Marlow Historical Society Minutes -  March 2008

Executive Board Meeting / Marlow Historical Society / March 6, 2008 at 6:30 PM / The Chapel

Pam Little called the meeting to order at 6:35 PM. Maria Baril, Gen Ells, Loisanne Foster, Pam Little, Art Schmid, and Candy Wiggum were present. 

Loisanne Foster read the Secretary’s report which was approved as read.

We studied and approved the Treasurer’s Report. Our current balance is $3061.00, although some of that is set aside in project funds.

Maria, as membership chair, reported that memberships are still coming in.

Old Business:

For “Meet the Candidates” at Perkins School on March 8th at 1:00 PM, Gen will make cake, Candy will make cookies, and we believe Mary will provide the beverages. Candy Wiggum will serve as moderator.

Since we decided at the last meeting to post a list of MHS members following the membership drive, Maria will soon send Loisanne a list to post.

Pam Little, as program chair, reported that arrangements are complete for NHHC speaker, Ken Knoblock to come in May to talk on gravestones and cemetery imagery. This will provide background for our later cemetery walk. Mr. Knoblock will need a screen. We will ask Al Blank if we may borrow one.

Pam Little has contacted the Perkins School principal, Phyllis Peterson, to see if she might be interested in MHS sponsoring a Humanities Council program there for the children in September. She is delighted with the idea, so we will go ahead with our choice of the interactive King Arthur program for them. She is also interested in a trip to the museum and the Hearse House for 3rd and 4th graders. Further, if we send her information on upcoming events, she will send the information home with the children in her regular letters to parents.

Our Jones Hall preservation Warrant Articles on painting and the alarm system will appear on the warrant.

Old and New Business:

James Burnap House:

Late last year, we learned that the James Burnap House on Mill Street, owned by Audio Accessories, was due to be demolished in a slow burn.

Since this is one of Marlow’s historic homes and since it was built and occupied by a man who played a leading role in Marlow industry and important roles in government, we decided to see what we might do to save this piece of Marlow history and conserve it for future generations.

Accordingly, Mary wrote Tim Symonds, Operations Manager at Audio Accessories expressing our interest and hopes. Later she sent a follow up letter with our proposals:

January 24, 2008

Tim Symonds
Audio Accessories
PO Box 360
Marlow NH 03456

Dear Tim,

I expected to hear from you “last year” and here it is the middle of January. This causes the Society, again, a great amount of concern.

Our goal of saving and restoring the Burnap House on Mill Street has not changed. The two options that I presented to you are still very valid:

Option No. 1: Audio Accessories would donate the house to the Marlow Historical Society, leasing us the land for a nominal fee. Of course we would not be disappointed if you donated to us the house and the land. We would initially stabilize the house and restore the exterior. We have been very successful in our fund raising for our projects for Murray Hall and feel that between the donations and grants we could receive, and the volunteer efforts from our very talented members, we could accomplish this task.

Option No. 2: Remains the same; to join forces with Audio Accessories to stabilize the house and restore the exterior, setting up a separate restoration fund with a separate committee to oversee this work. Creating a separate nonprofit to own the house and land is an additional possibility with this option. Again funds would come from donations and grants.

I would add to both options a Part Two, that the house would become the future home of the Marlow Historical Society . We currently lease the 2nd floor of the Chapel for our museum and offices, while the house is larger and more accessible to the public.

I do not pretend to know all the ins and outs of the tax law, but there would definitely be financial benefits for Audio with both options as we are registered as nonprofit 501c3 Corporation. Some of the benefits would be one-time while others would be long term.

On January 15th the Marlow Historical Society Board met for our January meeting.
Perhaps you do not know who they are, so let me list them for you.

President: Mary Blank
Vice President: Pamela Little
Secretary: Loisanne Foster
Treasurer: Mary Blank
Director: Arthur Schmid
Director: Candace Wiggum
Director: Adam Plumb
Membership Chairman: Maria Baril
Asst. Program Chairman: Genevieve Ells

I think it is important that you are up to date on the opinion of the Board of Directors. Here is an excerpt from the minutes of our January 15th Board of Directors meeting:

Saving the Burnap House (from the Board minutes of January 15th, 2008)
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 land. ..... 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 $26,000 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, including possibly an LCHIP Grant.

