By Meredith Toumayan


We survived the first heatwave of the season — seemed pretty early to me. But, if you’re not sweating bullets, it’s not hay harvesting season. As we wait for the town roadside trimmer to come along, my hubby likes to hack away with his machete, or scythe, at the burdocks and other giant weeds alongside the road. I am grateful for last week’s Searsmont column, reminding us of the dangers of the wild parsnip. We definitely have a bunch along our roads, right where my dogs like to lunge into the undergrowth after chipmunks.

Planning Board

As the Jackson Planning Board digs its teeth into updating the comprehensive plan, we find we are in need of a copy of the November 1996 Jackson Comprehensive Plan — the one with the blue cover. Were you on the original Comprehensive Plan committee? Do you know someone who was? Do you have one that’s holding up the leg of an old table? It would be a great help if you would just lend us your copy for a few days so that we can make a few more copies.

We also could use a couple more Planning Board members. If you have an interest in the history of Jackson, and how change may come to town in the future, please reach out to chat with one of us through the Town Office, 722-3439. Please note, the next Planning Board meeting has been moved to Tuesday July 20, 6:30 p.m.

Town Office

Last call went out to those who still need to license their dogs — which now includes the state’s late fee of $25/dog, now in effect. Don’t forget, you may be issued a summons and fined in the event you do not have your dog(s) licensed. Did you know? “Licensing your dog directly helps fight animal cruelty and abuse… Dog license fees account for 95% of the State Animal Welfare Program’s entire funding and without these fees, the state would be unable to protect the animals of this state.” Source:

PSA: Always put your parking brake on! Country View Golf Club, Brooks. Courtesy of Cindy Ludden

Jackson Food Pantry

Summer is in full swing and the Jackson Food Pantry is getting in the swing of its next fundraising effort, for Jackson and the many surrounding communities that benefit from all the hard work of our pantry volunteers. You can find up-to-the-minute details on the “Jackson Food Pantry Info” Facebook page, including how to enjoy the savings currently available from this effort:

“Jackson food pantry owns a tractor-trailer box that is 70 ft. long, picture three tables high on both sides of the trailer loaded with toys, tools, home decor, pet supplies and more. We’re going to try something different this year. We’re going to invite you to shop the trailer before we even begin thinking about posting anymore online. Come see it all and take advantage of the savings that we can offer you.”

Jackson History Nugget

Our Jackson Comprehensive Plan from 1996 has many nuggets of interest, both from the early 1990s, as the committee gathered information current at that time, but also historical data and references that were used to flesh out the plan. Having, myself, just paid the crazy price of $19.99 for a 16-foot 2 x 4, I am kind of missing having some local lumber mills like the days of old. This is from the essay (Jackson) Historical Context by Theo Stacey:

“By 1859 there were four businesses involved in the manufacture of lumber and two that claimed to be dealers in all kinds of lumber. The first mill is believed to have been located on Moulton Stream, now called Great Farm Brook, just south of the village. By 1912, this mill was making apple barrels. In 1873 there were two mills on Hadley Brook owned by Samuel Hadley and four below them on Marsh Stream.

“The 1st on Hadley Brook was a saw mill with a fall of fourteen feet. The 2nd mill on Hadley Brook was a shingle and carding mill and boasted a fall of twenty feet. The four mills on Marsh Stream operated from a combined fall of 60-70 feet in ¾  mile and consisted of two sawmills, one grist mill, and a shingle mill. They were able to operate ⅓ to ½ the year on available water power. In 1967, Jackson mills cut 600,000 feet of hemlock boards, 1,000,000 shingles and 25,000 feet of vessel plank.”

Never underestimate the power of water!