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Rindge eyes recreational use for town-owned site

Union Leader Correspondent

March 01. 2018 11:54PM

RINDGE — A town-owned Abel Road property with a historic past has potential for recreational uses, including fishing in Tarbell Brook, Conservation Commission member Richard Mellor said Thursday.

The Rindge Conservation Commission has asked the Board of Selectmen for the authority to manage a town-owned property in West Rindge.

The property is 6.3 acres with 880 feet of frontage on Abel Road.

Based on the acreage and road frontage, town zoning regulations would allow up to three houses on the property, Mellor said.

However, a steep drop from the road down to the property, which sits lower than the road, makes it less than ideal for building, Mellor added.

The property was tax deeded to the town sometime in the 1980s.

Last year the town, looking to divest itself of several properties, had considered auctioning the property off.

The Conservation Commission, however, asked the selectmen to hold off while they could do some research on the property.

With help from an ecological assessment of the property by Jeffry Littleton of Moosewood Ecological LLC, as well as a historical assessment of the land by the Rindge Historical Society, Conservation Commission members made a presentation to selectmen Wednesday which Selectman Roberta Oeser described as impressive and interesting.

Oeser said the property is assessed at $78,000, however it’s hard to say what it would fetch at auction.

“Does it have more value for the town to keep it?” Oeser said.

Mellor said the Conservation Commission would like to create a walking trail on the property with historical plaques with help from the Rindge Historical Society.

He added there are no parks or trails in West Rindge for residents.

Mellor said the Conservation Commission would also like to collaborate with Franklin Pierce University on an archeological dig of the property.

Rindge had 11 schoolhouses between 1805 and 1820, according to research from Rindge Historical Society member Karla MacLeod.

The population of Rindge peaked in 1820 with 1,298 residents. The Abel Road schoolhouse — schoolhouse #12 — was built in 1821 to accommodate the growth of Rindge.

But it closed in the early 1900s when the population began declining — dropping to only around 600 residents in 1920. I

t wasn’t until the 1970s that the population recovered to its 1820s numbers, MacLeod said.

One of the more notable students of the schoolhouse was Delcie D. Bean, who went on to become the founder of the D.D. Bean match making company, which still operates in Jaffrey today.

Mellor said, for recreational purposes, the fishing conditions along the Tarbell Brook, especially the accessibility of the brook, are unique to the town.

The brook ranges from 20 to 40 feet wide.

“We have a lot of ponds in town, but there are not a lot of streams that are accessible,” Mellor said.

“It’s a steady flow, it never dries up and it turns into the Miller’s River Watershed.”

Mellor said the Conservation Commission is returning to the Board of Selectmen Wednesday and expects the board to take a vote on the matter then.

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