Historical Society Aims to turn up the heat

Newmarket group raises enough funds to buy new furnace for old building

Written by Aaron Sanborn

Newmarket, NH - January 03, 2014 - Thanks to a number of generous donations, the New Market Historical Society will have heat.

A new furnace is being installed in the building this month after a successful fund-raising effort.

"At least with a consistent interior temperature we will be able to preserve our collections from further mold and mildew damage," said Nancy Lessard, historical society president. "We'll have heating on both floors. Hopefully it will be up in running by mid-January and then we'll be able to have school tours during the year because we'll have heat."

The New Market Historical Society is housed in an aging building, located adjacent to the Stone Church on Granite Street.

The effort to purchase a new furnace was the historical society's first major fund-raising effort but it won't be its last, according to Lessard.

Mold and mildew in the building is a concern and the building's stonework needs tuckpointing, and that will cost around $100,000, Lessard said.

Lessard added that the historical society has found a mason willing to spread that work out over several years.

"Since that is very costly we will have to make that a five-year project with on-going fund-raising," Lessard said. "The furnace was Phase 1 of our efforts because we couldn't go forward with anything until we had consistent heat in the building."

Donations for the furnace came from all over, according to Lessard. In November, the historical society held a silent auction that raised over $2,000.

Lessard said several area businesses stepped up and offered auction items.

"The auction was lots of fun, everyone had a good time, it was a great community event," Lessard said. "The community has been incredible."

In addition, Proulx Oil & Propane made a $2,500 donation to the museum.

"They gave us a good bid on the work and gave us the donation," Lessard said. "That was awesome."

Jim Proulx, president of Proulx Oil and Propane, said the company was happy to contribute and has a long personal and business relationship with the town. Proulx said his late father, Maurice Proulx, was raised in Newmarket and attended the old "Stone School" that now houses the museum.

"Along with my brothers John and Tom, we are glad that we are able to contribute toward continuing the legacy through the wonderful work of the members of the historical society," Proulx said.

Lessard said the next fund-raiser being planned will be a Victorian tea event.

"Now that we have heat we will be able to hold events during the winter and be open for school tours," Lessard said. "In time we hope to have enough steady income to allow us to offer good speakers and interesting programs to the local communities. At this time we can only engage speakers that do not charge a fee. We are very excited about the future plans for our small museum and society."

Original Article www.seacoastonline.com. Visit Proulx Oil and Propane's web site (www.proulxoilandpropane.com) or Proulx Autogas (www.proulxautogas.com), for more information.