Letter: Duffy’s legacy lives on

Wednesday, December 06, 2017 5:21PM
Duffy Monahon’s legacy lives on

To the editor,

Your story on the Russell Farm and Forest Conservation Foundation said that it facilitated conservation of Four Winds Farm in Peterborough.

Actually – and ever so importantly – it was Duffy Monahon who over many years conserved what had been her grandparent Hoffmans’ farm. I told the story at the memorial gathering that honored Rick and Duffy. It was deservedly a packed Town House that day.

Visits to her grandparents’ farm were magical for Duffy as a child. “My North Star,” she said.

The farm broke up, the main house burned. Some parcels were sold; others were divided among family.

She was determined about “getting the farm back.”

Duffy conserved her parcel and in time persuaded her brother and mother to do the same.

She was a force – a whirlwind of energy.

She purchased another parcel from a developer when flagging went up that indicated subdivision.

“Don’t tell Rick!” she whispered.

A few years later, when the housing market improved along with their architecture business, she gave the parcel to Rick as a Christmas present. A Duffy surprise.

Parcel by parcel by parcel, 1986 to 2002: 285 acres were legally conserved. Permanently.

She also secured a grant to purchase Fremont Field’s back acreage as town conservation land, 150 acres that abutted Four Winds Farm. She wrote the grant but made it look like many groups were involved. “That’s the trick with grants,” she said.

She had to drive it to Concord to make the deadline. Also very Duffy.

She and Rick welcomed hikers along their farm trails, and her children continue that tradition.

Posthumously they were awarded the Walter Peterson Award, Peterborough’s highest honor.

Lucky us all that her North Star guided her back to Peterborough.

So many people miss them in so many ways.

Francie Von Mertens