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
Over the past few days a lot of photos have been taken of the work on the back of stalls one and two of the roundhouse. I also have photos, but they will be redundant with those already posted. Suffice to say that work is moving right along and much progress has been made. Cam Sargent, our Vice President advised that the walls have been partially sided now and that that effort should be done fairly quickly, now that the structural repairs and the new sheathing and moisture barrier are in place. Apparently, the upper walls were found to be floating and in need of connection to the structure and that has been done (we had previously had some work done on the bottom, but the top was inaccessible at that time). We are now looking at how this should be painted, once the siding is in place. The building was painted completely green at some point, but, according to our retired archivist, Scott Mallett, the walls were actually green only from the ground up to the bottom of the window sills and gray above that with the trim green. We are now seeking proof that this was how the structure was painted, so that we can provide a historically accurate representation of how the building looked when in active service with the railroads. If anyone has a photo image that shows this color separation, we would greatly appreciate their sharing with us. This is an exciting time for us and validation of the process that Scott and the original Society members began so many years ago. Keep watching for more updates as the work progresses!

Pete Davis
President
Bartlett Roundhouse Preservation Society

Friday, July 7, 2017

It is with great sadness that we announce the resignation of Scott Mallett, our founder, from the Bartlett Roundhouse Preservation Society as of July 6, 2017, due to health reasons. Scott was the impetus behind the original formation of the Society when he found out the Bartlett Roundhouse was to be demolished.  Through his efforts, the Society was formed to lobby for restoration and repair of the building and the eventual transition of the facility into a railroad museum centering around the history of railroading in Bartlett and Crawford Notch.  To date, the building has received a replacement roof, some internal repairs, and is home to two historic pieces of railroad equipment, the old Maine Central outside braced boxcar that was once the tool car there, and a wooden Russell snow plow that originally was assigned to Portland Terminal Company in Maine.  The structure is also scheduled for some major repairs on the rear of stalls one and two, and a new driveway into the facility with the work scheduled to begin in mid-July.

His passion and enthusiasm have been a mainstay of our organization and he will be sorely missed.  Please join us in wishing Scott a fond fairwell and wish for equal success in whatever direction his fascination with railroading takes him.