Historic Barn on the Path to Preservation!

The Demolition Delay committee convened last evening in the Sunnycrest Conference Room at Town Hall to discuss the demolition of the property located at 42 Litchfield Road. Prior to the start of the meeting discussion was taking place between the property owner Jeff Poitars and Mr. Bill Longmaid of Hall Road, a Londonderry resident who had approached the owner about possibly acquiring the barn and moving it to his current residence on the corner of Mammoth Road and Hall Road.

1700’s Litchfield Road Barn Saved from Demolition

Mr. Longmaid walked the property today with the owner Jeff Poitars, Robert Pothier of First Period Colonial and determined that the date of the barn has been miscalculated and the barn could have been built as early as the 1700’s versus the 1820 date determined by the Historic Task Force.

The meeting was called to order late at 6:35 as we were hoping the Jim Schwalbe another voting member of the commission could be present. Two voting members were present at the time of the meeting thus a quorum. The Demolition Committee is made up of three voting member and two alternates. The commission is currently looking for alternates.

A brief history of the property was stated and reasons for the existence of the committee, its’ purpose and charter was discussed with the property owner.

The meeting covered the plans of the owner how he found that the house barn and shed could not be sold in today’s commercial market. He explained how at one time a bee-hive oven had been located in the main homestead before being removed. His biggest concern that he might be forced to have to resubmit another demolition request if he found that the homestead could not be saved.

Jeff Pitars, owner of the property expressed that the shed was not viable for them to save. He stated that he would try to incorporate existing beams and artifacts into the new structure. His architect would be reviewing how they could design the new structure to help preserve the look and feel of the original building. He did express concerns about current zoning regulation as his structures did not meet town site distance regulations. The property owner also stated some unusual items are in the barn. Commissioner Wagner suggested he have a barn sale, she was sure people would come! Mr. Longmaid mentioned that during the walk of the property an old 3-hole outhouse had been discovered. What was so different about the particular outhouse was that it was a three seater – two for adults and a specially designed one seater for a child. Commissioner Wagner asked if the structure could be restored because it was a very unusually outhouse.

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Mr. Longmaid agreed with Jeff Poitars that the structure was not saveble. A request was made by Commissioner Wagner that the Historic Society be given access to the property so they could have the ability to photograph the structure. This way a future generation could appreciate the unusual and creative design.

Mr. Longmaid then passed around a picture of his property from 90 years ago. His property was originally owned by one of the descendents of the Hall family in Londonderry. The photograph showed that a barn that was now gone had been part of the original homestead.

Positive discussion about the barns relocation was made between Mr. Longmaid and Mr. Poitars. Discussion about any stonewall preservation was also discussed. A motion was made by George Herrmann that we grant the permit that immediate demolition can begin on the shed portion of the property and that the barn be placed on a delay of 30 days. It was seconded by Commissinor Wagner. The motion passed 2-0.

The minutes of this meeting are public and available in the Building Department click HERE for the Town website.

This is one of only 49 barns now left in Londonderry click HERE to view this barn and the others that remain.


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