Lyndeborough Town Hall renovations underway; stage floor refinished

LYNDEBOROUGH – Decades ago, before anyone now in town can remember, the stage floor at the Town Hall was covered with gray linoleum. It was probably part of the Grange program of upkeep. Earlier this month, it was uncovered and the old pine floor sanded and refinished until it gleams.

Pinnacle Grange No. 18 used the hall from 1873 until it disbanded about 100 years later.

The stage floor was this year’s project in an on-going program of “doing one thing a year,” over and above the normal maintenance. The stage was on last year’s list, to be done after the stage was painted, but it was discovered that chimney repairs were needed – more important than a stage floor.

The hall was built in 1845, two years after the old meetinghouse was torn down. A committee named to study the question decided, according to the Donovan History of 1905, “A building 30 by 40 feet was sufficient to seat all the voters which will ever come there and give them sufficient room for all necessary operations.”

Even with various additions and upgrades over the years – including adding the stage area and raising the roof to allow for a dining room on the upper level – the town outgrew the building in the 1960s and moved to the larger Citizens’ Hall in South Lyndeborough.

About 20 years ago, officials realized the building was deteriorating through non-use and began a program of restoration. The Historical Society began the effort and the Heritage Commission is now over-seeing it for the town. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Town business returned to the hall in the late 1990s while Citizens’ Hall was totally renovated.

The Hall is the site of the annual Easter Egg Hunt, Community Day, Veterans’ Day program, and other community gatherings. It is used for fund-raisers, concerts, meetings, and by such groups as a local quilting society. It can be rented for private parties.

Next year’s plan includes replacement of steps in an anteroom that were removed when the space was briefly a police station.

The steps lead to a landing on stairs from the meeting hall to the dining room, more convenient way to reach the dining room when preparing town meeting dinner. Also planned is repair of the small rooms on either side of the stage and repair of the tin ceiling.

A memorial Christmas tree was planted in front of the building two years ago and wiring provided for it to be lighted this season.