Langdon Heritage Commission

Preserving and sharing our historic, natural and cultural assets;  enhancing community bonds in the process.




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What is a heritage commission? NH law describes it this way.

674:44-a Heritage Commission. – A heritage commission may be established in accordance with RSA 673 for the proper recognition, use, and protection of resources, tangible or intangible, primarily man-made, that are valued for their historic, cultural, aesthetic, or community significance within their natural, built, or cultural contexts.

What does it do? The NH Preservation Alliance describes a Heritage Commission as follows per RSA 674::44-

Powers and Duties

“The range of powers and duties of a particular heritage commission is stated in its ordinance and amplified by its regulations, if applicable. Neither the municipality nor the heritage commission can extend its powers beyond those outlined in the statute as follows:

  • Survey and inventory historical and cultural resources

  • Conduct research and publish findings

  • Assist the planning board, as requested, in the development and review of those sections of the master plan which address historical and cultural resources

  • Advise, upon request, local agencies and other local boards in their review of requests on matters affecting or potentially affecting historical and cultural resources

  • Coordinate activities with appropriate service organizations and nonprofit groups

  • Publicize its activities

  • Hire consultants and contractors as needed

  • Perform a study to assess the value in creating a local (regulatory) historic district and prepare an ordinance for it

  • Receive gifts of money and property, both real and personal, in the name of the city or town, subject to the approval of the city council in a city, or the board of selectmen in a town, such gifts to be managed and controlled by the commission for its proper purposes

  • Hold meetings and hearings necessary to carry out its duties

Clearly there is a wide range of activities in which a heritage commission can be involved. Some of the most commonly undertaken - and valuable - are the roles described below.

Resource to local boards & commissions

A heritage commission is uniquely suited to advise local agencies and boards on matters that might affect historical or cultural resources. One of its purposes is to serve as steward for all such resources within the community. For instance, the planning board can consult with the heritage commission if it is reviewing a project that might impact a historic building, or the conservation commission might seek background data on a farm building associated with land it is trying to conserve. The commission could testify in support of a variance before the zoning board of adjustment, if the outcome would preserve a significant resource and retain the spirit of the ordinance. The board of selectmen might seek input when it needs to develop a work program for renovating or disposing of a civic structure. By working closely with other arms of local government, the community can avoid unnecessary adverse impacts to significant historical resources. An early consultation with the commission will often prevent a crisis situation later.”

The State RSA states:

673:4-a Heritage Commissions

  I. The heritage commission shall consist of not less than 3 members and no more than 7 members who shall be appointed in a manner as prescribed by the local legislative body. 
  II. Each heritage commission member shall be a resident of the city or town which establishes the commission. One commission member shall be a member of the local governing body. One commission member may be a member of the planning board. Not more than 5 alternate members may be appointed. When an alternate sits in absence or disqualification of a regular member, the alternate shall have full voting powers. If there is a historic district commission, one member of this commission shall be an ex officio member of the heritage commission. In determining each member's qualifications, the appointing authority shall take into consideration the appointee's demonstrated interest and ability to understand, appreciate and promote the purpose of the heritage commission. 
  III. Members of a heritage commission also may serve on other municipal boards and commissions, including but not limited to a conservation commission established under RSA 36-A, and a historic district commission established under RSA 673:4.


March 13 2018 Annual Report of the Heritage Commission for 2017


The Langdon Heritage Commission had a productive year. The most widely seen example was the Fall Festival display in the Meetinghouse of Langdon Schools Throughout the Years. It was created by our own Lorraine Chaffee, Laura Rheaume. It included school house artifacts, old photographs, commemorative booklets and art work. It was much discussed and very popular.

The Heritage Commission is working with a committee of the Langdon Congregational Church and the New Hampshire Department of Historical Resources to have the church included on the prestigious New Hampshire Register of Historical Places. There is a good chance it will be so listed. Being on the list increases the opportunity to receive grants for repairs when they are done in a manner consistent with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Historic Rehabilitation.

We are also working with the Selectmen and the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance to determine the possible historic significance of the old Salt Shed (originally built as the Town Tool Shed) and to see if it is feasible to save the building. An application for a $500 “Mini-grant” grant from the NH Preservation Alliance has been made by the LHC. It will be used to hire an expert to help make that determination.

While doing slate replacement work on the roof of the Meetinghouse, Griffin Construction noted the critical need to replace failing clapboards on the lower portions of the steeple. We already knew there were other places on the building that need new clapboards. Failure of the clapboards will allow water to enter the interior and ruin plaster, paint and wood. The Selectmen requested a quote to replace selected clapboards on the entire building. The reason for repairing only failed or failing clapboard is due to the historic significance of the building. Most of the clapboards date back to 1803. Most of them are still good because they are from virgin forest, close grained, eastern white pine, radial sawn, and painted. They will be replaced with radial sawn, eastern white pine, primed on all surfaces, cut to approximately four foot length with ends “scarfed” to mate to original clapboards. Langdon has received an LCHIP grant in the amount of $15,969 with the Town providing a matching amount to do this work.

In 2017 the Heritage Commission voted to purchase a glass display case to be installed in the hallway of the Municipal Building. It will contain important historic Langdon artifacts.

A new flag pole for Meetinghouse has been donated to the Town of Langdon. This donation by Doug and Gina Beach is in honor of Doug’s father Norman R Beach, a WWII veteran and for the betterment of the Town. It is much appreciated.

Thanks to the many people who donated money, did hard work, spoke words of support and provided Town funds over the years for work on the Meetinghouse. It is seeing increased use by the people and organizations of Langdon. Contact the Town Clerk for information on use and or to reserve the building.

Bruce Bellows of the Alstead Historical Society has generously transferred to our custody many Langdon related historical items. His actions are much appreciated. Do you have historic Langdon items you would like to donate to the Town? Please contact us.

Andrea Cheeney manages our Facebook page and
does a fine job. We encourage folks to share their Langdon Memories here and to stay abreast of Heritage Commission activities.


We are looking for additional members to join our Heritage Commission. Come lend a hand. All are welcome to join our LHC meetings the first Wednesday of the month, at 7:00 PM in the Meetinghouse at 5 Walker Hill Road from April to December and the Municipal Building in the coldest months. We welcome your Langdon stories and memorabilia.

Dennis McClary: Chair, Kathie Beam: Treasurer, Lorraine Chaffee, Andrea Cheeney, Cliff Oster, Laura Rheaume, Mike Sweeney


2008 Designated one of the Seven to Save





2012 placement on the New Hampshire State Register of Historic Places





2016 NH Preservation Alliance Achievement Award.






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The Langdon Heritage Commission is charged with preserving, protecting and promoting Langdon’s historic, cultural and natural assets


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