Province Road Meeting House
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Belmont Celebrates New Hampshire History Week - 2015
October 19-25, 2015 - Preserving Belmont history is front and center October 19-25 as citizens, Belmont Elementary School, and the Town’s Public Library lead the fifth commemoration of New Hampshire History Week. Stories of landmarks and legacy will be shared community-wide, at indoor and outdoor locations, as special places and people are recognized in classrooms, public meetings, and historic buildings.
The community partnership launches free programs Monday, and all Belmont residents, neighbors, and friends are welcome. Week-long activities start with morning announcements at Belmont Elementary. Students from Mrs. Vicki Donovan’s fourth grade classes will read and report "Historical Belmont Minutes” offering a few facts about important Village buildings and places.
Also on Monday, the 1928 Main Street Library building, distinguished by its listing on the National Register of Historic Places, opens an exhibit of archives treasures, not usually displayed due to limited space. For many residents, local research starts at the library and has been fostered by director Eileen Gilbert and her staff, with updated resources including genealogical software.
The 1908 Village Bandstand will be honored on Monday, October 19 at 4:30 p.m. by a visit and brief program with State Senator Jeanie Forrester, who serves on the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) board of directors as a Legislative member, and Jennifer Goodman, executive director of the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance (NHPA). The NHPA recognized the restoration effort, begun in October 2013, with the prestigious Elizabeth Durfee Hengen Preservation Achievement Award this May.
More recognition follows in the Corner Meeting House at 5:30 p.m. when the Board of Selectmen announce 2015 Community Heritage Award recipients. The award cites exemplary residents and quality of life improvements, and has been presented with the Heritage Commission since 2011.
The Belmont Historical Society, founded in 1969, holds its annual meeting on Tuesday evening in the Belmont Mill at 7:00 p.m. and encourages current, former, and new members to attend. The organization welcomes all to a Friday "Open House” at the 1792 Province Road Meeting House, deeded to the Society in 1981, with recently completed major stabilization and exterior restoration which were funded by members, citizens, and two LCHIP grants. Hours are 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon while a fall spruce-up of the building is underway by volunteers and the Belknap County Restorative Justice Program, with further help from the Belknap County Conservation District.
A highlight of the effort is a Village Walking Tour on Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. led by preservation advocate and local history author, Wallace Rhodes. The presentation starts at the Belmont Public Library, distinguished for its architecture in 1985 by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior with listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Besides its façade, now undergoing a major masonry restoration, the building has notable and original furnishings including a Grandfather clock repaired and rehabilitated by local businessman Dennis Carignan, with help from local artist Pauline Murphy.
Photo IDs: The 1792 Province Road Meeting House and 1908 Village Bandstand both completed major restoration and rehabilitation efforts supported by the community and three matching challenge grants from the Land and Community Heritage Investment Project (LCHIP). Both sites host programs during NH History Week, October 19-25. Photos: Linda Frawley
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