Friday, November 10, 2017

OOOPs, make that Paul Hallett, not Mallet (sorry Paul..)
This has been a very interesting series of weeks. As many of you know, there were severe floods on the rivers in and around Bartlett a couple of weeks ago which caused serious damage to the Maine Central Mountain Division in areas along the Saco River. There were a number of washouts and some of our friends in the area lost personal property and vehicles to the incredible water levels. I ran up and checked out the roundhouse shortly after the floods had passed and am pleased to report that it weathered the storms well. The floods did not impact the structure at all. As a matter of face, I visited during a rainstorm and found that the new extension on the back side of the roof at stalls one and two was doing exactly what it was intended to to...moving the water coming off the roof farther away from the wall to prevent it getting back inside as it was before. Thanks to the NH DOT for this small but important improvement to the building!

Also, it was recently announced that Paul Mallett, current Operations Manager of the Conway Scenic Railroad and friend of the Bartlett Roundhouse Preservation Society has announced his retirement from the railroad at the end of this year. Paul has supported our efforts consistently and willingly over the course of our association with him and we thank him gladly for all of the help he has provided to us. Good luck, old friend, and enjoy your retirement. You will be missed.

Pete Davis
President
Bartlett Roundhouse Preservation Society

Monday, July 24, 2017

An event took place a few days ago that really brought home how important it is for us to be doing what we are to restore and repurpose the roundhouse to become part of the historical heritage of New Hampshire.  The village of Hooksett New Hampshire has had an old road bridge spanning the Merrimack River for many of years.  Not too long ago, it was replaced with a more modern span that allowed better traffic movement through the village and the old bridge was retired.  It did get listed on the National Register of Historic Places, however, which should have been incentive to see that it survived for posterity.  Unfortunately, the structure gradually was allowed to degrade to the point where it had to be destroyed, thereby eliminating an integral piece of our New Hampshire historical narrative.  It was dropped to great fanfare a few days ago and is now being removed piecemeal from the river.

What struck me most was that this was almost what was to happen to the Bartlett Roundhouse not too many short years ago and would have, had the Society not been created to lobby and work with the State of New Hampshire to preserve and protect the building for future.  Our historic canvas is fragile and must be attended to if we are to keep that narrative going.  Going forward, it becomes even more important for the effort to continue.  On that note, I think we as a Society should continuously rededicate our focus and activities to the conservation of this important piece of our heritage.  I am personally very proud to be a participant in the work and the process.  I hope all of you are as well!

The Society thanks you for supporting our efforts so far and hope that you will continue to do so as we make progress.

Pete Davis
President
Bartlett Roundhouse Preservation Society