hotels.
“We are so thankful for the partnership of the N.H. Preservation Alliance and The 1772 Foundation. Their generous support is critical in helping The Colonial Theatre maintain the thoughtful up-keep of our historic building and enables The Colonial to leave a lasting legacy of cultural enrichment and historic preservation in our community,” said Christine Etter, Executive Director, Friends of the Colonial Theatre.
Canterbury Shaker Village Dwelling House (1793 and later)
This $5,000 grant will help Canterbury Shaker Village, a National Historic Landmark, meet the required match of their 2022 LCHIP grant to replace the failing wood shingled roof of the four-story Dwelling House. The Dwelling House is the largest building on the museum campus and the only Shaker dwelling that includes portions of its original 18th century structure. This roof project was identified as a top priority in a Village-wide initiative to identify and address the needs of all 25 surviving Shaker buildings, guided by a 2021 building assessment report.
“The Dwelling House is one of the most important buildings in the entire state of New Hampshire, and contains a Chapel, a Paul Revere family bell, and library,” said Leslie Nolan, executive director of the Village. “It is also where the Shakers ate and slept, so caring for this structure is a critical step to preserving the legacy of the Canterbury Shakers themselves.”
Woman’s Club of Concord, Chamberlin House (1886)
The Woman’s Club of Concord will use this $9,000 grant toward a stand-alone slate roof repair project at their National Register-listed Queen Anne property. This much needed work was prioritized after a roof leak was identified and temporarily repaired in the spring of 2022. The funding will help match an LCHIP grant for roof work, complementing other rehabilitation efforts that have been systematically completed since 2014. The building hosts a range of meetings and functions and provides transitional housing for three women, thus supporting the club’s mission of service to the women of the community.
“Preserving the character of Chamberlin House—the 1886 Queen Anne style home of the Woman’s Club of Concord—has been our mission since 1919 when we became its steward. This grant allows us to complete the much-needed slate roof rehabilitation project as well as to preserve the beauty of Chamberlin House to provide meeting space and safe housing for the women in transition who call it home.” Woman’s Club of Concord Board
Danbury Historical Society, North Road Schoolhouse (c. 1853)
The North Road Schoolhouse is the last remaining of ten one-room schoolhouses that once stood in the tiny rural community of Danbury. In 2000, the Danbury Historical Society led an effort to purchase the deteriorated 1853 building from private owners, restore it, and maintain it as their museum and headquarters. Over the next five years, the Society tackled the full rehabilitation of the building. These grant funds of $4,250 will go toward an asphalt roof replacement. Local fundraising, volunteer efforts and donated materials will keep the projects costs manageable for this small historical society.
Bonnie Fletcher, president of the Danbury Historical Society, noted that “our historical society is truly grateful to the N.H. Preservation Alliance and The 1772 Foundation for this grant to help support our much-needed roof replacement project. This schoolhouse is an important community asset which hosts local events and houses our Danbury History Museum.”
Gilsum Historical Society, Wright’s Blacksmith Shop (1890)
This State Register-listed blacksmith shop is a rare extant building type in New Hampshire. This $7,500 grant to the Gilsum Historical Society will help fund urgent repairs to the building’s foundation and sills, and to replace the failing roof. These repairs were listed as the highest priority needs in the 2022 building assessment funded in part by the N.H. Preservation Alliance. The deed of gift from the granddaughter of Phineas Wright (builder and occupant of the shop from 1890 – 1950) to the Gilsum Historical Society requires this Village District building to be open to the public to interpret the history of the blacksmith trade in town.
“The Wright Blacksmith Shop is furnished with all the tools and equipment that were used from 1890 – 1952. We are eager to begin repairs to revive this building and serve the community,” said David Dauphin, President, Gilsum Historical Society.
Historic Harrisville, Inc., Abel Twitchell House (1774)
The Abel Twitchell House, home of Harrisville’s first settler, is the oldest house and the only surviving 18th century structure in Harrisville village. The house is of “premier significance” to the National Historic Landmark-designated Harrisville Village District. It is also part of Historic Harrisville’s current affordable housing program. Its two units of rental housing help ensure that people who work in Harrisville can afford to live there. This $8,500 grant will help support roof replacement — a high priority of phase one of a two-phase project addressing recurring moisture issues negatively affecting the building.
“This grant will enable us to complete much-needed work to replace the roof, preserving both the building and its low rent as part of our affordable housing program. We greatly appreciate the financial support for this critical need from the N.H. Preservation Alliance and The 1772 Foundation,” said Erin Hammerstedt, Executive Director.
