EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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December 1, 2013

Meetinghouses help make New Hampshire special

Meetinghouses matter to N.H. communities

(Continued)

Today, Sandown holds open houses at the meetinghouse, lets students come on field trips and allows couples to marry there.

“We have two weddings scheduled next year so far, one in May and one in June,” Bassett said.

Preservation is an ongoing concern with meetinghouses.

Randall recalls fending off a modernization effort by a selectman a few years ago to cover the exterior with vinyl siding.

He sees these buildings as community treasures to be defended and protected.

“They all should be preserved,” Randall said.

“Preservation” is what should be their future, Holmes said.

A few years ago, Holmes encouraged officials to include the meetinghouse, not the Old Man of the Mountain, on the state’s commemorative quarter.

“Now, the Old Man is a pile of rocks,” he said. “We have a bunch of meetinghouses that are still standing.”

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