Northern Pass Appeal Denied by NH Supreme Court

One of the biggest topics of conversation in New Hampshire over the last several years centers around the proposed Northern Pass project. By now, you’ve probably heard the news of the N.H. State Supreme Court's affirmation of the N.H. Site Evaluation Committee's denial of the Northern Pass project. The Preservation Alliance advocated for historic resources for over seven years during the project's development and we are proud of the long-term outcomes.

We are very excited about the growing interest by people across the state — sparked by Northern Pass advocacy — to identify, document, steward and celebrate cultural landscapes. Scenic views, farming valleys and mill systems, recreational corridors and more are so much of what make New Hampshire look and feel like New Hampshire. More on new and big ways of thinking here. And last year’s “what we learned” piece from Jennifer Goodman (our Executive Director) and Sharee Williamson from National Trust for Historic Preservation offers local and national perspectives as well.

Here is a crowd opposing the project at a rally in downtown Plymouth during a site visit by members of the SEC. Photo: Kristen Buckley

Here is a crowd opposing the project at a rally in downtown Plymouth during a site visit by members of the SEC. Photo: Kristen Buckley

During the Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) review process, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, along with the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance and other intervenors, expressed concerns about the proposed Northern Pass project’s negative impacts to historic resources.

“The N.H. Preservation Alliance is grateful to the National Trust for Historic Preservation for its excellent assistance, and thanks people along the proposed route who shared concerns and information about individual properties as well as significant agricultural landscapes, village settings, and scenic views,” said Jennifer Goodman, executive director of the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance. “New Hampshire not only enjoys a rich history, but also an impressive commitment to civic responsibility and environmental stewardship.”

The National Trust also raised strenuous objections during the Department of Energy’s federal permitting process, citing the harm that the project would cause to New Hampshire’s cultural landscapes.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has been advocating for the protection of this significant landscape since 2011 and designated the site a National Treasure in 2015.

Hope for St. Joseph's Church in Laconia

The Diocese has called off a sale that involved the demolition of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in downtown Laconia.


When news hit that the recently-merged parish would have to demolish the 1929 building on Church Street in order to meet the needs of a purchase and sale agreement, church members and city residents grew alarmed. Community members sought advice from the Preservation Alliance, held meetings, wrote letters to the Diocese and the Vatican, and proposed the creation of a local historic district to halt demolition.

On May 30, the NH Preservation Alliance, Tom Mayes from the National Trust, and Father Georges de Laires discussed the matter on an episode of NHPR’s The Exchange.

Unfortunately, the demolition permit was filed before any district could be created and the only real tools the Heritage Commission could wield were public pressure and a demolition delay of 30 days.

Public pressure may have paid off.

Though the demolition permit has not yet been pulled, the Diocese’s decision to renegotiate the purchase and sale agreement is a promising start. Future hurdles will include how best to reuse St. Joseph’s. The Catholic Church imposes limitations on uses for former places or worship, but we’re fortunate to have several examples of reuse here in New Hampshire, including:

-St. Keiran’s in Berlin now serves as a community center for the arts

-St. Anne’s in Manchester provides after-school programs (side note: this property will soon be for sale after the merger between NHIA and New England College)

-Sacred Heart in Concord has been converted into beautiful condominiums for ten families

For more information about developing news out of Laconia and St. Joseph’s Church, read The Laconia Daily Sun article here.

For an editorial from the Concord Monitor, click here.

Summer’s Most Unwelcome Guests

And What To Do About Them

Carpenter ants won’t eat the wood in your house, but instead they will  burrow though it to make a cozy nest for themselves and their relatives.

Carpenter ants won’t eat the wood in your house, but instead they will burrow though it to make a cozy nest for themselves and their relatives.

Summertime is often a time to welcome friends and family to your home, but there are some visitors we would rather not host! As warm temperatures arrive, the resident mice tend to leave for greener pastures, but wood-boring insects now become the nuisance pests for old house and barn owners.  Now is the time to assess your buildings for these unwelcome guests and take the necessary steps to eradicate them if they are found.

Powderpost beetles also burrow through wood, leaving thousands of tiny telltale holes for you.

Powderpost beetles also burrow through wood, leaving thousands of tiny telltale holes for you.

