Historical buildings to get upgrades

MIKE SPRINGER/File photoThe Morrison House Museum at 140 Pillsbury Road in Londonderry. The house, originally located on Rockingham Road, was built in 1760, was moved to its current site and is among historical buildings at the property earmarked for repairs and upgrades.

LONDONDERRY — The historic grounds in town where history lives on has a long list of upgrades and repairs slated for its buildings and property.

At a meeting Sept. 24, the Londonderry Heritage Commission got an update on projects and other work the Londonderry Historical Society hopes to do at its property off Pillsbury Road.

The Commission gave the Society a certificate of approval to do the work.

The property includes the Morrison House Museum, housing artifacts and historical materials, the Parmenter Barn, Clark Blacksmith Shop and the Litchfield Carriage Shed.

The list of projects is spread out over several of the buildings on site.

Commission member David Colglazier, also the treasurer of the Historical Society, presented the information about repairs and upgrades needed.

That includes repairing/replacing two doors on the 18th-century Morrison House museum building, painting, shingle repair and work done to improve ramps at the base of the building where groundhogs have been digging large holes, causing stone to crack and come away from the base area.

Other buildings on the property are also slated for repair projects, including wood repair on the Parmenter Barn, electrical work inside the Clark Blacksmith Shop and overall security upgrades.

An aging elm tree on the property is also in the plan to be taken down, Colglazier said, as it is cracked, and not healthy. It may be replaced with another type of hardy tree.

The Historical Society established the museum in 1990 when the building known as the Morrison House, originally owned by an early Nutfield settlement family, was acquired through a donation. The land was donated by the Mack family. The building now housing the museum was moved to its current location.

Other buildings followed, creating a campus-type layout of history on the site.

Museum curator Ann Chiampa said she hoped the aging doors on the Morrison House building could be repaired to maintain their historical integrity.

"The Morrison family installed those doors in the 1800s," she said, adding she hoped the doors could somehow be preserved.

Chiampa said the project list hopefully will get started soon. The Society may also look into grant funding to support the historical projects.

"We will look for grants," Chiampa said, "to restore the Morrison House Museum and other buildings and restore them for the future."

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