By Julie Huss
DERRY — The town is looking for someone who might be interested in buying the Pinkerton Tavern.
Proposals are now being accepted from anyone interested in buying the tavern — and moving it.
The aging structure at 13 Manchester Road stands in the way of progress as Derry prepares to begin its Route 28 widening project from the intersection at Tsienneto Road toward the Londonderry town line.
"A piece of our town's history will be lost in order to widen Rockingham Road," town history expert and author Richard Holmes wrote in a column earlier this year. "'Tis a real shame."
The Pinkerton Tavern was built in stages between 1735 and 1816, according to Holmes. Elder James Pinkerton operated an early store there. In 1814, Pinkerton and his brother John provided funding for Pinkerton Academy.
The restaurant officially closed its doors in March.
In 2006, councilors approved a tax increment financing, or TIF, district to widen that portion of the crowded roadway. Deals with affected property owners were negotiated, some by permanent right of way, others by temporary slopes or easements.
The widening work is scheduled to begin in August.
Town officials had hoped a local school might be interested in taking the building apart, or moving it closer to campus.
That deal didn't happen, according to Town Administrator John Anderson.
"The school has declined," he told town councilors last week.
He said the Heritage Commission is also involved in the tavern process.
The town is now accepting proposals for the relocation and/or sale of the building. Proposals will be accepted through June 24 at 4 p.m.
Anderson said there is still time for someone to come forward to express interest.
"We're not looking to get it moved immediately," he said, "but, the sooner the better."
A pre-bid walk-through to tour the building and property can be arranged by calling Public Works Director Michael Fowler at 432-6144.
Bid information is available at derry-nh.org, or at the public works office at the municipal center.
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