As a service to practitioners, engineers and other persons interested in researching the status of roads, Alfano Law Office, PLLC has assembled information on the manner in which certain municipalities maintain records on roads. Included is a list of over seventy-five Southern New Hampshire municipalities.
TOWN OF ACWORTH:
Years 1858-1972: Board of Selectmen’s Office file: “Road Actions – Town Meeting 1858-1972.” Years 1972 – Current: Board of Selectmen’s Office: Binder of Town meeting minutes
TOWN OF ALLENSTOWN:
Road files are in filing cabinets in individuals folders, in alphabetical order at the Town Hall. Files are dated accordingly.
TOWN OF ANDOVER:
Years 1779 – current: Town meeting minutes located at Town Hall and State Archives. Sporadic 1900’s: Selectmen’s Files. 1980 – current: Selectmen’s files.
TOWN OF ATKINSON:
Recent Years: Minutes of Town meeting in Town Clerks Office and Selectmen’s Office. Older Years: Minutes of Selectmen’s meetings in Selectmen’s Office. Old maps and related records of Perambulation – located in file room with vital record section.
TOWN OF AUBURN:
Years 1848 to present: File folder in Clerk’s office entitled “Roads.”
TOWN OF BARNSTEAD:
Folder in Selectmen’s office. The Town does not have any formal listing. They have some research from the Town Reports.
TOWN OF BARRINGTON:
The Selectmen’s office has most of the information. There also is a road atlas.
TOWN OF BOW:
Years 1935 to Present: Summary of Town Meeting action relative to roads.
TOWN OF BRENTWOOD:
The Right of Way Department in Durham has all the records for roads in Brentwood, which may be the easiest resource. Brentwood has a file folder also.
TOWN OF CANDIA:
Years 1763 to 2004: Town Clerk’s Permanent Records, Planning Board Records, Road Agent’s Records. PLEASE NOTE: All Town Clerk’s records are on microfilm as well as hard copy secured in Clerk’s Office. Due to age of many documents (begin in 1763) those researching records use the microfilm reader which has printing capabilities.
TOWN OF CENTER HARBOR:
TOWN OF CHARLESTOWN:
Years 1700’s through mid-1990’s: Town Meeting Minutes located in a cabinet in the Town Clerk’s Office. Mid-1990’s to present: Same location. Also, if road was accepted through a subdivision approved by the Planning Board, the acceptance would be in the Selectboard Minutes located in the Select board’s Office in a cabinet.
TOWN OF CHESTER:
Years 1719 to 2004: Town meeting records kept in the vault in Town Hall.
TOWN OF CHESTERFIELD:
Hand-written notes prepared by Oscar Jewel in the 1930’s located in a filing cabinet in the highway garage.
TOWN OF CHICHESTER:
Years 1727 to current: Town history books and Town minutes
CITY OF CONCORD:
Engineering Services Division and/or City Clerk’s files. Also 1858 walling map for the county located at the Engineering Services Division.
TOWN OF DANVILLE:
Town meeting records and Selectmen minutes and records.
TOWN OF DEERFIELD:
Records of Town roads date back to 1766 — available for review by appointment.
TOWN OF DEERING:
Years 1770 -2004: Selectboard files, Road Agent files; Planning Board files; Historian files.
CITY OF DOVER:
City Clerk’s office has one main road book index where every road is catalogued by a computer database. This index makes reference to five old road books starting back in the early 1800’s that give a complete description of the layout of the roads. There is a shelf in the City Clerk’s vault that holds the original petitions for the roads of Dover — these are also cataloged in the database.
TOWN OF DUBLIN:
Years 1771 to present: Computer listing of all roads laid out and discontinued. The listing also includes the source of this information. Years after 1948: the information comes from the abstracts of the Town Meetings in the annual reports (Group I, Series A). For the years 1924-1947, see Group 2, Series A. For years before 1924, see Group 6, Series A – Town Clerk’s books. Some additional and sometimes duplicate information may be found in Group 26, Series A.
TOWN OF EPPING:
Selectmen’s Office has a list of Town roads and what class they are. Town Meeting Minutes show the Town accepting or discontinuing a road, but these are not indexed.
TOWN OF EXETER:
Town reports and Selectmen meeting minutes in Town Clerk archives.
