ConCom hopes to preserve historic land

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, February 28, 2018 5:55PM

Rindge’s conservation commission is asking the town’s selectmen to keep a piece of town-owned property on Abel Road so it can be converted into a public recreation area. 

Members of the commission met with the select board on Wednesday to discuss the proposal. No decisions were made by the board during the meeting. 

“This is a cheap way to get a nice, public place,” said commission chair David Drouin. “Our thought is to create a small walking park.”

The 6.3-acre property is located just south of Route 119 and Pearly Lake and is predominantly forested, according to an ecological assessment and management plan prepared for the Rindge conservation commission by Moosewood Ecological LLC. 

A section of Tarbell Brook is located on the property, providing both wetland and upland habitats, according to the report. 

If given permission, the commission would focus on the conservation and maintenance of the wildlife corridor along Tarbell Brook water quality of Tarbell Brook and associated wetlands, historical provenance, recreational access, public education, and wildlife habitat and diversity. 

Also noted Wednesday was the historical significance of the property.

Rindge Historical Society Karla MacLeod said Wednesday that the property was the site of a former schoolhouse from 1821 to 1900. 

Some of the Ingalls Memorial Library’s first librarians – Emma Leighton and Ella Brigham – taught school at the old schoolhouse, according to MacLeod.

Delcie D. Bean, founder of D. D. Bean, went to school there, according to MacLeod. 

“This is a place of historical significance,” said MacLeod. 

Selectman Robert Hamilton asked a number of questions about the property’s value to the town, noting that there could be some money to be made by selling the property. 

“On auction, it could still be worth $100,000,” said Hamilton, who said there could be a few buildable lots on the property. “It would be worth even more in taxation.”

Board chair Jim Qualey said he wanted to do more research into how the town would go about transferring management of the land to the conservation commission before making a decision. 

Nicholas Handy can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or nhandy@ledgertranscript.com. He is also on Twitter @nhandyMLT.