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Pelham~Windham News Cookie Season
is Monday! Volume 8 Number 25 January 14, 2011 16 Pages
Windham Girl Scouts &#x2018;Kick Off &#x2019;
Daisy Scouts from Troop 13931
submitted by Sandi Kane, Windham Girl Scouts Over 250 Windham Girl Scouts arrived at Center School on Sunday, January 9, excited and anxious to attend their &#x201C;Cookie Kick Off Carnival.&#x201D; The carnival, hosted by Windham Girl Scouts, featured carnival games and tons of prizes. Over 45 volunteers from Windham Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, the Windham community, and Windham High School helped the girls with face painting, finding a prince at the &#x201C;kissing booth,&#x201D; pizza, popcorn, and cotton candy. The original Girl Scout cookie recipe and Girl Scout cookie tasting were a big hit. It wasn&#x2019;t a big surprise when the Thin Mints, America&#x2019;s best selling cookie (behind only the original Oreo), came in first place in the taste test. With hula-hoops, jugglers, and carnival music everywhere, the event was a huge success. It was a great way to bring
the cookie-selling season to everyone&#x2019;s attention and get the girls excited about the sale. Each year, in southern New Hampshire, Girl Scout cookies go on sale around the first of January. Initial sales run through the beginning of February, with booth sales
continued to page 7 - Girl Scouts
by Barbara O&#x2019;Brien The old house and barn, located at the corner of Lowell Road and Route 111, have stood at that site for two centuries, watching steadfastly as the world changed around them. Despite their historic significance, however, both structures are now being threatened with the possibility of falling victim to a developer&#x2019;s ball and chain. A discussion of what is to happen to the &#x201C;Fellows House and Barn&#x201D; was the sole topic when members of the Windham Heritage Commission convened at Town Hall on the evening of January 3. Historically significant itself, the meeting room was about three- quarters full of interested residents, not one of whom spoke in favor of the house and barn being demolished or even relocated, if it&#x2019;s at all possible to keep them at their original location. The Heritage Commission is an arm of the Historic District Commission, but does not have the regulatory powers granted to the Historic District Commission. The Heritage Commission&#x2019;s purpose is to listen to public testimony regarding historic properties and to assist the Planning Board with related issues. The situation that instigated
Junior Girl Scouts play &#x201C;Cookie in the Box&#x201D;
the January 3 meeting was the application for a demolition permit by local resident and developer Anthony Mesiti. Mesiti is the current owner of the land and buildings commonly known as the &#x201C;Fellows&#x201D; property. He, reportedly, bought the property about eight years ago from Carol Wilen Yennaco at a cost of $1.3 million. Attorney Bill Mason represented Mesiti at the hearing.
Pictured in cookie cutouts are Kyra F. and Abbie P. with Daisy Troop 12222
According to Mason, Mesiti has plans of developing the Fellows property into a mixed commercial, retail, and residential district, and the old house and barn are not included in those plans. Mesiti&#x2019;s proposed project would be located in Windham&#x2019;s Village District, which includes the original town center. The property in question extends from land adjacent to the old Town Hall to Hardwood Road. Mesiti wants &#x201C;to create a village center; a downtown nesting area, so to speak,&#x201D; Mason said. &#x201C;The Village District
Message to Developer: Don&#x2019;t Demolish Historic Buildings ECRWSS
U.S. POSTAGE PAID
HUDSON, NH 03051
PERMIT NO. 33 Postal Customer
&#x201C;Fellows House and Barn&#x201D; located at the corner of Lowell Road and Route 111, cited for possible demolition
concept is a wonderful idea,&#x201D; Mason said, &#x201C;but it&#x2019;s taking forever to get a shovel in the ground.&#x201D; Referring to the process required to actually begin Mesiti&#x2019;s project, Mason said, &#x201C;It&#x2019;s one step forward and two steps back.&#x201D; Mason said the concept has been in the works for about seven or eight years and is still getting nowhere fast.
Commission Chairman Carol Pynn said that all the buildings along this stretch of what is now Route 111 made up the original town center and each of them once housed a small business; a doctor&#x2019;s office, a lawyer, a blacksmith, or a cobbler&#x2019;s shop. &#x201C;The Village District Ordinance says that these buildings shall be reused if at all possible, not demolished,&#x201D; she explained.