TOWN OF FARMINGTON:
Scattered information in Town Reports, Town Records, etc. located in safe outside Town Clerk -Tax Collector office.
TOWN OF FITZWILLIAM:
Late 1700’s to present: Minutes of Selectmen, actual documents with layouts, annual reports, partial list made by previous employees. The Town has been archiving all its records and is putting everything to do with roads in separate boxes.
TOWN OF FREMONT:
Years 1764 +/- to present: (1) Road files maintained in the Selectmen’s Office (contains as much as could be found on old roads, and everything on new roads and developments); (2) Town History of Fremont bound book with in depth information on roads and many other topics. Available in Selectmen’s Office and Fremont Public Library.
TOWN OF GILFORD:
Years 1812 to 1900: State archives, Town reports, land deeds. Years 1900 – 1970: Town records, local surveyors, deeds, Town reports. Years 1970 – present: DPW records (expanding as more information is made available), local surveyors and engineers, state records, deeds.
TOWN OF GILMANTON:
Limited information on creation and termination of roads other than what is recorded in some old handwritten Town meeting records. Records go back to 1890. A fire in 1915 destroyed a lot of the Town’s old records. Belmont was once part of Gilmanton an the central place, at one time, where records were stored. Belmont has some records from Gilmanton (possibly mostly vital records, but possibly roads also).
TOWN OF GOFFSTOWN:
Town annual meeting minutes (Town reports), Selectmen minutes, Public Works records.
TOWN OF GRANTHAM:
Years 1800’s – 2004: Town reports/minutes (vault). Town of Grantham Road Manual (in Administration Office). Some roads have been collected into name specific files (in Town Administration Office). This is an ongoing project to consolidate the information by road name.
TOWN OF HAMPTON FALLS:
Town minutes and subdivision plans.
TOWN OF HANCOCK:
Years 1783 – 2004: Three ring binder — one is kept by Road Agent and one is kept at the Town Office. This book was prepared by two retired residents (now deceased) and records were taken from Town meeting minutes and State archives. This book covers about 95% to 98% of the Town’s Class V and Class VI roads.
TOWN OF HANOVER:
Information on the classification of roads is in the Public Works Department. The Town maintains paper files regarding the history of roads. The Town also maintains deeds for all Town owned properties. The Town maintains a database in the Town Hall that lists all deed transactions that involve Town owned properties. Database is not accessible to the public but the Town Manager’s Administrative Assistant could help by looking up any deed transactions.
TOWN OF HARRISVILLE:
Years 1871 – present: See Town meeting records. Records on shelf in Selectmen’s office and Town Clerk files. Also, Fire Department 911 list and Master Plan for Town of Harrisville — both in Town Clerk’s Office.
TOWN OF HENNIKER:
Years 1768 – present: “History of Henniker’s Roads” (book which combines all resources since Town’s incorporation with road road descriptions). Files on some roads in safe.
TOWN OF HILLSBOROUGH:
RE: Class V roads — normally road layouts are given in a return to the Town Clerk for filing. These files are found in books that may go back over 200 years, or in more recent files. The easiest way to determine the status of a road in Hillsborough is to ask the Selectmen’s Office. The Town maintains a list of all roads in its master plan and can determine what has recently been added. This list also includes Class VI roads.
TOWN OF HOLLIS:
Town considers any road that they maintain as a Class V highway. List is maintained at the DPW as well as the Department of Transportation in Concord. A book of information regarding Class VI roads is kept at various places including the DPW and Town Hall is readily shared with anyone seeking such information. This is updated from various sources when information becomes available, be it from old deeds, old records, etc. The Town is trying to transcribe old handwritten records as it finds them. Further, any new roads built in the last 20 years or so, are on file at the DPW as well as at the Planning Board.
TOWN OF HUDSON:
Plans that have been approved by the Planning Board that show the creation of new town roadways are kept on file in the Community Development Department and recorded at the Registry of Deeds. Additional information with regard to Class V roadways would appear in the Annual Town Report after acceptance and be listed in the Town Code thereafter. The Town Code is kept on file in the Selectmen’s Office and is updated on an annual basis.
CITY OF KEENE:
Years 1826 – 1978: Records are kept in separate volumes. See the City Clerk’s index card “finding aids.” Years 1979 – present: Records are no longer bound in separate volumes, but are maintained as part of the City Council subject files under the particular street name.
