Local

Nearly 150-year-old N.H. town hall destroyed by fire

JEFFERSON, N.H. (AP) — A fire destroyed the nearly 150-year-old Town Hall building in Jefferson Monday night, and town officers who were meeting remotely stopped when they heard the news.

“It is with a heavy heart I share that our Jefferson Town Hall has burnt down last night,” Select Board member Cindy Silver posted on Facebook. She said firefighters were able to save the fire department, which is just feet away from the hall, and the town office addition was still standing.

It wasn’t clear yet if any town records were lost. There are town warrants and reports going back to the 1800s.

“We went through some of them this past year,” said Tom Brady, select board chairperson. “It was a little fun to read the expenditures for different things back in the 1800s. So, it’s really sad if that was lost.”

The building, which opened as a meeting house in 1872, has been a gathering place through the years for parties, dances, and receptions, in addition to town functions. The hall was Jefferson’s polling place on Election Day.

The fire marshal’s office was expected on the scene Tuesday. A cause of the fire has not been given.

The fire was reported just after 7 p.m. Monday.

Town selectman Kevin Meehan said the wind and cold made battling the fire challenging.

No injuries were reported and no one was at the town hall at the time of the fire, Jefferson Fire Chief Chris Milligan said.

The town hall was in the center of Jefferson, a northern New Hampshire town of about 1,100 that’s popular with tourists for its Santa’s Village amusement park and parts of the White Mountain National Forest.

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