Haverhill Library Association (1840)
The Haverhill Library, a highly significant former county administrative and records building, is in the Haverhill Corner National Register historic district and has been the home of the Haverhill Library Association since 1916. The original slate roof is in poor condition and after careful analysis, was determined to need complete replacement as part of this two-phase rehabilitation project. This $7500 grant will help match a 2022 LCHIP grant, local foundation grants and reserves on hand to fund the new slate roof. A previous LCHIP grant helped fund Phase 1 work that addressed first floor framing and foundation issues to support continued library use.
Joe Kirkpatrick, President of the Haverhill Library Association, noted that “this grant will help us with our historic slate roof. The Haverhill Library Association, owners of this unique 1840 Federal-style building, appreciate the Preservation Alliance’s previous advice and assistance that included a grant for a building conditions assessment. That led to a well-grounded rehabilitation plan that included careful analysis of options, and now this grant for roof replacement. The Alliance is a wonderful resource for New Hampshire communities faced with aging historic buildings.”
Haverhill Heritage, Wentworth-Brown House (c. 1805)
Haverhill Heritage, Inc. (HHI) acquired this 195’ connected farmstead adjacent to the town common to preserve and revive an underutilized landmark. The house is a contributing structure in the Haverhill Corner National Register Historic District and was listed on the N.H. Preservation Alliance’s Seven to Save in 2018. This $7,500 grant will fund rehabilitation of the front porch on the main house. A related LCHIP grant supports continued work on the connector barn and horse barn. HHI’s incremental improvements funded by prior N.H. Preservation Alliance/1772 Foundation grants have included foundation and sill repairs and exterior painting.
According to Elizabeth L. Bayne, President, Haverhill Heritage, Inc., “The Wentworth-Brown House is unique and special, not only for its complex evolution and many intact historic details, but as a major character-defining element of the historic Haverhill Common. Primary historic details include its mostly symmetrical, massive, 195-foot long, front-facing façade, cantilevered elliptical staircase and federal style entry-way thought to be the work of an early master joiner, kitchen hearth with Rumford roaster and Bradford bake oven, and original hardware and fireplace surrounds. With this grant, Haverhill Heritage Inc. will mostly complete this phase of the exterior rehabilitation.”
Hill Center Church (1800)
This 1800 meetinghouse, listed to Seven to Save in 2022, is owned and stewarded by Hill Center Church, a recently formed non-profit friends group dedicated to the preservation of this local landmark and continuing use of the space for community programs and events. A Preservation Alliance-funded building assessment noted that the eight 20-over-20 windows are in fair to poor condition, with 45 broken, cracked, or missing panes; this $10,000 grant will help fund their restoration. Two other projects, repairs to the belltower and exterior painting with trim repair, will dovetail with this work to complete the planned exterior preservation of this National-Register listed church.
Frank Razzaboni, trustee of the Hill Center Church, noted that “the Hill Center Church is the oldest public structure in the town of Hill. There are a few homes that date from the same period but there is no public access to them. It is the hope of the trustees to make the church building available to the entire local community. Preserving this structure preserves local history, and the Preservation Alliance/1772 grant helps make this possible.”
Lancaster Historical Society, Wilder-Holton House (1780)
The Historical Society is taking the first step in restoring this National Register-listed building by repairing the severely compromised sills of their 1780 house museum. The building was listed to the N.H. Preservation Alliance’s Seven to Save in 2021, and a Preservation Alliance building assessment identified the sills as a top priority. This $5,000 grant, along with matching funds raised at the society’s summer flea market and other retail sales, will support sill replacement. The building assessment also identified future projects including window restoration that will be incrementally accomplished to fully restore this historic house and museum, the oldest structure in the North Country town of 3,100 people.
“The Wilder-Holton House means so much to the people of Lancaster. Built in 1780 by Jonas Wilder, is now a museum whose collections all relate to the history of Lancaster. Just as important is the building, a historic treasure itself and deserving of restoration. “We are happy to begin this process with thanks to the people of Lancaster and a grant from the 1772 Foundation via the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance,” said Sharon Chamberlain, secretary of the Lancaster Historical Society.
