2019-04-15: Farm in Stratham named to National Register of Historic Places2019-04-15T12:55:11-04:00


Shelly Angers, N.H. Department of Natural & Cultural Resources
Twitter: @NHDNCR

Farm in Stratham named to National Register of Historic Places

The New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources has announced that the Janvrin-Healey-Scamman Farm in Stratham has been honored by the United States Secretary of the Interior with placement on the National Register of Historic Places.

Farmed continuously since Stratham was settled, the Janvrin-Healey-Scamman Farm is one of the few properties in town remaining in agricultural production.

The connected farmhouse’s two-and-a-half story Greek Revival main house, built circa 1836, is notable for its wide gable front. The main building has nine fireplaces, including a cooking fireplace with a bake oven, which was a common feature in homes built before the 1840s; after that time, cook stoves became more popular. Two porches, one with Italianate features and another with Greek Revival features, were added to the south and north sides of the building, respectively, in the second half of the 19th century.

Both the ell and the backhouse also date to 1836. A large fireplace with a bake oven in the ell indicates that at one time owners may have chosen to cook in the main house in the winter and in the ell in the summer as a way of avoiding heating up the house in the warmer months.

The large New England barn, ca. 1836, was first used as a dairy barn, then converted to a poultry barn when dairy prices dropped in the early 1900s, and then later returned to use as a dairy barn.

The oldest building on the property, the free-standing English barn, represents the property’s Colonial period of subsistence farming and is a rare surviving example of that structure type, dating to the 18th century. It has been adapted for several uses over the centuries, including for feed storage and as a machine shed.

A former chicken hatchery, built in the 1930s as a standalone structure, is now an apartment.

The property has had several notable owners, including Eliphalet Ladd, a privateer during the Revolutionary War; George Janvrin, who built the house, ell, backhouse and New England barn; and Charles N. Healey, who had the most productive orchard in Stratham, harvested as much as 100 tons of hay a year and specialized in raising Ayrshire cows as part of his dairy operation.

In 1971, W. Douglas Scamman, Sr. and W. Douglas Scamman, Jr., descendants of the original “Scammon” family who settled nearby in the 1660s, bought the property and combined it with adjacent land the family had owned for three centuries. At its largest, the Scammans’ farm encompassed 455 acres on both sides of the road.

The Town of Stratham holds a barn easement on the historic barns and more than 200 acres of land are protected under a conservation easement.

Administered by the National Park Service, which is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior, the National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of historical resources worthy of preservation and is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate and protect our historic and archaeological resources.

Listing to the National Register does not impose any new or additional restrictions or limitations on the use of private or non-federal properties. Listings identify historically significant properties and can serve as educational tools and promote heritage tourism opportunities. The rehabilitation of National Register-listed commercial or industrial buildings may qualify for certain federal tax provisions.

In New Hampshire, listing to the National Register makes applicable property owners eligible for grants such as the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program or LCHIP (lchip.org) and the Conservation and Heritage License Plate Program (nh.gov/nhdhr/grants/moose).

For more information on the National Register program in New Hampshire, please visit nh.gov/nhdhr or contact the Division of Historical Resources at 603-271-3583.

New Hampshire’s Division of Historical Resources, the State Historic Preservation Office, was established in 1974 and is part of the N.H. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. NHDHR’s mission is to preserve and celebrate New Hampshire’s irreplaceable historic resources through programs and services that provide education, stewardship, and protection. For more information, visit us online at nh.gov/nhdhr or by calling 603-271-3483.