South Sutton Meetinghouse Historic Preservation

By Sutton Historical Society, Inc.

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It takes a collection of villages!

Help us restore our historic Meetinghouse 

Winding through Sutton on Rt 114, the South Meetinghouse is the village focal point atop a glacial knoll overlooking the picturesque South Sutton common. The Meetinghouse, first erected on this spot in 1794, was replaced by the current structure in 1839 and has survived as the same unaltered iconic image of the village for nearly two centuries.  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Meetinghouse is an inspiration to those who live in Sutton or pass through our villages, epitomizing the charm and character of our beautiful rural community.

Preserving our historic landmark

The South Meetinghouse is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a rural church building erected in New Hampshire after 1820. William Abbot (1793-1837), joiner and master builder from Boscawen, NH, constructed several meetinghouses in New Hampshire. These buildings established the practice of supporting a three-stage tower fully on the roof of the building, leaving the facade uninterrupted and the gable free to suggest the triangular pediment of the classic temple. The South Meetinghouse follows this formula. It stands nearly as it did upon completion in 1839 and is virtually unchanged after repairs made from a lightning strike in 1898.

Like many aging structures, the Meetinghouse requires maintenance and repair. As owners of the property, the Sutton Historical Society is bound to preserve and maintain the Meetinghouse for the use and enjoyment of our community. In particular, the tower is in fair to poor condition. Portions of trim on all three stages are severally deteriorated, many of the wood joints have split and paint is showing signs of cracking. Three of four urns are missing and the balustrade is showing signs of paint deterioration and biological growth. The bottom framing members are showing signs of deterioration. In short, the Meetinghouse requires much needed attention and restoration.

LCHIP jumpstarts the restoration process

Faced with raising substantial funds to tackle this important project, the Society turned to the New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP), an independent state authority that makes matching grants to NH communities and non-profits to conserve and preserve New Hampshire's most important natural, cultural and historic resources. In an extremely competitive 2019 funding cycle, the Historical Society was the recipient of one of twenty-one grants awarded for historic resource restoration, repair or replacement projects for structures.  LCHIP awarded SHS a grant totaling $52,500 on a matching funds basis for steeple repair, building restoration and maintenance of the historic Meetinghouse. The award is Sutton’s first grant from LCHIP.

As matching funds implies, the Sutton Historical Society is required to raise a minimum of one dollar for each dollar provided by LCHIP. That’s a tall order and we cannot do it without your help.

Join us in preserving this community icon

Every bit helps. Together we can make this happen!

Now it is your turn to become involved in the preservation of our historic local landmark and our collection of historic treasures at large. We can’t do this without you! It takes a collection of Sutton Villages – North, South, East, Sutton Mills and beyond!

Our goal of this online campaign is to raise $20,000 to help insure that we meet the matching funds requirement of the LCHIP grant.

Please join us in this important cause.

SHS has established a Stewardship Fund and has initially received over $13,000 in donations and pledges as a great start to meeting our matching funds requirement.

100% of funds raised from this Meetinghouse Historic Preservation campaign will be used to match the LCHIP grant.

In effect, you will be doubling your dollars with a contribution to this campaign.

Please help us meet this challenge! Donate today. We greatly appreciate your contributions.

Dedicated to the preservation of our history and traditions

The Sutton Historical Society, Inc. was founded in 1985 as a 501(c) non-profit corporation in the State of New Hampshire. By-laws stipulate that the Society provides for annual operating expenses, upkeep and maintenance of its buildings.

It is a great honor and significant achievement to have been awarded an LCHIP grant in the 2019 cycle, less than half of the submitted proposals were funded.  For the next step, we need your help.  To all who live in Sutton, visit Sutton, or have affection for our historic treasures, we respectfully ask you to consider making a donation to help meet our goals NOW.  No donation is too small or insignificant.

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Team Members

Andy Jeffrey

Rob O'Neil