TOWN OF KENSINGTON:
Years 1938 to present: The Town maintains a computer database
TOWN OF KINGSTON:
State straight line diagrams; official Town Map has road classifications including private roads; old Town reports; accepted plans in Planning Board files; Road Agents.
CITY OF LACONIA:
Prior to 1894: transcribed and cross-referenced. Years 1894 to present. Road files are maintained in a variety of ways. A card file and notebook contain a list of references. The actual documents are in files or books and include surveyors’ field books, City reports, transcribed documents, actual documents, drawings and other references.
TOWN OF LEMPSTER:
Map that shows what type each road is — came from State.
TOWN OF LITCHFIELD:
Records on the history or status of roads not maintained by Town except for the minutes of 270 years’ worth of Town Meetings at which votes may or may not have been taken in regards to accepting various new streets.
TOWN OF LYNDEBOROUGH:
File maintained for each road. These files contain all road information for most roads.
CITY OF MANCHESTER:
Volumes of Streets, Highways and Bridges (volumes 1-18), Office of City Clerk.
TOWN OF MARLBOROUGH:
Thoroughfare and Transportation Plan is possibly the only source that the Town has which covers all of the roadways in Marlborough. See also minutes of prior public hearings or Town meetings.
TOWN OF MERRIMACK:
Various years: Town Meeting Minutes. All changes for any years should be codified in the Town Administrative Code.
TOWN OF MILFORD:
Years 1796 to present: Original road records books are in archival boxes and stored in the library’s vault. Copies of those books have been made and are stored in the Town Hall main vault, available for public and Town employees use.
TOWN OF MONT VERNON:
Before 1953: Town Report – initial naming. 1953 to present: Acceptance and naming in Town Report. OTHER: Straight Line Diagram Progress Profile in Selectmen’s Office.
CITY OF NASHUA:
Years 1746 – 1894: Street Acceptance Books: Apparently in 1893-1894, records from the City Clerk’s Office were transcribed by hand for more convenient use by the City Engineer’s Office. These records are mainly metes and bounds descriptions often using “rods” as a unit of measure and changing direction or ending at a type of tree. This practice was continued until 1980. Years 1894 to 1980: Street Acceptance Books: The above practice was continued until 1980. Years 1890 to present: Street Acceptance Plans: On file with the City Engineer’s Office. These are mainly copies of original plans on file at the Hillsborough County Registry of Deeds. Years 1940’s – present: Street Acceptance Petitions: Copies of petitions on file with the City Clerk are maintained for use by the City Engineer’s Office. See also various City maps on file and the “Insurance Map of Nashua” books dated 1912 and 1951.
TOWN OF NELSON:
Years 1826 to 1889: Manila file with Town Clerk. OTHER: Town Reports (Town Clerk has copies).
TOWN OF NEW BOSTON:
Years 1911 – 2004: Town Reports located in Selectmen’s Office. Partial list of Class VI roads by Conservation Commission. Road Book located in Planning and Selectmen’s Office. Old subdivision plans located in Planning Office. Old road maps to cross reference old road #’s with Town Reports located in Planning and Selectmen’s Office. State Archives Files in Concord, NH probably the most complete source.
TOWN OF NEW DURHAM:
Land Use and Planning Board clerk has a notebook.
TOWN OF NEW HAMPTON:
Years 1755 to present: Town Meeting Minutes and Warrants will provide Town actions to accept, discontinue, place “subject to gates and bars,” summer maintained roads, etc. for Town roads. Years 1969 to present: Planning Board records – subdivision plans and road plans for “dedicated” roads. OTHER: (1) Inventory of Roads with profiles, classifications and maps performed by NH Dept. of Transportation, December 1956, updated May 1972. Maps and records kept by Selectmen’s Office. (2) Road Map Update with classifications prepared by Lakes Region Planning Commissions, April 1991. (3) Records of maintenance or non-maintenance of roads in determining Class VI status, found in accounting records and public works department records.
TOWN OF NEW IPSWICH:
In file drawer in Town Clerk’s Office.
