Renovation and Transformation of the St. Joseph Church building in Bartlett,
Historical Society Mission
Mission is to “Preserve and protect all documents and items of
historic value concerning the history of Bartlett, New Hampshire.”
Little Bit About Bartlett
Bartlett is a
small, rural New England town with its origins officially dating back to
1790 when it was incorporated and named in honor of Dr. Josiah Bartlett, the
first President of New Hampshire.
The true origin of the town dates even farther back, however.
At the end of the French and Indian Wars, acreage was granted to
soldiers who distinguished themselves in battle.
The first land grants that eventually became a part of Bartlett were
from Governor Benning Wentworth in October 1765 to Colonel Andrew McMillan,
a two thousand acre plot and another three thousand acres to Captain William
years, Bartlett has been a farming town, a logging town, a railroad town,
and hospitality town. This
town’s history makes for a great story.
Our work to
preserve the history of the town is important because much can be learned
from our heritage and passed on to future generations.
Church – A Brief History
Church was built in 1890 under the guidance of Father J. N. Plante.
St. Joseph was the first and oldest Catholic Church in the Mount
Washington Valley. Over the
years, it served the spiritual needs of Catholics, at first from many
villages in the valley, and over time, just to the Villages of Bartlett.
In 1999, the
Diocese of Manchester consolidated several smaller churches into the parish
of Our Lady of the Mountains in North Conway, thereby closing St. Joseph
Church. In that year, the
Bartlett School District purchased the church building and turned it into a
storage facility for the school district.
In 2013, the
school district announced a plan to demolish the building.
In response, a small group of Bartlett citizens arose asking that the
building be saved.
discussion, it was decided to lease the building to the Bartlett Historical
Society so they could transform it into a historical museum.
A lease between the school district and historical society was signed
in June 2016. The building will
be renovated and opened as
Bartlett Historical Society Museum.”
Transformation of a Church to a Museum
Historical Society plans to renovate and transform the church building into:
headquarters for the historical society;
museum displaying the history of Bartlett;
A center for
presentations on historic topics;
center for Bartlett’s past, and;
for our collection of Bartlett artifacts.
historical society has no headquarters, no museum, a borrowed presentation
room, artifacts scattered across town and no facility for historic research.
This building renovation and transformation will change a church to a
museum; save an historic structure, and; allow the Bartlett Historical
Society to preserve the past for future generations.