The Meetinghouse had a big year this past year. The trustees of the Meetinghouse met with a representative from the New Hampshire Preservation Society and planned out a strategy to bring significant, much needed improvements to this iconic building in Cornish Flat. The trustees submitted an extensive application to the New Hampshire Preservation Society and received a 50% matching grant of $7500 to do a detailed assessment report on the history and development of the property, an existing conditions assessment, and recommendations for the future. Daniel Scully Architects of Keene completed the report and the report is on file in the Selectboard’s office.
With the Conditions Assessment and Master Plan completed, the trustees then applied to New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP), which is an independent state authority that makes matching grants to NH communities to conserve and protect cultural and historic resources. The application process, again, was complicated and complex, but after many meetings, an application was sent to Concord in May 2014. The work on the Meetinghouse would include removal and repair of rotted clapboards and trim, window restoration, repair of shutters, painting of the exterior of the building, handicapped accessible ramp, and, most importantly, the repair of the slate roof. The trustees received word in November of 2014 that they had been awarded $54,100, which will be directed towards Phase 1.The trustees will need to raise the remaining 50% of the expenses, using both hard (cash) and soft (volunteer or donated work). Proceeds from the 250th Anniversary book and a warrant article directed towards the maintenance of town buildings have helped to defray expenses. Parts of Phase 1 work have already been completed since a contract was procured in the fall of 2013 for the painting of the exterior. The repair of rotting trim and clapboards was completed by Cornish Custom Construction, and more work will begin as the weather permits.
The trustees also applied to the Mascoma Grant Foundation in the fall of 2014. This grant was targeted towards the repair of the slate roof which is the most costly of all the repairs. The trustees were again delighted to hear in December that the Cornish Meetinghouse had been awarded $7500 towards its goal! The $7500 will go towards the hard costs of repairing the roof.
The Meetinghouse continues to be a focal point of Cornish Flat. The Common is used every Saturday by the Farmer’s Market. The Memorial Day Service held on the Common is a yearly event that serves the community with it simple, but moving ceremony.
If anyone is interested in using the building, please contact Caroline Storrs at 675-9376.
Caroline Storrs Chairperson
Sue Chandler Secretary
George Edson Treasurer