A homeowner can do this by close examination of the basement, attic, house exterior and barn, looking for fine saw dust, mud tunnels and other signs of destructive pests. Carpenter bees, destructive wood boring  insects that resemble bumble bees,  can often be found by looking for mustard-colored droppings  on the clapboards of your house just under the half-inch or so round holes they have bored in your eaves. Fine saw dust can also be found under the entrance holes and is an easy way to find these destructive bees. These holes are the entrance to the tunnels they have created to house their brood.

Termites live to eat wood and are the most destructive of these wood-boring insects.

Termites live to eat wood and are the most destructive of these wood-boring insects.

Carpenter ants can also be found by looking for sawdust in crawlspaces, basements and other damp spaces. These ants are attracted to moist areas in your building's frame to build their nests. Like carpenter bees, carpenter ants do not eat the wood, but they are very destructive as they burrow through it to make their nests.

Powderpost beetles can also cause irreplaceable damage to wood members of your house or barn. Their activity can be identified by fresh piles of fine powder-like frass beneath very small (pin- to pencil-tip size) holes  produced by the adults burrowing out of the wood, or you may hear an actual ticking sound made by the larvae eating the wood. The adult beetles do very little damage to the wood.

Most destructive of them all are termites because they do eat the wood; their workers will eat through plaster, foam, plastic or asphalt to get to the tasty wood.  While some pests can easily be controlled by homeowners, termites might be best handled by a professional.

The links listed below can help with insect identification and methods for removal.


The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance’s 2019 Auction Exceeds Goals

The N.H. Preservation Alliance’s fifth online auction was a great success this year, exceeding  both our participation and fund-raising goals. The auction proceeds support the restoration, rehabilitation and stewardship of our Seven to Save properties and other old farms, buildings and barns around the state.

More than 100 people from New Hampshire and 13 other states participated in this year’s auction. The auction items ranged from insider tours of special homes and gardens to quick getaways around New Hampshire, skiing and golf packages, carriage rides, workshops and expert consultations and services.

The Preservation Alliance would like to thank all the bidders and donors for their enthusiastic participation and generous support. Calls for assistance continue to rise each year as property owners, investors and community leaders look for creative solutions for the preservation of the irreplaceable landmarks that are so critical to New Hampshire’s communities and economy.

This 2019 auction’s great variety of quality experiences, goods and services were donated by generous individuals, businesses and organizations around the state who care about and wish to protect New Hampshire’s distinctive history and heritage.

The generous donors to 2019 Preservation Alliance Auction include: Aldworth Manor, Ann Henderson, Badger Balm, Bedford Village Inn, Bensonwood, Blasty Bough Brewery, Blue Moon Evolution, Boston Harbor Hotel, Camp Birch Hill, Canterbury Shaker Village, Capitol Center For The Arts, Castle In The Clouds, Children's Museum, Chuckster's, Colonial Theater Group, Common Man, Cranmore Mountain Resort, Errol Heritage Committee, Fifield Building Restoration & Relocation LLC, Frederick's Pastries, The Don and Jane Project, Fuller Gardens, Gibson's Bookstore, Harrisville Designs, Historic Windsor, Inc.-The Preservation Education Institute, Horse & Hound Inn, Hotel Concord, Ian Blackman Restoration & Preservation, King Arthur Flour, Landmark Trust, League of NH Craftsmen, Lindt & Sprungli (USA) Inc., Lynne Emerson Monroe/Preservation Company, Manchester Historical Association, Meghan Gross, Patricia Meyers, Moffatt-Ladd House & Garden, Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources, New London Barn Playhouse, NH Division of Parks and Recreation, Omni Mount Washington Resort, Ould Colony Artisans, Pat's Peak Ski Area, Scott Patten Photography, Peabody Essex Museum, Pickity Place, Portsmouth Harbor Cruise, Portsmouth Historical Society, Mary Lyn Ray, Rolling Green Nursery, Rye Airfield  Skate Park & BMX, Southeast Land Trust of NH, Squam Lakes Science Center, Stave Puzzles, Inc., Sunrise Woodworks, Swan Boats Boston Public Garden, Tamworth Distilling, Thayers Inn, The Carriage Barn, The Fells, The Gundalow Company, The Macdowell Colony, The Oar House. Vintage Kitchens, LLC and Yankee Publishing Co.     

The Preservation Alliance supports and encourages the revitalization and protection of historic buildings and places, which strengthens local communities and economies.

 To become a member, make a donation, or learn more about the Preservation Alliance, visit