Lisbon, AHEAD Affordable Housing, Education & Development (1922)
The mission of AHEAD (Affordable Housing Education and Development, Inc.) is to create pathways to safe, affordable housing which strengthens and revitalizes rural communities. The former Lisbon Inn, a National Register-listed structure, was built in 1922 after two prior hotels burned on this site. The building is architecturally significant and is a key component in Lisbon’s central business district. AHEAD adapted it to create nineteen units of low-income, age-restricted housing. This $10,000 grant will help fund the stand-alone project to repaint the exterior wood clapboards and trim to help preserve the architectural features and protect the landmark from moisture and salt damage due to its proximity to the road.
“Revitalizing communities is part of AHEAD’s mission for the North Country. Partnering with the N.H. Preservation Alliance and The 1772 Foundation allows us to preserve the historic beauty of downtown icons such as the Lisbon Inn while also providing affordable housing to those who need it,” said Harrison Kanzler, Executive Director, Affordable Housing Education & Development (AHEAD).
Stewartstown, Poore Family Farmhouse (c. 1830)
The Poore Family Foundation is dedicated to conserving and sharing the traditional values and way of life of settlers in the northernmost part of the state. Their c. 1830 historic farmstead museum portrays the Poore family’s rural life from the 1830s to the 1980s. This $7,500 grant will address long-standing problems with the sills of the farmhouse and carriage shed, and restoration of its front porch. High school carpentry students will work with a seasoned contractor and educator this summer on the project. In addition, volunteer labor and donated materials will offset project costs.
“Many people consider the Poore Family Homestead Museum to be one of the most important historic landmarks in northern New Hampshire. It serves as a significant historical and cultural North Country destination. We deeply appreciate this grant assistance,” said Richard Johnsen, Executive Director of the Poore Family Foundation.
Stratham Historical Society (1912)
The Stratham Historical Society has occupied and maintained this National Register-listed former library building since 1990 under a lease agreement with the Town. The Library was presented to the community as the George A. and Emma B. Wiggin Public Library on opening day in 1912, funded by a bequest to the town from local philanthropist Emma B. Wiggin in honor of her late husband. This $7,500 grant will support window restoration and masonry repointing and repairs. It is phase one of a three phase multi-year rehabilitation project. The Society plans to celebrate the 30th year on the National Register after phase one work is completed this fall.
Skip Stearns, Finance Chair of the Stratham Historical Society, noted that “the Stratham Historical Society deeply appreciates this grant from the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance and The 1772 Foundation. As keepers of a unique building that proudly appears on the National Register of Historic Places, we recognize our duty to showcase this historic landmark that is regarded by many as the face of Stratham.”
Sunapee, The Livery (1890)
A former livery/stable for a large hotel that served summer guests traveling across Lake Sunapee by steamboat, the building was listed to Seven to Save in 2008. The Sunapee Heritage Alliance was formed in 2015 to save and rehabilitate The Livery building for community use, taking over the imposing structure from the town to facilitate its preservation and reuse. After they completed major structural work in 2021, the Livery was opened to the public with enthusiastically supported music, art and other community events. This $5,750 grant will support scraping, priming and painting of the river and bridge-facing wall of the Livery’s Carriage Shed. It will also be used to help paint the frames of various window openings to protect them until a full restoration of the stable level can be accomplished.
“The Livery in Sunapee Harbor is the last structure left from the bygone days of steamships and Grand Hotels on Lake Sunapee. This grant from the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance/The 1772 Foundation will visibly advance the restoration progress made to date and expand the ever growing number of visitors and local event attendees who have become part of The Livery experience and its continued history,” said Carol Wallace, Chair, Sunapee Heritage Alliance.
Sutton Historical Society, District 9 South Village Schoolhouse (1863)
The District 9 South Village Schoolhouse is the sole remaining unaltered one-story schoolhouse of the fifteen that once served the rural town of Sutton. The Sutton Historical Society is embarking on a full renovation of the building this summer. This $10,000 grant will fund painting the exterior of the schoolhouse, restoring its original white color, and restoring ten 6/6 windows and two six-pane fixed windows. Additional work supported in part by a 2022 LCHIP matching grant and other donors will include roof replacement, sill and foundation repair, site work to mitigate moisture, and interior wall and ceiling repairs. Once completed, the building will be re-opened to the public and used for educational programs and events.
“The Sutton Historical Society is very grateful to the N.H. Preservation Alliance and the 1772 Foundation for their financial assistance in our efforts to restore an important building in the center of the historic South Sutton Village. With this help, our one-room South Village Schoolhouse will continue to live on as a reminder of how our schools and education system have evolved over the past 100-plus years,” said Judy Lowe, president of the Sutton Historical Society.