HAMPSTEAD – Eagle Scout John Martin, a Pinkerton Academy senior, created an inventory of the gravestones at the Hampstead Center Cemetery for his Eagle Project and produced three copies of the directory, one for the Historical Society, one for Town Hall, and one for the Hampstead Public Library. In addition, an electronic version will be made available to the state.
The directory makes it much easier for people to locate graves at Center Cemetery. Martin brought the completed directory to the Historic District Heritage Commission on Wednesday, March 2, and Vice Chairman Rob Morris said the copy will be delivered to Town Hall by member and selectwoman Priscilla Lindquist. It will be put in a fireproof cabinet along with the old, handwritten information about the town’s cemetery gravestones for anyone seeking information regarding the cemetery.
Morris said the book would be invaluable to people in years to come as the gravestones become unreadable.
Martin said RAM Printing of Hampstead gave him a discount for the digital pictures he took of the gravestones transcribed to the pages of the book.
Martin, along with Christian Sullivan, whose Eagle project was improving Veterans Memorial Park, and Eric Ihloff, whose Eagle Project was producing trail markers for the Pinkerton Academy Cross Country Trail, will share an Eagle Court of Honor on April 3.
In other business:
- The commission discussed the progress for implementing a new heating and air conditioning system for the Historical Museum. Member Chip Hastings said the basement has been worked on and much of the junk removed, and the ceiling stripped in preparation. He noted that there are some historical books and documents that need to be checked to see if they should be saved.
Hastings said Anthony Iuele had offered a bid of $1,285 for the electrical work that must be done for the new HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system installation. Hastings checked with Code Enforcement Officer Kris Emerson on who would inspect Iuele’s work, as he is the official town electrical inspector, and said Emerson told him he would take care of that.
The commission approved the bid and agreed to pay the bill when submitted. Hastings also said Granite State Plumbing and Heating has made two visits to the building in preparation for the installation and has a tentative implementation date at the end of April or the beginning of May. Hastings will serve as Clerk of the Works for the project.
- Lindquist said there is an opening for appointing the town’s cleaning staffer to take care of the Old Meeting House. The commission briefly discussed appointing Lisa Capone to take over cleaning that building.
“She does a super job cleaning the Historical Museum building,” said Morris. The commission approved her appointment unanimously.
- Reservations for use of the Old Meeting House will now be taken care of through the Selectmen’s Office.
- Hastings said having someone going into the building on a regular basis would go a long way to avoiding the frozen pipe issue that cropped up again this winter.
- The commission approved a request from Morris to look into finding someone to repair the windows at the Old Meeting House, which are not originals.
- The Commission will purchase three Scenic Byway signs for the town. Morris said he thinks they cost $35 each.
Hampstead, Chester, Derry, Atkinson and Auburn are participating in planning for the Scenic Byways and the Robert Frost/Old Stagecoach Scenic Byway. The towns are working together to develop a State Scenic Byway designed to highlight the heritage of the five communities. The proposed Scenic Byway is composed of two connected segments: the Old Stagecoach Byway following Route 121, the original stagecoach route between Boston and Concord; and the Robert Frost Byway, winding through Derry and highlighting the connection of poet Robert Frost to the community.
The commission members agreed to place two of the signs back to back in the center of town and perhaps the third in the Drew Road area. Morris said work is underway to get a Web site in place to promote the Byway.