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Elizabeth H. Muzzey
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New Listings on the New Hampshire State Register of Historic Places

Five historical properties recently have been listed to the New Hampshire State Register of Historic Places. The State Register recognizes and honors properties that are meaningful in the history, architecture, archeology, engineering or traditions of New Hampshire’s residents and communities. Benefits for listing include public recognition of a property’s importance, special consideration in the application of building codes, eligibility for grant programs, and a complimentary one-year membership to the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance. The five new listings are:

Haverhill Lime Kilns, off Limekiln Road, Haverhill: Two stone lime kilns stand off the Chippewa Trail near Black Mountain in Haverhill, well-preserved survivors of an important 19th century industry. Mined limestone, rare in New Hampshire, was heated in the kilns until it turned into powdered lime, which was then packed in barrels and shipped throughout New England for use in agriculture, as mortar and in a wide variety of other products. Built in 1838 and 1842, the kilns operated successfully for approximately 50 years, aided by the close proximity of acres of woodland for fuel and the Concord, Boston & Montreal Railroad for transport. The Civilian Conservation Corps and other government work programs occupied the site in the Depression, repairing one of the kilns in 1940-41. Today the Haverhill Heritage Commission is working with the property owners to keep the kiln site cleared and open for public access.

Simonds Rock, off Al Paul Lane, Merrimack: Simonds Rock is an unusual resource on the New Hampshire State Register. Credited by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) as being the second largest glacial boulder reported in New Hampshire, Simonds Rock measures about 50 feet long, more than 30 feet high and more than 25 feet long. Only the Madison Boulder is larger. Given the rock’s composition of Massabesic Gneiss, the USGS estimates that it was carried to its current location by a glacier from a site about five miles to the northwest. Simonds Rock derives its historical importance as a landmark for land surveyors and travelers along Pennichuck Brook and the Merrimack River for hundreds of years. It has also provided legendary inspiration for writers and storytellers through time. Today Simonds Rock is owned by the Southwood Corporation, a company of the Pennichuck Corporation.

New Castle Congregational Church, Main Street, New Castle: The New Castle Congregational Church is the only ecclesiastical building in this small town and has served as a focus of community life since it was built in 1828. Research shows that the master builder, Thomas F. Foye, and the finish carpenter, Andrew B. Vennard, drew inspiration for its construction from the design books of architect Asher Benjamin and the appearance of St. John’s Church, located upriver in Portsmouth. Today, both the exterior and interior of the church remain largely unaltered, well-cared for by the congregation for close to 200 years.

Odiorne Homestead, Ocean Boulevard, Rye: An estuarine farm since the 1600s, the Odiorne Homestead illustrates some of the most significant aspects of New Hampshire history: use by American Indians, the first European settlement in the state, tidewater farming, and coastal defense during World War II. Buildings and landscape features on the farm today include a c.1800 farmhouse, a barn and greenhouse, an ancient well and cemetery, old roads, salt marsh, stone walls, a World War II era storage building for TNT, and acres of re-forested farmland. The property serves as the southeast headquarters for the New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation, Department of Resources and Economic Development.

Governor Wentworth State Historic Site, Wentworth Farm Road, Wolfeboro: In 1768, New Hampshire’s last royal governor, Governor John Wentworth of Portsmouth, began clearing a 6000-acre site in Wolfeboro for a summer estate. From Wentworth’s inventory records we know that a large salaried labor force built a mansion, scores of outbuildings, a game reserve, mills and a landing on Lake Wentworth. Wentworth fled New Hampshire on the eve of the Revolution, and his estate was seized and later sold at auction. The mansion house burned in 1820. In 1933, historian Lawrence Shaw Mayo gave the core of the estate – 96 acres – to the state. Today, the town of Wolfeboro prides itself on being the oldest summer resort in America, and the Department of Resources and Economic Development and the Friends of the Governor Wentworth State Historic Site care for the property.

For more information on the New Hampshire State Register and the application process, visit the Division of Historical Resources’ web site,, or contact the office at 19 Pillsbury Street, Concord, NH 03301, 603/271-3483.




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