Marlow Historical Society Minutes - January 2008

Executive Board Meeting / Marlow Historical Society / January 15, 2008, 6:30 PM / 
(Postponed from Jan. 8 due to the weather.)

The meeting began at 6:35 PM. Maria Baril, Gen Ells, Pam Little, Loisanne Foster, Art Schmid, and Candy Wiggum were present. The Secretary’s Report was read and accepted as read. The Treasurer’s Report was studied. A question was asked about the “reimbursement donation to ‘M and HF.’ The questioned was tabled until the next meeting and the Treasurer’s Report was accepted.


Saving the Burnap House

We agreed that to persuade the owners of the Burnap House to save it, we need to have a plan for it. We reviewed our original proposal to the owners of Audio Accessories that they donate the building to MHS and we lease the building. In exchange, we would restore its outward appearance as authentically as possible with new roof, correct period siding, and paint. We discussed the feasibility of this, given our commitment to Murray Hall (the Grange), the Hearse House, and our yearly operating expenses. Although concerned about taking on yet another large commitment, we agreed that it would be a shame to let this historical building go, considering James Burnap’s importance to Marlow and his political roles. Recalling the more than $20,000 we raised to save Murray Hall and, having faith in our new Sustaining Memberships, we decided that, if given the chance, we do dare to take it on. So far, we have not received a reply to our proposal.

The immediate plan would be to stabilize the James Burnap home and make it presentable as described above. The second part would be to make it The Future Home of Marlow Historical Society with a view to obtaining grants to accomplish this, including possibly an LCHIP Grant. Candy noted that it would be best to apply for a grant for a set of Marlow buildings “to save Marlow’s historic character.” This would then include the James Burnap House.

Marlow’s 1876 Album Quilt

Loisanne explained that this bride’s album quilt is still with Kathy Harvey who is conserving it, and we have the money set aside for the work.

Cemetery Walk

Loisanne reported briefly on an workshop in Concord sponsored by the NHHC and NHHS. The workshop explained in detail how to produce a Cemetery Walk in which the walkers “meet” several of the cemetery’s permanent residents represented by actors. Claremont and Charlestown have held successful Cemetery Walks. This is a labor-intensive project with many people engaged over a period of time in research, writing monologues, planning, and rehearsing. It is not a spook walk, but a lively way of teaching local history. It should not be taken on lightly, but only with assurance of a large group of people committed to its success.

February Newsletter

In view of our decision at the last meeting to produce an MHS newsletter in February, both Pam and Loisanne brought articles to appear in the letter. No doubt Mary will have an article about the James Burnap home. We will include the 2008 calendar as well. Mary will send the material to Dave Stewart who will print it for us. Dave is a volunteer, but we will reimburse him for materials.


Marlow’s 1991 Album Quilt

Maria drew our attention to the fact that the signatures on Marlow’s 1991 album quilt are fading fast and soon will not be legible, a concern that Mary had brought up previously. We decided to ask those among the quilt signers who are still with us to re-sign over their original signatures and find a calligrapher to re-sign the others following the original lines. Pam noted that a special ink is sold in quilt shops for the purpose of such quilt signatures. Maria volunteered to make a template of the names represented as the first step to conserving the quilt. As Tracy messer noted, Marlow’s children’s children will be grateful for our efforts.

We also have a 1976 quilt embroidered with Marlow’s significant buildings and objects which seems to be doing well.

Jones Hall Maintenance

The Town had previously set aside an amount of money to have a fire alarm system installed in Jones Hall, but it seems that this is not enough to cover the cost of the alarm and its installation, so it appears that a Warrant Article is needed to raise money to defray this cost. Apparently the selectmen have at least one estimate. Also, Jones Hall is ready for a coat of paint to preserve the exterior. Gen noted that the people of Marlow have made it clear that Jones Hall should be maintained. Marlow’s Selectmen told Mary that, if she is interested, she could get estimates for these jobs and petition for Warrant Articles and the petitions should designate the cost amount. We believe that, as custodians of the Town’s buildings, the Selectmen should procure the estimates and write the Warrant Articles having to do with preserving Town buildings.

