About 260 acres of Mack’s Apples orchard property in Londonderry has been sold for a little over $338,000 to an LLC created earlier this week called MHO Acquisition, according to public records.
MHO appears to stand for Moose Hill Orchards, the traditional name of the land and Mack’s Apples’ parent company name. The property has been in the Mack family for nearly three centuries.
Longtime owner Andy Mack Sr., who began living on and operating the farm property in 1961, confirmed the sale of the farm Friday but was unavailable for further comment.
The manager of MHO Acquisition, Kyle Chrestensen, was not prepared to comment when reached by phone Friday.
Londonderry Town Council Chairman John Farrell said the property, which is in a conservation easement, will continue as a farm as required. He called it a historic moment for Londonderry.
“The passing of a 300-year-old family farming legacy to the new generation,” Farrell said. “It’s great to see the farm being saved, but sad to know that it may never be the same.”
According to the Mack’s Apples website, the property is an eighth-generation farm with about 400 acres that has been farmed by the Mack family since 1732.
Farrell said the town owns the development rights of the land in perpetuity.
Filing paperwork for the LLC includes an agreement signed April 30. Four addresses with a combined assessed property value of $1.24 million were sold to MHO Acquisition via seller financing for a total of $338,219.45.
The sale included 230A Mammoth Road (8 acres), 231 Mammoth Road (195.88 acres), 51 Adams Road (20 acres) and 117 Pillsbury Road (37.04 acres).
It also included the Mack’s Apples trade name and the company’s complete inventory.
In March, the town voted to approve the appropriation of $250,000 to purchase five acres of Mack’s Apples land at 114 Pillsbury Road, which is 28 acres, according to town records. Farrell said the remaining 23 acres was purchased by the Londonderry Conservation Commission for about $1.1 million.
Michael Fairbrother, owner of Moonlight Meadery, in Londonderry had his eyes set on buying the Mack’s Apples farmland in early 2020. He said he was willing to pay up to $1.5 million for 50 acres, factoring in the easement, with plans to eventually purchase the whole property. He thinks the new owners got it for “a steal.”
“I expected way over a million dollars, which is what I would have paid for that property,” Fairbrother said. “I’m speechless.”
He said he tried to set up a meeting with Andy Mack Sr. but was never able to meet with him.
Fairbrother ended up looking elsewhere for a permanent future home for his business and recently purchased a 100-acre farm in Pittsfield for $840,000.