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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 19, 2015

Shelly Angers, N.H. Department of Cultural Resources
(603) 271-3136
shelly.angers@dcr.nh.gov
Twitter: @NHCulture

Peter Michaud, N.H. Division of Historical Resources
(603) 271-3583
peter.michaud@dcr.nh.gov

Bartlett Roundhouse named to National Register of Historic Places

The New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources is proud to announce that the Bartlett Roundhouse has been honored by the United States Secretary of the Interior with placement on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition to being a surviving example of a rare type of 19th century railroad architecture, it is significant for the role it played in the history of rail transportation in northern New England.

Once a critical part of a bustling railyard in Bartlett Village, the Roundhouse was built in 1887 for the storage and repair of locomotives on the Portland & Odgenberg line. Its footprint is arch-shaped and was designed so that a 56-foot turntable in front of it could guide trains into the six separate repair stalls, where crews could perform maintenance 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Locomotives kept at Bartlett assisted trains over the steep grade to Crawford Notch. In addition to carrying tourists to hotels and boardinghouses in the White Mountains, they also transported a wide variety of freight, including lumber, pulpwood, cedar ties, telephone poles, limestone, ice, sulfur, coal, paper and manufactured goods.

After playing a critical transportation role during World War II, rail transportation in New Hampshire scaled back as highways were built and roads improved. The Maine Central Railroad Company, the final owner of the Bartlett Railyard, ran its last passenger trains in 1958 and the Roundhouse then ceased being used as a service facility.

The Bartlett Roundhouse was one of 35 on the Boston and Maine Railroad, a handful of which still exist in various forms in New Hampshire. It proved highly adaptable throughout the years: two stalls were lengthened in 1913 to accommodate larger steam locomotives and two other stalls were removed around 1950 as train transportation declined. Windows were added after each of these renovations to provide additional natural light. Each stall has double doors that open inward to avoid getting stuck in ice and snow. Segments of rail survive in each of the stalls and train track with sidings and switches is still located north of the building.

The Bartlett Roundhouse was listed to the New Hampshire State Register of Historic Places in 2008.

Administered by the National Park Service, which is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior, the National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation and is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate and protect our historic and archaeological resources.

For more information about the National Register program in New Hampshire, please visit nh.gov/nhdhr or contact Peter Michaud at the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources at 603-271-3483.

New Hampshire’s Division of Historical Resources, the “State Historic Preservation Office,” was established in 1974. The historical, archaeological, architectural and cultural resources of New Hampshire are among its most important environmental assets. 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 nh.gov/nhdhr or call 603-271-3483.

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