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  • Beverly Stoddart

A Field of Our Own

Updated: Jul 2

Have you ever wanted just to take a walk in a beautiful field and woods that has a brook running through the property and get away from the hustle and bustle? The time to do so is now when winter hasn’t taken hold of us completely, and we still see sunny days and tolerable temperatures. Our town owns a 64-acre field, and I wonder why so few of us use it. In 2014, the town decided by vote to purchase the land, and as I understand, the house came along with the deal. The town found Tom Paquette to act as caretaker for the 1868 Italianate farmhouse and rehabilitate it so that we, the taxpayers, would not have to foot the bill, but the house would be restored. I stopped by and talked to Tom on a bright Sunday when I planned to take a walk in the field. He is a friendly guy with good plans for the house. He didn’t mind me somewhat barging into his offtime and explained his focus is to get the street view of the property finished with friends help, volunteers assisting, and paying experts to complete some of the tedious work. We can watch as the changes take place and celebrate the saving of a historic home, and keeping 64 acres of beautiful, natural acres that roll and rise and allows for an amazing view of the sky, away from developers.


With my hiking stick, I set out on that Sunday with plans to make my way around the perimeter and occasionally duck into the woods to see Beaver Brook. Our local town website says there is “5140’ of the frontage of Beaver Brook.” This peaceful stream is a tributary of the Merrimack River. I like the thought that we are connected with our fellow communities, not just by land but by water as well. Another wild thought I’ll put out there is if someone reads this column, can you tell me if it is possible to walk the distance from the beginning of the north side of the brook, all the way to the south side border? These are the kinds of thoughts that run through my head when I’m alone thinking, mulling, and observing.


Quite frankly, another thought I had on my walk was to make sure I didn’t fall down. No one wants to spoil a nice day in the woods with a trip and a fall. Luckily, the field and woods are gentle and easily traversed. Another town site reports that prized Holstein dairy cows wandered the fields. As you make your way about halfway down the field, from north to south, you find two stone walls that are about 15’ wide parallel to one another and perpendicular to the road. This path leads straight towards the house, where at one time, there was a huge barn on the property. Tom told me that this walled path was where the cows would be herded towards and would walk straight into the barn.


If you are a fan of New Hampshire’s stone walls, then a walk at Campbell field is one for you. They circle the acreage in all their lasting, hard, heavy purposeful place. I love stone walls and found myself straddling one up on a hill and watching the sun shine down on Beaver Brook. My only pause that day was when the flock of wild turkeys with toms and hens and jakes and jennys flapping their wings at me made me think that my walking stick wouldn’t be enough if they decided that I was trespassing their property.


What more can we do with the Campbell field? Come this winter, could someone make cross-country ski trails? Are there snowshoe rentals? I urge you to go on a walk that Mark Twain would find is ‘not spoiled,’ but altogether just what we need.


For questions, comments, ideas, and challenges, reach out to me at bstoddart9@gmail.com.

Kind regards, Bev.




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