- Historic Time Line
- Use & Rules
- 1793 Meeting House framed
- 1796-1815 Baptists/Congregationalists
- 1819 Minister taxes abolished
- 1827 Town acquires building
- 1840 Pulpit & pews removed, slanted flooring & benches on first floor, ceiling planks, removed pew boxes from second floor
- 1850 Bell installed
- 1855 West Porch added
- 1893 Electricity - Dance Hall
- 1895 Clock installed
- 1974 The voters of Canaan establish a committee to restore the Meeting House
- 1975 The exterior restoration work starts
- 1976 Roof restoration starts
- 1978 Exterior restoration completed
- 1980 Plans for interior restoration started
- 1983 Sill and floor leveling completed
- 1989 Summer literary readings started
- 1990 Started Breastworks repair
- 1993 East Gallery restored
- 1994 Plans for west porch to rebuild stairs to second floor, install bathroom and kitchen
- 2005 West Porch started
- 2006 Septic system installed
- 2011 Interior complete
- 2012 Tower restored
- 2013 Exterior of Meeting House painted & Window Restoration planning started
- 2014 Relighted
- 2015 Window restoration starts
- 2016 Hand Forged Railings with Boot Scrapers installed at the East and South Doors and Handicap ramp installed at the West Door.
THE FUTURE OF THE CANAAN MEETING HOUSE
Over four decades ago, a small group of neighbors became concerned about the poor condition of the historic Meeting House. A permanent Meeting House Restoration Committee was created and, in 1975, a preliminary plan of action was drafted. Through the years, tens of thousands of dollars have been contributed by charitable foundations, state historic organizations, and gifts from individuals and families like yours.
With the initial restoration done, a new permanent Meeting House Preservation Committee has been formed with the charge of advocacy for the preservation and maintenance of the Meeting House.
Restoration will be an on-going effort. The Meeting House is a priceless old building that will continue to need help above and beyond what the town will be able to provide. It is clear we must establish a long range reserve fund to preserve and protect the Meeting House. As the building ages, we must be prepared to assess and plan for future needs. The recent failing of the tower was a lesson learned.
We can't wait for an emergency to hit; we must be proactive. Just as Canaan responded to the needs of the Meeting House over the past thirty seven years, we hope you will respond in kind to the present opportunity for participation in this historic cause. Trish Brown's efforts raised $8,000 for the repair of the tower kick-starting our latest fund raising drive. Contributions over the last few years now total $20,000. Our fund needs to be large enough to weather future storms.
We are dedicated to preserving the Meeting House so that it will remain a living center of community expression and pride. And we need your help. Please make checks payable to the "Town of Canaan" with "Meeting House" on the memo line, and mail to PO Box 38, Canaan, NH 03741. Your contribution will be dedicated solely to the preservation of the Meeting House.
The Meeting House Preservation Committee
Click here. to view the video provided by Carol Bergeron of the tower being lifted off by a crane.
In 2016 several improvements were made at the Meeting House to improve accessibility. Dimitri Gerakaris created handrails for the East and South Meeting House Doors. Gerakaris forged the railings consistent with the design and technical methods of the time period in which the meeting house was built, including forged mortise and tenon joints plus hand riveted boot scrapers and hand-forged hand rail stock.
At the rear door, a handicap ramp was installed. The labor was donated by Chris Keyser.
In 2015 the Meeting House Preservation Committee is raising money to restore windows in the Meeting House. Many of the windows have broken glass, poor caulking and need paint. Each sash is being pulled, photographed and sent for repairs. Al Posnanski, Joe Frazier and Dave's Glass are undertaking this work.
The Preservation Committee is also planning on building a new handicapped ramp at the rear of the building.
Lighting Improvements & Beginning of Window Restoration
2013 Canaan Lake Association Annual Community Barbeque
2013 Meeting House Readings
2013 Annual Rug Hook-In
Students in Portfolio Art work all year to create "a cohesive body of work." They must mount a show and write an artist's statement as their final culmination of their year. Their work is shown in conjunction with the Indian River Middle School Art Show.
Meeting House Readings 2011
Bill Craig opening the 22nd Annual Meeting House Readings on July 7, 2011.
Meeting House Annual Hook-Ins
New Hampshire History Days 2011
Each year, students at the Canaan Elementary School study colonial history and artifacts from earlier eras in the classroom. They then re-enact colonial activities, including games and crafts such as quilting and candle making, on the Meeting House Green.