Although Mason said Mesiti has no use for the house and barn, he does appreciate its historical relevance and is willing to donate the structures to the Town of Windham for one dollar. The caveat to the donation, however, is that the buildings would have to be relocated elsewhere. But the major problem with that scenario is the high cost of moving the two buildings; a price tag estimated to be between $40,000 and $50,000. Mason said the Town would have about 120 days in which to come up with a solution for transporting the buildings to other sites.
Mason said that the Fellows House was vacated about a year ago and is &#x201C;in an advanced state of disrepair.&#x201D; Its only occupants at the
present time, according to Mason, are a bevy of bats. Prior to this past year, ever since Mesiti&#x2019;s purchase, the house was used as a rental property. Although Mason said he understands the buildings&#x2019; importance to the community in a historical sense, &#x201C;It has suffered the ravages of time.&#x201D;
Members of the Heritage Commission took exception with Mason&#x2019;s evaluation of the structures, stating that an inventory of the property was done three years ago in conjunction with the Route 111 construction and was judged to be in good structural condition. It was also reported that a new roof was put on both the house and the barn about a year ago. &#x201C;If it&#x2019;s well-structured, you can move it where you want it,&#x201D; Mason commented. &#x201C;We&#x2019;re not trying to cannibalize it. We&#x2019;re not trying to create a bonfire with it. If you find a place for it, it&#x2019;s yours!&#x201D;
Heritage Commission member Carolyn Webber asked if there was &#x201C;a valid reason&#x201D; for demolishing the house and barn. Mason said Mesiti was simply trying to &#x201C;be pro-active&#x201D; in developing an overall plan for the property. He said Mesiti wanted to give town officials a heads-up on what was coming down the road. &#x201C;Does this have to be demolished tomorrow?&#x201D; Mason asked. &#x201C;No,&#x201D; he answered. &#x201C;There is no ball and chain out there. We&#x2019;re just trying to provide some lead time to the board.&#x201D; &#x201C;We&#x2019;re not asking for your blessing to knock it down,&#x201D;
Mason continued. &#x201C;We&#x2019;re trying to find alternatives.&#x201D; Due to its age, the Fellows house and barn would most likely be eligible for protection under the National Register of Historic Places. To date, however, no application for that status has actually been made to the federal program. Pynn noted, however, that it could be illegal to tear down a historical building in advance of the necessary review to achieve protection status. This could constitute &#x201C;anticipatory demolition,&#x201D; Pynn said, and, as such, could carry a heavy fine for the developer. Another resident referred to the ordinance governing the Village District. &#x201C;The purpose of the ordinance is to preserve the area around Town Hall,&#x201D; he said. &#x201C;This entire discussion is in opposition to the district ordinance.&#x201D;
Mason suggested that
even if the entire house and barn couldn&#x2019;t be salvaged as is, parts of the house (i.e., windows, doors, or beams) could be reused elsewhere. This suggestion did not sit well with certain members of the audience, however. As one area resident, whose occupation involves woodworking, put it, &#x201C;You tear it down, it&#x2019;s nothing but a pile of sticks,&#x201D; adding that &#x201C;to find a barn in that beautiful of a condition is very rare.&#x201D; He suggested that the barn be turned into a workshop where high school students could learn the craft of woodworking.
continued to page 6 - Demolition
Cub Scouts Learn Detective Skills from Pelham Police Detective Unit
Brownie Scouts from troop 10655 enjoy the cotton candy
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submitted by Deb Zimmerman Den 8 Bear Cub Scouts from Pack 25 visited with the detectives of the Pelham Police Department in December as part of their Scout badge requirement. Although they had visited the police department in the past, this trip was to focused on the special work our town detectives do while solving crimes and keeping our community safe. These third graders received a top-notch discussion and demonstrations to better learn what happens after a crime has occurred. Scouts discussed with the detectives how a case is investigated, including how clues were taken like finger and footprints. They were given a tour of the area where suspects are questioned, and viewed equipment used to help process and solve cases that detectives work on daily. Many thanks to Pelham police staff Lieutenant Brian McCarthy, Sergeant TJ O&#x2019;Donnell, and Detective Jim Johnson.
Den 8 Bear Cub Scouts from Pack 25 with crime scene and other detective equipment in background. Back row: Max Beland, Rami Eid, Gaige Bassett, Ethan Patten. Front row: Patrick Zimmerman, George Michaud, John Galeotalanza, Cody Fox, and Riley Bassett
staff photos by Doug Robinson courtesy photos
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