FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 30, 2021
Historic Keene home named to National Register of Historic Places
The New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources has announced that the Joslin-Faulkner-Putnam House in Keene has been honored by the United States Secretary of the Interior with placement on the National Register of Historic Places for its architectural distinction.
Built in 1889-1890 and with virtually no alternations since 1913, the house ranks among the finer examples of Queen Anne domestic architecture in southwestern New Hampshire.
Both the two-and-a-half story main house and one-and-a-half story carriage shed have varied roof planes and exterior wall textures as well as complimentary moldings; each has clapboards on the first and second stories, with shingles on the gable ends and dormers.
The house is asymmetrically designed with several additional features distinctive to the Queen Anne style, including a three-story, three-sided corner tower; a two-and-a-half story gabled bay window; arched and ornamented alcoves that flank an angular bay window on the second floor and a wrap-around porch that spans much of the first story.
The fourteen-room main house’s interior spaces have extensive decorative ornamental features, including tilework, ceiling medallions, door hardware, stained glass and fireplaces designed for each main room.
Each of the first-floor rooms of the main portion of the house – the front hall and vestibule, parlor, sitting room and dining room – is fitted out in a different type of wood, all left unpainted: quarter-sawn oak, mahogany, flame birch and cherry. Despite the varied woods, the style of the woodwork in these rooms is identical.
Distinctive wall treatments in the house include Lincrusta in the vestibule and imported silk wallpaper that was specifically designed for the dining room in the mid-20th century.
The main house’s ell has the kitchen, two pantries, a laundry room with soapstone sinks, an ice delivery door and a back entry hall on the first floor, three bedrooms on the second floor and attic storage on the third floor. Household help lived in residence at least through the 1930s.
The carriage house’s interior retains many early features, including a tack room, hay drops, staircase, and bead-board walls and ceilings. Converted from hay storage in the 1950s, the rear area is a well-equipped gymnasium with basketball hoops, a rope swing and a climbing rope.
At the time the Joslin-Faulkner-Putnam House was built, mail order house plans were nearing their height in popularity. Architect Frank Leslie Smith, who designed the house, offered plans for Queen Anne style houses, most of which were five- to nine-room dwellings, through his publication, “Homes of To-day, or Modern Examples of Moderate-Cost Houses.” The design for Joslin’s house apparently appeared in the July 1889 issue.
Members of several prominent Keene families have owned the property: the Joslins, who were associated with the Cheshire Chair Company; the Faulkners, who established the Faulkner and Colony Manufacturing Company and were heavily involved in local and state politics; and the Putnams, who founded the Markem Machine Company and are well-known for their civic involvement and philanthropy.
Twenty years after helping the N.H. Preservation Alliance launch its preservation easement program, the Putnam family executed an easement on the Joslin-Faulkner-Putnam House, protecting it in perpetuity.
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 historic 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 increase 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 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.