Meetinghouse Project By far our largest undertaking!
The Langdon Meetinghouse
is a 2 story timber-framed building measuring 40 by 50 feet. Construction of the
Langdon Meetinghouse was begun in 1801, and was completed in 1803. It has a
gabled roof, a granite foundation set on fieldstone rock, hand-hewn roof
trusses, post-and-beam framing, clapboard siding, and a slate roof. It
originally featured porches on the two ends of the building that covered a set
of stairs each that led up to the galleries, which were open to the main hall
In 1851 renovations took place that caused the porches, galleries, and box pews,
to be removed. A second floor was installed in the opening between the
galleries and the box pews moved upstairs, also a steeple was added. Beginning
in 1851, the first floor was used for town business, and the second floor was
used for worship by the Universalist Society. The worship space on the second
floor has remained virtually unchanged since 1851.
For 213 years, Langdon residents have appreciated the role that their Town Hall
(the Meetinghouse) has had in their lives. It began as both a place of worship
and the seat of town government, and is still used as the center of social and
community activities. While it is no longer used for regular worship or as its
town hall, Langdon has continuously used its Meetinghouse for town meetings, and
holds the record for the most consecutive town meetings in the same building in
the state of New Hampshire.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, The New Hampshire Division of
Historical Resources, and the Terra Nova Foundation have all recognized the
historic value of this early example of a New England meeting house and have
made modest contributions for its repair.
In 2008, The Langdon Meetinghouse was honored by the New
Hampshire Preservation Alliance when it was placed on their Seven
to Save list of the most endangered Granite State properties. This
designation recognizes historic sites and buildings that are important to the
landscape and heritage of the state of New Hampshire. In January, 2009, the
Langdon Meetinghouse received a Commendation from
New Hampshire's Governor, John Lynch.
In 2008 and 2009 a long range master plan for the building was developed by the
Langdon Heritage Commission with the assistance of the late and noted historic
structures architect Richard M. Monahon Jr. AIA of Peterborough, NH. Within that
plan there are several projects that over time will bring the entire building
into a state of usefulness. Through the support of the town and the larger New
Hampshire community much has already been accomplished.
A timeline of the key rehabilitation accomplishments of the LHC along with the
town of Langdon and in accord with the Meetinghouse master plan is as
2007: Langdon Heritage Commission Formed, Initial Fundraising Begins
2008: Structural Assessment & Repair of Truss and Rafter System
In 2008, the LHC was asked by the town to coordinate a structural assessment of
the building. A structural engineer identified a safety concern in an area of
broken collar tie, rotted trusses and rafters. Under the direction of the LHC
and at a cost of about $8,000 from town funds, these structural problems were
repaired by Griffin Construction Company of Langdon, NH.
2009-10: Major Fundraising and Foundation Replacement
Thanks to a combination of grants from LCHIP ($99,600), the Marquis George
MacDonald Fund ($3,000), the Terra Nova Fund ($500), the NH Electric Coop
Foundation ($2,000), Landscapes by Jay Grant (in-kind donation $30,000 of heavy
equipment use), donations from “the foot by foot” fundraiser and town warrant
article funding ($29,100) in 2009 and 2010, LHC completed the replacement of the
building’s failing fieldstone and granite slab foundation in October 2010. The
original but failing foundation was replaced by a continuous concrete
foundation. The entire structure was lifted about six feet off its foundation in
order that a partial basement be dug, rubble removed, footings installed and
concrete walls poured. All Seasons Construction of Springfield was the general
contractor. Not one window pane was broken in the process of lifting or lowering
the structure. Dozens of companies and individuals donated or discounted time,
services and materials for the project, including All Seasons Construction,
architect Richard Monahon, Brendan’s Concrete, Cold River Materials, Woodell &
Daughters Forest Products, Rodney Campbell (clerk of the works), LaValley
Building Supply, Geddes Moving Company, St. Pierre Construction, David Barton ,
Dennis McClary and Landscapes by Jay Grant.
2011: Chimney Replacement
An LCHIP grant in March 2011 for $7,987 partially funded the replacement of the
failing chimney. LHC raised funds to match the grant. This project made possible
the future installation of a new, quieter and more efficient heating system
during a later phase.
2011-12 Bathroom, Septic and Well Project
An LCHIP grant in December 2011 for $10,725 helped fund the construction of a
bathroom on the first floor, a new well, and new septic system. Additional funds
from private donors also supported this important step.
2013: Fundraising and Architectural Plans
The NH Charitable Foundation funded the development of architectural plans and
building specifications for rehabilitation of the first floor in order that it
meet Fire Code, ADA and Polling Place requirements.
The Selectboard budgeted and completed the much needed painting of the building
exterior this past summer. The windows were glazed and washed. The Langdon sign
was restored and many clapboards were replaced.
Langdon Resident, Rodney Campbell donated his carpentry skills to repair all of
the meetinghouse benches.
2014: Installation of New Furnace and RFP for New Construction Phase
Per order of the Selectmen a new, quieter, more efficient heating system was
installed in the new constructed basement. Funding for this project was provided
by the Town’s building maintenance budget.
2015-2016: Rehabilitation of the First Floor
This phase of work addressed barrier free access and code compliance, through
the removal of several interior partitions and the addition of a code compliant
ADA parking area, access ramp and door. The LHC received a Round 13 grant of
$53,324 to continue to rehabilitate the Langdon Meetinghouse which also included
significant interior repairs of walls, ceilings and floors. Funds in our account
($12,896) (Includes $2000 Savings Bank Walpole, $2000 NH Charitable Foundation),
Moose Plate Grant ($10,000), Town of Langdon Warrant Article ($16,580),
Landscapes by Jay Grant in-kind donation ($13,000). The work is based off the
2009 recommendations of Rick Monahon and described in greater detail by UK
Architects the supervising architects for this First Floor Project. The removal
of the walls not only allowed the Town to address code requirements but also
brought the first floor a bit closer to its original 1801 design. Dozens of
companies and individuals donated or discounted time, services and materials for
the project, including Griffin Construction, Young Electric, Taylor Welding,
Dennis McClary and Landscapes by Jay Grant.
2017: Possible replacement of the failing clapboards
All members of the Commission are unpaid volunteers and 100% of all
contributions will go directly toward the rehabilitation of the Town
Hall/Meetinghouse or the archiving of important Langdon materials. If you can
help us with your tax-deductible donation, we would be most grateful.
The Langdon Heritage Commission is a civic organization within the municipal
structure of the Town of Langdon NH. Gifts made to such municipal organization
are recognized under Federal Tax Code 170 (C) (1) as tax deductible.
If you would like to help or would like some more information then
please contact us here.
The Langdon Meetinghouse is located at 5 Walker Hill Road Langdon, NH 03602.
If you would like to help or would like some more
information then please contact us here.
The Langdon Meetinghouse is located at 5 Walker
Hill Road Langdon, NH 03602.