TOWN OF NEW LONDON:
Town of New London Board of Selectmen’s Office maintains “road files” for use by the public when researching the status of a road. If the road file does not contain the necessary information, then the Town may refer the searcher to one of the following sources: (1) Tax file for abutting properties (also kept in the Selectmen’s Office); (2) Merrimack County Registry of Deeds; (3) Town Clerk’s records; (4) Town Archives; or (5) Planning Board subdivision records. As incomplete road files are discovered, information is collected from the above sources to complete the file.
TOWN OF NORTHFIELD:
The Town’s records of roads either bought for $1.00 or given to the Town are written in a so-called road book starting back in the 1800’s. NOTE: when the information was completed the original owner of the land adjacent to the Town right-of-way were used, and no road names were used. It can be very time consuming to locate the right area to use. New roads accepted are logged and kept in a very large safe at the Town Hall.
TOWN OF PETERBOROUGH:
Years late 1700’s through 1950’s: “Information on Streets” compiled by Martin Keenan. (Research of Town Records – volume and page number and Town Meeting votes pertaining to roads). More recent roads: three ring notebook on bookshelf in Assistant Town Administrator’s Office.
TOWN OF PITTSFIELD:
Years 1767 – 1942: Small handwritten book compiled in 1938. First entry is for 1767. Has been updated. Three ring notebook on bookshelf behind Selectmen’s office.
TOWN OF PLAINFIELD:
Town map showing roads and status and indicating date of town meeting action that changed road status. Book showing road widths prepared by State. Card file showing road widths.
TOWN OF PLAISTOW:
Three ring binder at Secretary’s desk. Town Manager Excel file.
TOWN OF RICHMOND:
Years 1792 – present: Town meeting records – Town Clerk’s Office. Years 1765 – 1853: Copies of NH Highway Department records – Town Clerk’s Office. Right of Way Source Records, Road Layout Notebook (also in Selectmen’s Office). Year 1972: Map of roads discontinued – Town Clerk’s Office; Years 1765 – present (miscellaneous) – Files on Roads – Selectmen’s Office.
CITY OF ROCHESTER:
Early 1800 – present: Highway Books, Volumes 1-5 can be found in the Rochester City Clerk’s Office.
TOWN OF ROLLINSFORD:
Since 1971, all new roads in subdivisions can be determined by reviewing the Planning Board’s records. Minutes of annual Town Meetings can provide information on changes in road status – acceptance, abandonment or changes in gates and bars. The Town has no central list of roads at the moment. The State DOT, Division 6 Office in Durham, NH can provide information on Class V roads that the DOT maintains in Rollinsford. Tax maps also give indications of the existence of roads. Securing information on road widths for old colonial roads can be a problem because of lost records or poor recordkeeping. However, minutes from the 1980’s refer to expenditures to upgrade specific roads here in Town.
TOWN OF SANBORNTON:
Three ring binder in Selectmen’s Office.
TOWN OF SEABROOK:
Folder of town accepted roads in the file cabinet with other town records.
TOWN OF SHARON:
Remote historical records are unavailable. Modern maintenance records are in the possession of the Road Agent.
TOWN OF SOUTH HAMPTON:
Selectmen meeting minutes.
TOWN OF SPRINGFIELD:
Multiple years of individual roads in file folders in cabinet behind Clerk’s desk. Document in files vary. Most Class VI and Class VI roads files are available.
TOWN OF STODDARD:
Years 1790 – 2004: Minutes of meetings in bound volumes in safe at Town Clerk’s Office. Some older maps determine when certain roads were laid out.
TOWN OF SUTTON:
A comprehensive study was completed in 1972. Maps and three ring binders located at the Town Hall. The Town has a road map dated 1892.
TOWN OF SWANZEY:
Current and later years are filed in a folder. Old records are included in some of the Town’s record books.
TOWN OF WASHINGTON:
In file folders in Town Hall.
TOWN OF WEBSTER:
Early 1900’s: Town reports and more specifically the Warrants. Early 1970’s: All minutes of the previous year were part of the Annual Report. The Town currently is working on putting together a roads folder with any history available, including some deeds to the roads. OTHER: Maps.
TOWN OF WESTMORELAND:
Town Roads Book – blue – in Selectmen’s Office. Status of Roads, Westmoreland, NH 1992. Annual Town Reports.
TOWN OF WILTON:
No written records.