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The Dorchester Historic District Ordinances are contained in Warrant Articles accepted by the Town of Dorchester: 

"In order to preserve the historical and architectural values of the Dorchester Community Church,” the Town of Dorchester voted on March 10, 1981, "to establish a historic district pursuant to the provisions of RSA 89-a through 89-1..."

Historic District Commission

Dorchester Historic District Ordinances

"In order to preserve the historical and architectural values of the Dorchester Community Church,” the Town of Dorchester voted on March 10, 1981, "to establish a historic district pursuant to the provisions of RSA 89-a through 89-1, which shall consist of that portion of the Town of Dorchester that lies within the limits of a circle having a radius of 550 feet, the center point of which circle shall be marked by a plaque at the southwest corner of the Dorchester Church property as described in instrument recorded in the Grafton County Registry of Deeds, Book 862, Page 451, said plaque to be located 55 feet south of the stone wall behind the Dorchester Community Church" (Warrant Article 23, approved 3-10-1981). 

At that same meeting, the Town also voted to create a Historic District Commission, pursuant to RSA 89-c,


"to consist of seven (7) members, one of whom shall be a selectman, to be chosen by the selectmen, one of whom shall be a member of the planning board, to be chosen by the planning board, and five (5) of whom shall be other residents of the Town who shall be appointed at town meeting, the members of said Commission to be appointed for three year terms except the initial appointments shall be staggered so that subsequent appointments shall not recur at the same time, and provided further that the members of said commission shall serve without compensation and shall serve no more than two (2) successive terms." (Warrant Article 24, approved 3-10 1981). 

The Town then voted


“to appoint five (5) members of the Historic District Commission, two to serve for three (3) years, two to serve for two (2) years and one to serve for one (1) year.” (Warrant Article 25, approved 3-10-1981). 

On March 9, 1999, the Town of Dorchester voted


"pursuant to RSA 674:46-a, V. to authorize the Historic District Commission to assume the powers and duties of a heritage commission." This article authorizes "the Historic District Commission to exercise the power described under RSA 674:44-b, including but not limited to, the authority to receive gifts of money and property, both real and personal, in the name of the town, subject to the approval of the Board of Selectmen, such gifts to be managed and controlled by the Historic District Commis proper purposes.” (Warrant Article 6, approve 3-9-1999) 

Committee News & Updates

Meeting Schedules
Meeting Minutes
Historical District Map
church dorchester nh


The present Town House Church was originally built on Thompson Hill in 1838 by members of the Town’s earliest families, who financed the construction through subscription for pews. In 1883 most of the families in the Thompson Hill area had moved away and it was decided to relocate the church, reduced in size, to the Town House area whose original church had been destroyed by fire in 1839. Over the years restoration of the building has been undertaken by local residents and organizations.

town hall dorchester nh


The Dorchester Town Hall was built in 1842 on the site of the 1828 North Meeting House which was destroyed by fire in 1839. The first Town Meeting was held there on March 18th, 1884. Since 1899 it has been the home of the Dorchester Grange whose members built the stage and kitchen and have shared in its care and maintenance. The Dorchester Grange sponsers holiday parties for the children, maintains a food pantry for the needy and offers scholarships to Dorchester students who plan to further their education. For many years, the Dorchester Grange sponsored the Dorchester Old Home Day.

historic town green dorchester nh


The building in which the Dorchester Historical Museum is housed was erected in 1808. The Museum is located in the former North School District, which was established in the 1790’s. From 1808 until it’s closing in 1926, the North District School served as a school house.


Due to the tireless efforts of co-founders Nella Ashley and Lee King, the building was opened as a museum in June of 1966 to display historical documents, family heirlooms and photographs. The school’s last teacher, Lena Walker, is pictured in one of the photographs in the museum.

The bell originally used at the North Dorchester school, was presented in memory of A.Topliff Sawyer. It is used in a belfry built by A. John Franz in 1976 to honor pupils and teachers of Dorchester Schools.

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