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The Candia Heritage Commission, appointed by the Board of Selectmen, provides for the proper recognition, use and protection of Candia’s historic and cultural resources. Towards that end, the Commission focuses on activities and projects that generate an appreciation for the history of the town as well as support efforts to document that history.
Among its recent initiatives:
- In 2014, the Commission published A Sense of Place, a compilation of existing town histories and residents’ personal members. The work has since been reprinted due to its popularity. (Copies are available at the Town Office Building or the Smyth Public Library for $15.)
- In recent years, the Commission has undertaken the creation of historical self-guided walking tours spotlighting various areas of town. Tours have been completed for The Hill, East Candia, and Candia Village. A tour of Main Street Depot is in the works, and historic markers also are planned, in order to properly designate these areas of historic importance.
- In 2015, the Commission joined the Conservation Commission in developing a trail guide for walking or other non-mechanized recreation, and at least two Commission members are participating in the creation of a Community Profile as part of the ongoing master planning process.
- In 2013, through the Commission’s efforts, three historic markers were installed: an engraved granite stone marking the location of the Frederick Smyth Schoolhouse at the corner of Podunk and New Boston Roads; an historic marker installed by the State of New Hampshire in the Langford/Depot Road triangle describing the uniqueness of East Candia; and a duplicate of the historic High Street sign.
- In 2012, the Commission developed a renovation plan for the Smyth Memorial Building with the hope that it could be used as a community center. The Commission was assisted by the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance throughout the process, but the plan failed to win voter approval at Town Meeting.
The Heritage Commission actively participates in various events around Candia throughout the year:
- Commission members welcome townspeople and other visitors at the Smyth Memorial Building during the annual holiday Lights on the Hill event;
- The Commission sponsors occasional presentations at the Smyth Public Library;
- Each spring, members monitor barn conservation easements by doing site visits and evaluating maintenance of barns by property owners;
- The Commission organizes the annual spring roadside cleanup; and
- Moore School’s 4th grade Candia History Day is a major undertaking, with several commission members playing key roles in making this education event a success.
The Commission meets the second Tuesday of the month at the Smyth Memorial Building. Anyone interested in the history and heritage of Candia is encouraged to attend meetings.
Other Heritage Commission Activities and Initiatives
Stone Wall Preservation and Protection -- The Heritage Commission supported a warrant article at the 2003 Town Meeting for the protection of stone walls. Town voters approved the article. Commission members oversee the ordinance, are responsible to report violations and can express commendation to property owners who do restoration of their stone walls.
Architectural Standards -- The Heritage Commission worked with the Planning Board to write and adopt architectural design standards for commercial and industrial buildings. The purpose and intent of this document is to provide development and renovation standards for commercial, industrial and institutional structures that shall ensure architecturally consistent and aesthetically pleasing structures styled to complement the traditional New England heritage of Candia.