Dunbarton, NH Hearse Restoration Committee

Gail Martel
Donna Dunn
Bob Boynton
Nancy Frost
Selectman Liason: Mert Mann
Telephone Number: 774-3541 - Town Office
Committee Inquiries: 774-4567
Postal Address: 1011 School Street
Dunbarton, NH 03046
Monthly Meeting: See below

Volunteers finish renovation of hearse
(Concord Monitor Article)

Dedication! Saturday August 11, 2007
Page’s Cemetery, 8:30 am
There will be Speakers and Refreshments

for more info please see the bulletin board.

Please mark your calendars for Saturday morning, August 11.  We will be taking the Group Photo at Page's Corner Cemetery celebrating the completion of the Hearse Project.  ANYONE who had a hand in this project is invited; this was a true team effort!  All help received, either donations or labor, no matter how small, made this happen.  Feel free to wear late 1800's clothing! 

Location:  Pages Corner Cemetery. The photo will be taken from a ladder for height and will include the restored Hearse hooked up to Bob Boynton's 'bomb-proof' horse "Spike", Bob as the driver in proper vintage attire, the new Hearse House, the Committee, Cemetery Trustees, and ANYONE who helped!!  This photo is being taken for posterity so let's make it great.

Photographers are welcome!

Questions?  Call 774-4567
Donna Dunn

2006 Hearse Committee Town Report

Mission Statement
To help preserve Dunbarton’s historic past by restoring the horse-drawn hearse purchased by the town in 1870 to working condition. This charge includes raising funds, obtaining materials, and either performing or overseeing actual labors. Restoration efforts shall be in keeping with the simple style of this vehicle. Efforts may include a future maintenance reserve or permanent storage facilities if funds allow.

Established November 2004; will disband upon completion of mission statement.

No formally scheduled meetings; this is a hands-on working group with a specific physical task. Meetings will be informally scheduled on an as-needed basis. All volunteers are welcome; call 774-4567 or email dunncottage@aol.com.

Donations of money or materials are most welcome. Both are tax-deductible and receipts will be provided.

2005 Annual Report

The Hearse Restoration Committee & Volunteer Team is making slow but steady progress. Bob Boynton had new wheels made in Pennsylvania (courtesy of Mr. Gee’s Tires & Merchants Motors) and brought them home to Dunbarton. The first coat of paint was applied by Jan Vandebogart, who also sandblasted and painted the springs, axels and more. Carpenters Harvey Provencher & Bernie Bastian offered their considerable skills; and Mast Road Lumber made a generous donation of wood.

JP Chemical came to the rescue when work halted because of an active infestation of Powder Post Beetles. Next, rotted wood received structural epoxy and now Bob Boynton can dismantle and rebuild the hearse in sections.

Research has taken a tremendous amount of time: Nancy Frost & Beth Lamarca poured through old town records starting with 1869. Gail Martel & Donna Dunn made numerous field trips to photograph other hearses, gather information and obtain material samples (our hearse provided only a few tiny, fragile fragments of fabric and floorcloth due to the 1959 fire). Other information has come from lengthy interviews with long-time residents, site visits,various old documents and even a recently discovered 1929 Dunbarton Book Club Scrapbook. Sherlock Holmes would be proud!

Many hands make light work: Chuck Frost investigated glass issues, Bill Frost did metal work, Wijpkjen Whittier sketched, Marilyn & Jim Meighan provided storage space, Henri Arsenault cybersleuthed, the Dunbarton Historical Society donated wheel hubs, the Bastian brothers, Lee Martel and several others provided muscle power when needed, and many others performed tasks too numerous to mention. What a team!

The “Holes in the Hearse Gang” welcomes additional volunteers for research, help with a hearse house, artwork to display the hearse’s story, and more. Call the town office for more info!