Orford

Town Sells Protected Orford Ridge Home to Former Town Resident

Significant New England Historic Building to Be Revived

The historic c.1817 Rogers House, located on Main Street/Route 10 in Orford, has been protected for future generations and has a new preservation buyer, announced the Town of Orford and the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance today.

The sale concludes an essential chapter in an impressive collaboration between the Town, a citizens group, and the Preservation Alliance to protect the landmark and find a new owner committed to reviving it. The Town had taken the house, outbuildings and land due to non-payment of property taxes. The Selectboard worked closely with a local citizen initiative to protect this significant landmark with a Preservation Easement before it was sold.   The Selectboard worked swiftly, with citizen input, to get the property back on the tax rolls and preserve the integrity of the historic “Ridge” neighborhood of Orford.

The Rogers House is one of Orford's seven Ridge Houses, built in a row on the east side of Main Street between 1804 and 1838. These homes are one of the most outstanding examples of rural Federal residential architecture in the United States.  Built by local attorney John Rogers, the Rogers House has been listed since 1977 on the National Register of Historic Places as part of a recognized Historic District.  Over the past years, the property has had a series of owners, including a couple who in 1916 made extensive enlargements to the rear of the house and its gardens.

Statement from the Town: The Selectboard is pleased to have been able to preserve this important part of our Town’s history while meeting our other responsibilities. We are grateful to the many community members who offered advice, volunteered their time, and provided financial support for the easement.  “I hope that this success will inspire other communities to consider taking a similar path to preserve their historic buildings,” said Anne Duncan Cooley, Orford Selectboard.

Statement from New Owners: Jared and Elise Henningsen wish to express their gratitude to the Town of Orford for their patience and assistance during this process.  Jared has recently accepted an opportunity to work at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and they are excited to begin the planned preservation and restoration of Rogers House.

Statement from Preservation Alliance: "We are extremely pleased to assist the Town with the protection of one of its most iconic places," said Jennifer Goodman, the Preservation Alliance’s Executive Director. She noted that the Preservation Alliance is pleased with the growing interest in this useful tool.

The preservation easement is held by the N.H. Preservation Alliance, which will monitor and, as needed, enforce its terms. The easement will protect the highest-priority features while allowing for flexibility by current and future owners over time. The Preservation Alliance also holds a preservation easement on the Moses Kent Home in Lyme and other important properties around the state.

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