Nonetheless, in view of our commitment to maintaining Marlow’s historical character, we plan to meet with the Selectmen at their regular session on Tuesday, Jan. 22. We have several questions for them. What estimates have they already gathered for the alarm system and for the painting of Jones Hall? Are three estimates required for each? What bid process is taking place? Art suggests that, since the quality of paint makes a difference whether the paint job will last nine years or nineteen, the cost of the paint should be put in a separate Warrant Article. We will ask that this be done. Are the petitions necessary? Pam will have with her draft petitions in which only the amounts are left blank.

Membership Drive

We need two letters, one for the regular members and one for the lifetime members whom we will ask to consider becoming sustaining members. Loisanne will draft them and send them to Maria posthaste. Maria volunteered to take care of the rest, including addressing and stuffing the envelopes, work that we had traditionally done at a January Business Meeting. In fact, we decided to postpone our Business Meeting until June. (See our proposed calendar below.)

Meeting Times

The question was asked as to whether we should begin holding meetings on weekends. Our response was a unanimous no. We did, however, decide to move the Executive Board Meeting from the first Tuesday of each month to the first Thursday of each month to accommodate the present schedules of the Executive Board. The General meetings will remain the third Thursday of the month, unless otherwise announced.

2008 Calendar

Here is the MHS Calendar we hammered out after much discussion.


February 21 - 7 PM -- A Discussion of the Web Forum - Loisanne Foster - Refreshments served

March 8 - SATURDAY - TIME ?? - Meet the Candidates

April 17 -- 7 PM - New Members Reception - Refreshments served

May 15 - 7 PM - Humanities Council Program (to be arranged by Pam Little and announced later)

June 19 Business Meeting - Summer Barbecue - SOME QUESTION OF DATE, TIME AND PLACE (Odd Fellows?)

July (NO DATE YET) - Monadnock Music at the Xmas Tree Inn - (Maria volunteered to handle the food.)

August (No date selected, possibly 16th) No Time - Tour of 3 Marlow Cemeteries

September 18 - 6:30 PM -- ANNUAL MEETING - COMMUNITY SUPPER (Bring a dish.)*

October - Harvest Fest with MHS Art Show, Art Show Reception and booth

December - Christmas program with skit at Jones Hall


* In view of the fact that we do not feel ready for the full dramatic production called for in a Cemetery Walk as described in the Concord workshop Loisanne attended, we decided to compromise and invite three eighteenth century Marlow people to appear and mingle with the guests at our September Community Supper. We will ask Adam Plumb to appear as his ancestor and early Marlow settler, Aaron Huntley. We think Bruce McWilliams of Concord would do a fine job as our first settler, Solomon Mack from whom McWilliams descended. We also think Clay Bradley would do well as Ebenezer Beckwith, Marlow’s first paid Baptist minister. We need a woman represented. Perhaps someone would enjoy being Hepzibah Tubbs, ancestor of our own John Salo.

Lunch at Town Meeting

We decided that, for the time and effort required on the part of many people, this is not an effective way for us to raise funds. We noted, that since the PTA has many more people to participate, we could ask the PTA if they are interested. The Conservation Commission might wish to tackle it. In the end, we decided to bring it up with the Selectmen when we visit them and let them know the venue is vacant. Maria is willing to man an MHS table with items for sale at the Town Meeting if we decide to do that.

Liberty Elm Trees

Candy suggested that next growing season we ask people to agree to “adopt a tree,” making sure that it has plenty of water. We thank Scott Chase and David Davis for watering the trees near their homes last summer.

Maria reminds us that, when we plant the three remaining elm trees next year, we need to have huge holes, much larger than the root balls, and make sure the soil in these holes is much improved. We decided to ask Debbie Rhoades for advice on the best treatments for our elms.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 PM.

Respectfully submitted, 
Loisanne Foster