The Chichester Heritage Commission was established by a majority vote at the March 10th, 2009 Town Meeting, in accordance with the provisions of RSA 673. In 2010, Warrant Article #14 was accepted by a majority vote which allowed for a broader membership. The establishment of a non-lapsing Heritage Fund, under the provisions of RSA 674:44-d, also passed by a majority vote.
Commission members have experienced another busy year. We were actively involved in promoting the "52 Barns in 52 weeks" initiative, a barn preservation effort of the NH Preservation Alliance. Two barn owners were awarded Barn Assessments Grants. Letters were written in support of a barn easement under the RSA.
79D tax incentive, and consultation provided to those with interest in pursuing barn easements. We listed "in-Town" carriage house barns as they are a disappearing building type.
Members were actively involved in the Community Greenspace Project. Food was provided to the stonewall builders on several weekends. The Community Design Charrette Team members, Chichester Historical Society, Chichester Town Library, many volunteers and donors of time, goods and money are working together to develop this area with a gazebo, landscaping and benches for all to enoy. A supportive grant of $1,500 from the Globe Manufacturing Co./NH Charitable Foundation helped jump start the Gazebo Fund. Over $10,000 from generouss donors has been raised.
The Commission participated in the "Flags Along Historic Main St." project with the Chichester Police Association and the Chichester Firefighters' Association. We continue in our initiative to provide signage, seasonal flowers and plants along Historic Main Street as part of our beautification project.
In April we collaborated with the Town Library and the Historical Society to present "What to Look for in Your Barn" by Ed Pape. In October Patricia and Stephen Fowler presented a program on their 19th century family homestead, "The Pine Grove Community", an independent living facility for adults over 55.
We participated in Old Home Day and also provided information about the Green Space Project at Town Meeting in March.
Brambles and weeds were cleared from the Canterbury Road trees and new homes were found for the remaining six trees available for roadside planting.
Two members attended "Preserving Community Character, Critical Issues and Opportunnities" conference held in April. Of special interest were two workshops, "Preservation and Community Planning: Strategies for Local Action" and "Saving our Rural Landscapes".
We welcomed Mardy Friary as an alternate member and Ed Millette, Selectboard representative, to the Commission. Their input and suggestions have been greatly appreciated.
Initiatives for 2018 include working toward objectives and recommendations as set forth in the Plan NH's document, "A Village Center, Again" and our Master Plan chapter, "Historical, Cultural, and Scenic Resources". A new informational brochure about the Commission and its work will be made available in 2018.
We thank all those who have contributed to our many projects during 2017, especially our members who work many hours outside of Commission meetings. We strive, as a Commission, to find ways to recognize, preserve, and enhance the historical, cultural, and scenic resources of our community to make Chichester a better place to live for all of us.
Meeting are held the 3rd Thursday of every month at 7pm at the Chichester Town Library, 161 Main Street. Residents are encouraged and always welcome to attend meetings. We value your comments and your participation. Your support and interest is needed and very much appreciated.
Lucille Noel, Chairwoman