“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
The Stone House Tavern Update: Fall 2019
James Gavin, a renown architectural historian and preservationist has documented the unique and remarkable features of the Stone House Tavern. This special report titled "Report on the Pierce Tavern" can be read at the CHS building. Although this project is and will continue to be a challenge, this report outlines why it was so important.
We are now working on Phase 1 of the restoration and preservation project. It involves securing the building from the outside elements. Bricks have fallen from the chimneys and the slate roof needs work. Doors and windows also need restoration. To fund this project, CHS has applied for another LCHIP grant. This time it is in the amount of $310,595 of which CHS must match half. This amount will be secured from other grants and private donations. We will not know if the grant will be awarded in full, or part, or at all, until December.
CHS has recieved grants from other foundations. For example a $1000 grant was awarded from Keene's "More Than a Thrift Store". Research is presently being done on other possible grants and several have been applied for.
There has been some landscaping done. Beside normal maintenance, shurbbery has been removed, windows cleaned, and sadly trees removed. The Department of Transportation has removed two large maples from the RT 63 side of the property and CHS has removed one maple for the east side. We will miss their color, but they were in poor health and their stability was in question. Unfortunately, two large limbs almost hit the building during this summer's storms. Safety was the main issue.
The inside of the building has been cleaned, some window covering added, and a few lovely donations are now lovingly placed. However, it still looks like it could be at least two years, if not more, before the realization of our dream of opening a museum will happen. Please keep your fingers crossed, and if possible, send in any donation towards this project.
In December 2018, CHS received a $10,000 grant from the New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP). This is a matching grant, meaning CHS must match it dollar for dollar. It was granted for purpose of creating a preservation planning study for the Stone House Tavern Museum. This study will provide a road map to guide CHS in identifying and assessing the building's preservation needs and priorities.
Upon receipt of the grant, CHS immediately requested bids from several historic preservations professionals. We awarded the contract to Weller & Michal Architects Inc. (Harrisville, NH) who has completed the Historic Structure Report (HSR). Now, we are taking the HSR finding and prioritizing the work outlined on it. We are in the process of applying for another LCHIP grant to help fund the projects. Also, we are in the process of applying to have the building placed on the National Register of Historic Places. We have already successfully had it placed on the New Hampshire Register of Historic Places.
The largest stumbling block to opening a museum is meeting building codes and ADA requirements (while preserving to the maximum extent the historic character of the building). Working toward meeting these requirements is what the Stone House Committee is currently doing! In addition, we have been looking ahead to future programing. With a grant from the NH Charitable Foundation, we have been able to purchase laptop computers, a projector, screen and speakers. One of the issues this will solve is enabling visitors who can't climb stairs to view the upper floors via an electronic "tour".
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.
The future of the Stone House Tavern Museum is ever present on our minds. We are always thinking of new educational programs and the way in which we can work with other local historical sites to establish cooperative programming. We hope to provide visitors with a variety of historical displays. By providing guided tours, we hope they will come to understand how some families lived in 1831, and how important the tavern was for the traveling public.
Because of the generosity of many donors, CHS bought the Stone House in April 2018. We have added business sponsors in recent months: Ames Performance, More Than a Thrift Store, Pat Rawson Construction, Infinity Cleaning, Wilcox Tree, Green Mountain Bovine, Guyette Fire Protection, Howard's Leather, Over the River Day Spa, and Toadstool Bookstore. Our thanks to all our donors.
With continued support from the community, we are confident that we can accomplish these short and long term goals. 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!
For More Information about Ames: http://amesperf.com/