It is interesting that the Board came up with the plan to make it the future home of the Marlow Historical Society as I did have the same idea two months ago and had not mentioned it to them as I was absent from this meeting. Let me assure you that we would make very neat and illustrious neighbors.

We hope to hear from you soon telling us that, indeed, you are willing to work with us to save the Burnap House.

Sincerely,Mary M. Blank
President, The Marlow NH Historical Society
PO Box 12
Marlow NH 03456

cc: David Hall
cc: Pat Gallup

On February 4th, she received this response:

Received your letter last week. We're still reviewing options, this will take some time. I'll be in touch when we have information to share. 

Good day, Tim 

In the meantime, we had been discussing various possibilities. (See February Minutes.) both in and between meetings.

The same day, Mary responded:

Dear Tim,

It’s great to hear from you...

Let me know if you have any questions...


Before our March meeting, we received this response from AA which we read and discussed at our March Executive Board meeting:

February 27, 2008

The Marlow NH Historical Society
Attn.: Mary Blank
PO Box 12
Marlow, NH 03456

Dear Mary,

Below is a proposal for the Marlow Historical Society to consider;

1. Audio Accessories, Inc. would be willing to donate the house structure at 30 Mill Street (the Burnap House) to the Marlow Historical Society (MHS), with the understanding that the MHS would be responsible for moving the structure further up Mill Street, or to some location of its choosing.

2. One opportunity for a location to move the house is being offered as follows. David Hall and Patricia Gallup (Hall/Gallup) would donate to the MHS the land where the Paquette House once stood on Mill Street, provided that the MHS move both the Burnap House and the Aldrich House structure (on Route 10 South to the Paquette lot on Mill Street.

It is my understanding that there is another historical building next to the Paquette lot that used to be a slaughterhouse, so it seems a perfect location for MHS to create a “compound” to display the buildings. We see this as a very unique situation for the Marlow Historical Society to create a setting on Mill Street to preserve some of the historical buildings in town. Also it would be great to see MHS have their office within the setting to aid in supporting your mission.

We hope you find this idea exciting, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Tim Symonds
Audio Accessories, Inc.
Tim Symonds
Operations Manager

cc: David Hall

Our first reaction was one of surprise at the extent of the proposal as we had not in our discussions considered the Aldrich House on the other side of Route 10, nor had we considered moving any buildings. We estimated that the cost of moving both buildings would be around $80,000.00, which does not include the foundations and the extensive repairs of preservation. Art suggested that we should stick with the Burnap House. Clearly, we do not have $80,000.00 in our budget or double that amount to cover the cost of foundations and restoration. Our only hope would be to find an extremely generous donor or to seek public and private grants for the project.

Realizing that we may be entering the realm of fairy land here, we decided not to give up hope, but to pursue the project by learning more about what our options are. We voted to thank Audio Accessories for their response and study the offer.

Mary, as President, wrote the following and wishes to have it preserved in the minutes:

“The only thing I am going to say is that the preservation of historic structures is serious business for any Historical Society....The following research should be done regardless of the final outcome:

1.     Zoning laws

2.     Survey

3.     Zoning maps

4.     Cheshire Deed Office

5.     Inspection - Burnap House

6.     Inspection - Aldrich House

7.     Contact Linda Willett and Fred O’Connor

8.     Contact the Preservation Alliance

9.     Conact Historical Resources

10.   Contact LCHIP

11.   Contact Preserve America

12.   Contact the Dept. of Agriculture (Walpole)

13.   Contact the Conservation Commssion

14.   Contact House Movers

15.   Contact Negotiator

16.   Contact Brian Gallien

17.   Contact Earth Movers

18.   Make contacts though HSCC and NHHS.

In addition, I would suggest forming a team to work on this. That would include a historic preservationist, available through the Preservation Alliance; two (or more) members of our board (I would like to be involved.); a member of the Conservation Commission, Tracey Messer, Brian Gallien, Fred O’Connor, Lyle Handy, and two members of the community who value our historic heritage.”

Pam volunteered to contact HSCC and NHHS as she has worked with them in the past.

We agreed with Mary’s proposal and adjourned at 7:45 PM. The next meeting will be April 3, 2008 at 6:30 at the Chapel.

Respectfully submitted,
Loisanne Foster