Chesterfield NH Historical Society
Chesterfield NH Historical Society

Stone House Tavern Museum Project

Every time we're given the opportunity to save something of historical significance — like the
Stone House Tavern — we should take it, because it's a chance to preserve a piece of our
American Story. Wishing you all success with this project.”
KEN BURNS

 

Stone House Tavern Museum Update

Summer 2021

 

In December 2019, the Chesterfield Historical Society (CHS) received a $95,000 grant award from the NH Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) to support the restoration of the Stone House Tavern Museum (SHTM). In March 2020, as bids were being sought, COVID began. For the past 16 months the project team has pushed forward to secure the building from the elements and complete the project in the two-year time period designated by LCHIP. Chimneys have been replaced with bricks/mortar appropriate for the time period, the slate roof was repaired, the stonework repointed and repaired as needed, the exterior doors/windows have been restored and repainted, new basement stairs were constructed, and this spring the wooden gables and exterior trim were repaired and painted. It has been a long journey, but Phase 1 is complete!

 

Phase 2 began in June with the submission of a 2021 LCHIP grant application for $147,000 and a supporting grant application to More Than a Thrift Store. Phase 1 addressed the structural integrity of the building, safety, and preservation. In Phase 2 CHS will continue historic preservation/reconstruction of the interior to bring the building up to code with a goal of opening the SHTM in 2023/24. Work will include mandated and modernization work required by the building and fire codes to open the museum to the public and to reconfigure access to the attached rental apartments. What was originally described in the historic resource report as a two-phase project is, due to escalating construction costs, now a three-phase project.

 

More particularly, Phase 2 work will include the curtain drain, resetting entrance stones after excavation, electrical upgrades, separation of apt.1 (including enlarging the ADA museum entrance doorway and renovation of porch), emergency egress from the second floor, and structural work for ADA and staff bathrooms. Professionals needed will include an architect, archaeologist, and possibly an engineer. Phase 3 will address needs after opening: finishing bathrooms, ADA compliance for first floor, and painting/cosmetic work as needed.

 

The upstairs apartment received an update over the last six weeks after the previous longtime renter moved (and will have a new renter beginning July 1). As was done with downstairs apartment last year, there was deep cleaning, painting, plumbing repair, window repair and construction of a new wall. Thank you to the volunteers and to Jim Hamlin (plumbing) for coming to our rescue. The apartment was reconfigured to a one bedroom and the additional space reclaimed to become storage for the SHTM.

The Stone Family 2020

 

To show how proud Harlan Fiske Stone II and Helen M. Galatan-Stone are of their Chesterfield roots, in October 2020 they made their third donation to the Stone House Tavern Museum Project. They have given generously towards both the purchase and renovation. This recent bequest will be used to begin the matching funds that will be needed for phase II. Phase II construction includes a second stairway between the first and second floors to meet fire code and a bathroom to meet ASA requirements. CHS applauds the philanthropy of the Stone family!

 Fall 2020 Update

 

The Covid-19 Pandemic only slowed the museum's Phase I reconstruction, which is to secure the exterior of the building.  Finally, work commensted in May.  Glenn Rosinski, a restoration mason from Brattleboro, reconstructed all four chimneys and worked on the stone exterior, especially around the foundation.  The Melsason Company repaired the slate roof and flashing.  Homestead Builders of Chesterfield did structural beam work in the attic and partially shored up the first floor.  They are contracted to complete work on the gables, trim and basement stairs.   S&S Painting will be cleaning and painting the windows throughout the winter.  They already are working on the first six.  Insulating pink Styrofoam forms are being placed in each of the removed windows to reduce heat loss. 

 

Between July 1 - August 31, the first-floor apartment was renovated. Happily, the 19th Century Beehive Oven was reclaimed.  Previously, it had been included in the apartment.  Now, a wall separates it, thus including it into the Stone House Tavern Museum section.   Also, this wall will allow the future phase II construction work not to inconvenience the first floor tenants.   The renovation was extensive including changing the apartment's flow pattern.  Property manager Vince Cummings, electrician Gary Winn, and Val and Jon Starbuck were very instrumental in making these improvements.  The new tenants moved in on September 1st to a sparkling new apartment.

 

Phase II construction is projected to cost about $450,000 - 480,000.  This will bring the building up to museum fire code and ADA compliant with a handicapped access and a bathroom.  It will also include new access to the second floor of both the upstairs' apartment and the Stone House.  This monumental task will require fund raising and submitting more grant applications.  We like to thank our past donors and hope they will continue to support this educational addition to the Chesterfield Community. 

 

2020 Phase I Construction

Working hard to create the Stone House Tavern Museum

CHS Awarded $15,000 Grant 

In February 2020 CHS received a $15,000 grant from the Putnam Foundation through the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation (NHCF).  The purpose of this award is to help meet the matching funds required by the LCHIP grant.  The CHS Board and Chesterfield Community thank the Putnam Foundation for their generosity and help in advancing the development of the Stone House Tavern Museum.  Information on the Putnum Foundation can be found at https://fconline.foundationcenter.org and the NHCF at www.nhcf.org.    

$95,000 LCHIP Grant Award

 

CHS was awarded a  2019 LCHIP (NH Land and Community Heritage Investment Program) Grant for $95,000 to support the development of the Stone House Tavern Museum.  The grant is being used to fund phase I construction that will secure the building from the elements.  As of October, the chimneys have been replaced, the slate roof repaired, stonework restored/repointed as needed, and exterior doors repaired/painted. Carpentry is being completed this fall, and windows and painting will be completed by spring 2021.  Construction began in June 2020.  As part of this award, the firm of Weller & Michael Architects, Inc. of Harrisville, NH is completing the construction plans for phase II. 

 

This is our second LCHIP grant.  Once again this is a matching grant, requiring CHS to invest an additional $95,000.  Donations are appreciated!  In 2021 we will  move to phase II of the operation.  Phase II includes bathrooms and a staircase necessary to comply with ADA and local fire regulations. Additional grants and fundraising will be necessary.

 

We want to thank all who have supported the Historical Society and our plans for the future Stone House Tavern Museum.  Every contribution will be used to create a museum in this iconic building that will share with all who enter the knowledge of Chesterfield's and the Monadnock region's places in history. 

 

We are in the process of looking for more grants to help fund this important project.  Most require matching funds.  Thus, we must continue to fundraise to keep the project alive.  Plus, to have a successful future, a Sustainability Fund must also be funded. 

 

With continued support from the community, we are confident that we can accomplish our goals in construction of Phase 1 & 2 .  If you require more information, 

e-mail us at Chesterfieldhistoricalsociety@gmail.com.

 

Below are examples of some of the unique features that make this 1831 building so special:  Vintage barkeeper's cage; Beehive stove; Ballroom; and Attic accommodations for stagecoach drivers and drovers.  Preserving the ballroom was especially significant, as the fiddler stand may be one of the last in NH.

 

The attic's five cubicles for overnight, spartan  accommodations are a rarity nationwide.  It is amazing that these small rooms still exist; the building has had 12 owners since 1831!  

 

And now, the Chesterfield Historical Society can guarantee the building's preservation.

We thank our Platinum Business Partner!

Ames Performance Engineering

For More Information about Ames:  http://amesperf.com/

 

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