Antrim Grange receives $10,000 grant

By JOSH LACAILLADE

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Published: 05-22-2023 3:43 PM

A $10,000 matching grant from the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance has kickstarted upgrades to the Antrim Grange’s foundation.

The alliance and The 1772 Foundation awarded the grange a $10,000 matching grant to be used for sill repair and reconstructing the building’s foundation. Currently, the support beams underneath the main stage are too weak to support a lot of people, which Grange Master Renee Mercier said prohibits the hall from hosting public events.

Mercier said she’s planning to start hosting again once developers finish updating the foundation, which is expected to be completed this summer.

“We are hoping to do more public events like dances and suppers,” said Mercier.

According to Mercier, the grange has raised more than $60,000 of its $250,000 goal through various grants and donations to help restore the building’s foundation and roofing.

Beth Merrill, committee chair for the renovation project, stated she hopes to use the funds to preserve the historic building for generations to come.

“The Antrim Grange Hall is an example of the evolution from early settlement construction to modern day rehabilitation. The efforts of our members to preserve this historic meeting space serve as an important example to the community and granges everywhere that with responsible stewardship, bold action and idealistic visioning, we can make a lasting contribution to society,” stated Merrill.

According to Alliance Executive Director Jennifer Goodman, 15 other private nonprofit organizations in New Hampshire are being awarded matching grants ranging from $4,000 to upwards of $10,000 in order to preserve historical buildings that were erected between 1774 to 1912. The grange is just one of five recipients in the list to receive the maximum amount of $10,000.

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Margaret Waldock, president of The 1772 Foundation, stated she’s proud to be a part of an effort to improve the preservation of historical buildings in Antrim and throughout New Hampshire.

“With these grants, The 1772 Foundation continues its investment in preservation efforts that protect assets of community importance,” stated Waldock. “While the individual grants may seem small, we have found they leverage considerable local resources and opportunities.”

To qualify for the grant, buildings were judged based on “the uniqueness or significance of the resource, visibility within the community, availability of additional funding, strength of local support, imminence or severity of threat to the resource, a demonstrated understanding of the building’s needs, and the proposed plan’s adherence to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.”

Beverly Thomas, deputy director of the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance, stated the grange fit those criteria.

“We are so pleased to be able to make these grants to worthy projects in many regions of the state,” stated Thomas.

With the foundation project underway, Mercier said she’s excited to have the grange back to its old glory come this summer.

“I’m looking forward to seeing more of the hall completed,” said Mercier. 

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