2019's Seven to Save List Announced

The list features a new group of endangered historic structures, from top left to right: Willing Workers Hall in Warren, Gothic Cottage on the Chesterfield common, First Baptist Church in Gilmanton, Ossipee Depot, Marion Blodgett Museum in Stratford, former home of poets Donald Hall and Jane Kenyon, and general stores statewide.

The list features a new group of endangered historic structures, from top left to right: Willing Workers Hall in Warren, Gothic Cottage on the Chesterfield common, First Baptist Church in Gilmanton, Ossipee Depot, Marion Blodgett Museum in Stratford, former home of poets Donald Hall and Jane Kenyon, and general stores statewide.

The Blazing Star Grange Hall in Danbury was at capacity Tuesday night as the newest Seven to Save properties were revealed. “We need these places to survive and thrive,” said Jennifer Goodman, executive director of the Preservation Alliance, “These landmarks are the hearts and souls of our daily life.”

The resources listed this year varied from small town landmarks facing decades of deferred maintenance to unique properties on the market to general stores statewide. Of the individual properties listed, six of New Hampshire’s ten counties are represented, in towns with populations from 680 to 4,300.

Seven to Save designation will help shine a light on these properties, as well as provide special services from the Preservation Alliance. In the past, Seven to Save properties have benefited from the statewide media attention, receiving “bonus points” on LCHIP grant applications, getting special services like listing to the NH State Register of Historic Places, and/or planning studies.

This year’s list brought the total number of listees to 99. Of the previous listees, about half are considered safe, several have been lost, and many are stalled or in the process of rehabilitation.

This year’s list includes:

Marion Blodgett Museum, Stratford

Originally built in 1850 as a Greek and Gothic Revival meetinghouse, this church continues to define the Stratford Hollow village. The Cohos Historical Society took on the building when the congregation folded in 2001. Short-term, it needs to raise $50,000 for structural work, a new roof, storm windows and exterior painting. Long term, it will need $250,000 in restoration work so that it can once again become a gathering spot for this North Country town. 

Glencliff Willing Workers Society Hall, Warren

This small, early 20th century social hall in the village of Glencliff serves as headquarters for an organization that does good deeds for neighbors in need. The century-old organization continues to use the hall as it was intended: for card games, dances, holiday parties, and suppers. The group needs a boost to balance a long list of maintenance needs with their charitable mission, however.

Eagle Pond Farm, Wilmot

The farm buildings and its acres of fields and forest that stretch from the foothills of Ragged Mountain to the shores of Eagle Pond inspired U.S. poet laureate Donald Hall and his wife, poet Jane Kenyon. Support for the Don and Jane Project’s sustainable plan is needed to preserve the house/barn/farm as both local and national landmark and provide a place where established writers can be in residence and do their work.

Marsh House (former Chesterfield Town Offices), Chesterfield

Built in the 1850s, this high style Gothic Cottage sits on the common of Chesterfield and for decades served as the town offices. Vacant since 2007, local stakeholders are eager for new investment and a use that will add vibrancy to the village.

Lower Gilmanton Baptist Church, Gilmanton

A local group of community advocates hopes to build on their success with a nearby one-room schoolhouse as they prepare to tackle major structural deficiencies in this landmark building, one of the Lakes Region’s best preserved Greek Revival churches.

Ossipee Depot

This 1871 landmark needs a preservation buyer. Historically, it was part of the development of recreation and business markets throughout the Lakes Region - and with the right buyer - could once again add vibrancy to the Ossipee area. 

General Stores, Statewide

A village staple for the majority of New Hampshire towns, the venerable general store has struggled in the past decade to compete with slimmer margins and creeping costs of gas pumps, kitchen equipment, and property taxes. In the past few years, stores in Brookline, Francestown, Hill, Danbury, Cornish, Bath, Grafton, and West Canaan have closed. Some have re-opened, others may re-open, but several remain closed.