Houston Barn in Hopkinton, Boscawen Academy and Hose House are on the Historic Register list

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Published: 04/27/2022 16:47:26

Houston’s massive century-old barn in Hopkinton has been added to the National Register of Historic Places, six weeks after city voters spent $875,000 to fix it.

Boscawen Academy and the adjacent “Much-I-Do” Hose House in Boscawen were also added to the state register, both listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

The huge gambrel barn in Hopkinton, 100 feet long and 50 feet high, was built in 1912 and housed chickens, sheep and cattle while forming part of the Houston Farm, which was the first dairy in the city to deliver milk door to door. It is now owned by the City of Hopkinton, which uses it for storage and the Department of Public Works, while parts of the 115-acre former farm house sports fields, walking trails, playgrounds and a dog park.

At the town meeting, Hopkinton voters (221 to 48) overwhelmingly approved (221 to 48) borrowing $272,000 and spending another $603,000 in US bailout funds to stabilize the structure, which experts said was at risk of major damage after a leak in the roof was discovered.

Plans call for building a new foundation and fixing drainage issues, then installing a new roof, wiring and fire suppression system as well as replacing siding and doors .

The city has sent proposals for a superintendent of construction, city administrator Neil Cass said.

“The hope is to have it done by the time the snow flies, but we’re realistic in this market as well,” Cass said. “We will do everything we can do.”

Being named to the National Register of Historic Places brings no financial or regulatory rewards, but at least has one major benefit: it makes sites eligible for grants from the New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program and funding for some other sources. It places no restrictions on owner use.

Boscawen Academy, built in 1827-1828, is one of the oldest and best-preserved survivors of a time when many New Hampshire towns had their own private academies. It was a private school until 1872, then a public school until 1966 when it was sold to the Boscawen Historical Society.

The adjoining clapboard pipe house was built in 1893 to hold the pipes for the city’s firefighting unit, which was called Much-I-Do, and was extended in 1922 to hold a truck of firefighters. The city’s historical society has owned it since the 1970s, primarily for storage.

The other sites announced on Tuesday are:

■ Center Harbor Lake View Cemetery. Also known as Pleasant View Cemetery, it is a well-preserved example of a rural cemetery established in the early 19th century.

■ Union Cemetery in Portsmouth is a small urban cemetery whose lots sold out less than a decade after it was established in 1844.

■ The John Gregg House from around the 1720s, one of the oldest houses in Derry and the only remaining home of one of the first 20 Scottish Irish families who settled in what was then called Nutfield. Former New Hampshire Governor, US Congressman and Senator Judd Gregg is a direct descendant of John Gregg.

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