HAMPSTEAD – The members of the Historic District Heritage Commission reviewed the budgets for the Historical Museum, which is the former library building, and for the Old Meeting House.
Repairs to the Old Meeting House are mostly complete, but a need remains for maintenance. Three sides of the exterior of the Museum are still to be painted and repairs to gutters and possibly to windows must be made. Some windows at the Old Meeting House need work as well.
Members at the Nov. 5 meeting complimented member Chip Hastings on the new handrail he made and installed on the newly restored front steps of the Museum.
The commission noted that both the heat and electricity budget lines for the Old Meeting House are already overspent.
The members decided to adjust line amounts for the Museum while holding the bottom line of $12,700 level funded. For the Old Meeting House they decided to increase both the heat and electricity lines by $1,000 and reduce the repair and maintenance line by $1,000, leading to an overall increase in that budget of $1,000. This takes the budget for the two Historic Commission buildings to $21,900, up $1,000 from last year.
In other business:
• Member John Kelley said there has been no progress on the New Hampshire State Highway Historical Marker for the Old Meeting House. He said the last correspondence said the state would be in touch when a decision on the language submitted for the sign had been made.
• Kelley reported that Sean Kelley’s Eagle Scout project, making and installing a new Welcome to Hampstead sign, was nearing completion. The sign has been built and the lettering is in progress. Sean has cleaned the area where the sign is to be located, on Stage Road between the Conservation parking lot and the Town Garage, and has removed poison ivy and underbrush. Road Agent Jon Worthen picked up and disposed of the brush.
Kelley said Sean had been able to raise funds for the sign and is still working on getting other funds.
• The commission discussed the possibility of doing an inventory of its buildings. Co-Chairman Rob Morris thought it a good idea and Hastings agreed, as did Priscilla Lindquist.
Members suggested buying a three-ring binder for each of the two buildings, and information on their size, heat, electricity, plumbing and any other pertinent details would be recorded, as well as what repairs and maintenance had been done over a 20-year period. When completed it would provide information as to the probability of when work would be needed in the future and thus could result in better planning.
After a discussion the commission decided to start this project. Lindquist noted that a copy of the property card for each building could be added to the binder as well as any information in the Building Department files.
• Morris said getting the Center Cemetery mapped and the gravestones copied and pictures taken of each stone would be a wonderful Eagle Scout project. This was done for the West Cemetery and it should be done for the Center Cemetery, he said.
• The commission discussed the annual Hampstead Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service that is held the Sunday before Thanksgiving at 4 p.m. at the Old Meeting House. Local ministers conduct the one-hour service, sponsored by the Historic District Commission. The service has a freewill collection that benefits the Hampstead Food Pantry. Rob Morris will give a brief historical talk.
The service will be followed by light refreshments, including mulled and cold cider and doughnut holes served by Lindquist.