FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 15, 2013
Shelly Angers, N.H. Department of Cultural Resources
Two new N.H. Historical Highway Markers installed
The N.H. Division of Historical Resources is pleased to announce that two New Hampshire Historical Highway Markers have been installed, commemorating the U.S. Route 1 Bypass in Portsmouth and the site of the Homestead Woolen Mills Dam in West Swanzey.
The Route 1 Bypass marker is located adjacent to the Portsmouth Traffic Circle and reads:
“U.S. Route 1 Bypass of Portsmouth, NH (1940).
“The Bypass was part of a major New Deal project to move U.S. Route 1 traffic away from the congested streets of downtown Portsmouth. The Bypass created a second Piscataqua River crossing into Maine via the Interstate (Sarah M. Long) Bridge. The highway’s wide divided lanes and grade separations were the first in the state, earning it the title ‘New Hampshire’s Most Modern Highway.’ Today, the U.S. Route 1 Bypass is one of the oldest signed bypasses in the country’s numbered route system.”
The Homestead Woolen Mills Dam marker is located near the West Swanzey Bridge on Route 10 and reads:
“The Homestead Woolen Mills Dam.
“The Homestead Woolen Mills Dam on the Ashuelot River was a rock-filled, timber crib dam, a common dam type in the 19th century. It was originally built in the 1850s to power woolen and woodenware mills. In the late 19th century it served the Stratton Mills and the West Swanzey Mfg. Co. Homestead Woolen Mills, Inc. took over the mill buildings and the dam in 1911. The company employed many residents of the area until in closed in 1985. The dam was used only for water control after the 1920s until its removal in 2010.”
Any municipality, agency, organization or individual wishing to propose a historical highway marker to commemorate significant New Hampshire places, persons or events must submit a petition of support signed by at least 20 New Hampshire citizens. They must also draft the text of the marker and provide footnotes and copies of supporting documentation, as well as a suggested location for marker placement.
New Hampshire’s historical highway markers illustrate the depth and complexity of our history and the people who made it, from the last Revolutionary War soldier to contemporary sports figures to poets and painters who used New Hampshire for inspiration; from 18th-century meeting houses to stone arch bridges to long-lost villages; from factories and cemeteries to sites where international history was made.
An interactive map of all of the state’s historical highway markers is available at the N.H. Division of Historical Resources’ website, www.nh.gov/nhdhr.
The New Hampshire historical highway marker program is jointly managed by the N.H. Division of Historical Resources and N.H. Department of Transportation.
New Hampshire's Division of Historical Resources, the “State Historic Preservation Office,” was established in 1974. The historical, archaeological, architectural, engineering and cultural resources of New Hampshire are among the most important environmental assets of the state. Historic preservation promotes the use, understanding and conservation of such resources for the education, inspiration, pleasure and enrichment of New Hampshire’s citizens. For more information, visit us online at www.nh.gov/nhdhr or by calling (603) 271-3483.