Book Notes: Detailing Haverhill Corner’s Historic District Application

  • Haverhill Historical Society President Edith Celley looks at Pearson Hall in Haverhill, N.H., on May 8, 2013. The society owns the building and it restoring it. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • At right is the former Grafton County jail in Haverhill, N.H., attached to the jailkeepers residence on October 27, 2014. It is now a private residence. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 10/6/2016 9:00:40 PM
Modified: 10/7/2016 11:42:47 AM

If you’ve driven by but never strolled among the brick and white clapboard homes and institutional buildings in Haverhill Corner, the Haverhill Library Association is offering a handy guide to each structure’s origins, and how the neighborhood’s residents and admirers campaigned to add it to the National Register of Historic Places almost 30 years ago.

This summer, in observance of the library’s move to the neighborhood’s main drag, Court Street, in 1916, the library published Haverhill Corner District: A Brief Summary of its History and Significance with Pictures and Descriptions of its Historic Buildings and Homes. Association trustee and treasurer Joe Kirkpatrick assembled the 87-page book over the first half of 2016, starting with the text of the nomination package that residents Katharine Blaisdell, John Klitgord and Winnifred Moran compiled in 1987.

“That nomination form contained information about the various buildings that were considered ‘contributing structures’ to the historical significance of the district,” library association trustee John Landrigan wrote during an exchange of emails this week. “Joe took this information and updated it throughout, supplementing the photographs from the nomination form (now somewhat historical themselves) with additional photos taken for the purpose.”

In a separate email conversation, Kirkpatrick said that the documents had become less accessible over the ensuing decades.

“I started the project in January and completed it in June of 2016,” Kirkpatrick wrote. “The most time-consuming parts of the process were editing and formatting the material; selling, composing and coordinating ads to generate financial support for the project and working with our excellent printer, R.C. Brayshaw of West Lebanon.

“Most interesting and surprising was how well preserved Haverhill Corner remains. It’s a real treasure, this community where my wife and I retired in 2012.”

Copies of the book ($10) are available at the An Affair to Remember gift store in downtown Woodsville, at the Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank’s branches at Wal-Mart and in Piermont, and at the Haverhill Corner Library. Proceeds will support library programs.

Author Appearances

Norwich-based author David Macaulay reads from and talks about the most recent of his The Way Things Work series of books, during an appearance from 1 to 2 on Saturday afternoon at the Norwich Bookstore. Copies will be available for purchase and signing.

Best-selling author Jodi Picoult, of Etna, launches the tour for her 23rd novel, Small Great Things, on Monday morning at 10 with a reading and signing at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Upper Valley church on Route 5 south in Norwich. The Norwich Bookstore is hosting the gathering and the price of admission ($34) includes a copy of the book for signing. To reserve tickets, visit the store or call 802-649-1114.

Small Great Things follows the complications that ensue from the refusal of a white-supremacist couple to let an African-American delivery nurse care for their newborn baby. In the author’s note to the book, Picoult writes that the idea of addressing racism in one of her novels had been percolating for decades. Then she read a news story about such a case in Flint, Mich., which led to a discrimination suit.

For her research, Picoult writes, she talked not only with women of color about their struggles, but with two former skinheads.

“I expect pushback from this book,” Picoult writes. “I will have people of color challenging me for choosing a topic that doesn’t belong to me. I will have white people challenging me for calling them out on their racism. Believe me, I didn’t write this novel because I thought it would be fun or easy. I wrote it because I believed it was the right thing to do, and because the things that make us most uncomfortable are the things that teach us what we all need to know.”

Howard Frank Mosher travels from his home in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom to read from God’s Kingdom, his most recent novel about the “Kingdom County”-based Kinneson family, at the Quechee Library on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. Baked goods will be served, and books will be available for purchase and signing.

Book Groups

Norman Williams Public Library in Woodstock is inviting fans of novelist Graham Greene to a discussion of the author’s The Heart of the Matter on Oct. 29 at 10:30 a.m. The 1948 book follows a British intelligence officer in West Africa during World War II, facing conflicts between his beliefs and his duty.

The Write Stuff

Songwriter Sandi Ellen Anderson will lead a series of workshops on songwriting in Woodstock in October and November. The series starts on Oct. 22 at 3:30 p.m. at Norman Williams Public Library, and will continue with four more sessions, at a location to be announced. To register, call Anderson at 413-346-3662.

David Corriveau can be reached at dcorriveau@vnews.com and at 603-727-3304.




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