Marlow Historical Society Minutes - November 2008

Joint Meeting / Marlow Historical Society Executive Board / Marlow Conservation Commission / Thursday, November 6, 2008 / 6:30 PM / Home of Candy Wiggum

MHS members present:

Maria Baril, Gen Ells, Loisanne Foster, Pam Little, Candy Wiggum

Members of MCC present:

John Asseng (chair), Jen Brown, Brian Fay, Linda Feuderer

Also present:

Ted Aldrich (Conservation Commission), Jeff Littleton (ecologist) Moosewood Ecological, LLC

Recently MHS supported the Marlow Conservation Commission in its application for a grant from the State of New Hampshire through the OEP, Office of Energy and Planning, for an Inventory of Natural and Historical Resources. With support from several community sources, the CC won the grant. MHS has volunteered a minimum of 40 hours to the project. The purpose of holding a joint meeting at this time was to more fully acquaint MHS members with the process of the inventory and our roles in it. It is meant to become a tool which will help Marlow’s citizens make conservation decisions for the town so that conservation efforts will focus on what we truly value.

Linda Feuderer gave a synopsis of the grant and passed out the following overview:

Project Narrative

The Town of Marlow is rich in industrial and agricultural history. It boasts of one of the most picturesque centers in the state is is also rich in natural resources, home to the protected Ashuelot River. However, Marlow and the Monadnock Region are under pressure as developable land within the surrounding towns is being rapidly developed, yet affordable housing is in short supply. In fact, Marlow has increased its population by 38% from 1970 - 2000, and it is expected to increase another 24% by 1920. Furthermore, as a result of the constrained workforce housing market, The Housing New Hampshire’s Workforce (2005) estimates that a considerable loss in jobs, as well as personal, local, and state revenues, will occur annually.

In 2005, a community survey was conducted regarding land use in Marlow. With an amazing 43% response rate, this survey exemplified the level of community participation. Among the concerns that were addressed were housing issues, natural resources protection and historical preservation, Maintenance of community character, uncongested roads, the importance of the town’s viewshed, and the need to develop a plan for future growth. The residents made it known that they would like to maintain the rural character while still providing opportunities for our young people to settle in Marlow, finding affordable housing and enjoying our same quality of life.

Project Goals

Marlow’s overall scope is to craft a proactive planning project that incorporated and adheres to the guiding principles of smart growth, affording an opportunity to blend our local and regional socioeconomic fabrics with that of its ecological structure. Attention to these aspects will provide the public with knowledge of our vast natural resources, historically sensitive areas, and opportunities for growth, aiding future planning efforts to help establish land use regulations. including those that can promote inclusionary housing. In addition, it will support our educators with information for our children about balancing regional and local resource protection with housing issues, which in turn helps to ensure our community’s future.

As such, our main goals are to

1.     solicit community involvement through outreach and engage residents in an open forum to address issues of growth and development

2.     analyze natural resources to determine priorities for conservation

3.     analyze historical resources to determine priorities for protection, restoration, and reuse

4.     analyze local and regional housing needs and demographics

5.     determine potential growth and development based on current local zoning.

These goals represent a process that promotes community participation and input into the planning process as a means to address a community-based growth and development strategy from which future Master Plans and regulatory ordinances can be adapted in a way that adheres to our community’s vision. The following six tasks represent specific objectives to appropriately meet these needs.

·       Task 1 Community Outreach Mailing and Advertisement

·       Task 2 Community Forums and Workshop

·       Task 3 Natural Resource Inventory

·       Task 4 Historical Resources Inventory

·       Task 5 Housing Needs and Demographics Analysis

·       Task 6 Built-out Analysis

·       Task 7 Final Published Report

Funds Provided by the Grant : $19,680.00

Matching Funds (in volunteers hours) $ 7,181.00

Total $26,861.00

Jeff Littleton of Moosewood Ecological, LLC, has been engaged to coordinate our efforts in producing a useful inventory. The final product will include a digital map and data base which may be changed as new ecologically significant and historically sensitive areas are found. In speaking to us, he focused on the process and the MHS role in the Inventory, January to March: research and mapping, cellar holes location, cemeteries, commercial and industrial resources, buildings, and possible uses for historical resources. He urged us to log in as many volunteer hours above the agreed-upon forty as possible, explaining that this display of community involvement will give this Inventory Project greater credibility which will be helpful in applying for further assistance in Marlow conservation.

We brainstormed some of the ready-made sources of information we already have such as the Elgin Jones maps, Tracy Messer’s map of the village showing the owners at various dates, and the Marlow fire maps. John Asseng noted a map made after the Marlow Fire of 1941 showing the forest cover and types of tress in Various areas. Although the main purpose of this meeting was not to begin the inventory, Linda Feuderer mentioned some archeological sites for examples of historically sensitive areas, such as the old Marlow Common on Marlow Hill, the Native American trail that passes through town, and the Gee Mills and dams.

There will be a meeting for community input announced by a mailing to each Marlow household. [Later note: The meeting was postponed due to the widespread ice storm. It will be rescheduled.] There will be GPS training. There will be other workshops for people out in the field.

Jeff Littleton explained that the Inventory process is fairly loosely organized now, to be developed with the Town. It is part of a master-planning process. We will be looking at conservation choices for agricultural land, forest land, wetlands, and historic sites. When the Inventory is complete, the next step will be setting priorities with the help of the townspeople.

The Conservation Commission portion of the meeting drew to a close, CC members left, and the MHS Board continued with its regular meeting:

The Secretary’s Report and Treasurer’s Report were given and accepted as read.

Old Business

Our elms are “put to bed” for the winter, Candy has placed fertilizer spikes around them and planted spring bulbs around the ones at “The Quiet Spot” and the Common.

We tabled the topic of restoring Marlow’s theater curtains until Mary, who met with “Curtains without Borders” restoration company, can join us.

We noted with interest that the original James Burnap house which we hope to save has been painted. Perhaps there is hope that, at least for now, it is no longer scheduled to be burned! While we did not win the long-shot grant to conserve it, “Seven to Save” for which we had applied, Pam reported that Maggie Stier of The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance encourages us to continue to seek options and promises support in seeking. Gen will check with Mary about meeting Maggie since Mary is our spokesman. Pam will called Audio Accessories to thank them for their patience and explain that we are still working on the

New Business

Our “Marlow Christmas Radio Show” for Jones hall, Dec. 6, is taking shape. Loisanne brought the script for the Rudolph skit. Mary will pull together the musical performers and actors.

Pam Little reported that she has been able to engage archeologist Robert Goodby for our New Hampshire Humanities Council Program for the children at Perkins School. Dr. Goodby holds a Ph. D. in Anthropology and teaches at Franklin Pierce College. We plan to host a NHHC program for the Perkins School children each year. This midwinter program is called “Digging into Native History.” Pam had consulted with Perkins School Principal, Phyllis Peterson, who is enthusiastic about working with us. We hope to sponsor a museum visit for the children and possibly a cemetery tour.

The meeting adjourned at 8:00 PM. The next board meeting will be held in January 2009.

Respectfully submitted,
Loisanne Foster
Secretary, MHS