- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 12, 2015

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - A number of projects in the North Country, including the rehabilitation of the Franconia Iron Furnace and the rebirth of a former Catholic school in Berlin into housing are among those honored by the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance at its annual ceremony in Concord.

The awards Tuesday recognize individuals, organizations and corporations for projects in the categories of restoration, rehabilitation and stewardship.

The restoration of a 19th century stone stack from the iron industry in Franconia is believed to be the last known blast furnace in New Hampshire. An investment of more than $8 million in the Berlin school kept $5 million of goods and services circulating within a 60-mile radius of the city.

Other North Country projects getting recognition include two Main Street buildings in Lancaster; cemetery fences in Sugar Hill; the Fabyan Guard Station log cabin in Carroll; and the Blair Covered Bridge in Campton.

Others getting recognition are The Jones Farm in Milton; Belmont Village’s Victorian bandstand; Hallsville School Clock and Tower in Manchester; Amherst Town Hall; the Joseph T. Sleeper House in Concord; the conversion of the Walker School in Concord to a broadcast station; the Nelson Town Hall; and the North Cotton Storehouse in Nashua.

Many of New Hampshire’s traditional craftsmen worked on these projects. Arnold Graton helped Campton rehabilitate the Blair Covered Bridge; he had worked previously on the bridge in the 1970s with his father. Graton’s son, JR Graton worked on uncovering original details and repairing the ornate Belmont Bandstand.

The alliance is the statewide membership organization that encourages the protection and revival of historic buildings to strengthen communities and stimulate local economies

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