Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Local Farm, with Links to the Salem Witch Trials

Today I drove past Nourse Farm on Route 30, as I do nearly every day.  I stopped to take a photo of the decorations out front, a giant cake celebrating the town of Westboro's 300th Birthday and a sign advertising Farm Heritage Day, this coming Saturday.

Nourse Farm is a place where you can pick your own strawberries and raspberries in season (and buy corn and pumpkins in the fall.) When I have a party, I often stop by their farm stand to pick up one of their delicious home-baked pies.
I've also taken my kids, when they were small, to see the sheep being sheared and the wool being spun into yarn by the wife of the owner.

I wish the grandchildren were going to be here next weekend for the fun events they've planned.

A long time ago, I was told that Nourse Farm is one of the oldest continuously operating farms in the country, and that it was established in 1722 by one of the descendants of Rebecca Nurse.  She was the innocent elderly woman who was hanged as a witch in the town of Salem in July of 1692 and her courage in the face of fanatic paranoia was portrayed in Arthur Miller's play "The Crucible".

Years ago, when I once stopped at the farm store, I asked the owner if this was true and he said it was, but that when he was young, his parents didn't like to talk about it, even though Rebecca Nurse has been proved an innocent martyr by everyone, including the church.

It's an honor to have a place like this to show my grandchildren.  Whenever I take them there, they allow us to visit the horses and cows and other animals.  (Long ago I did a large watercolor of the two white horses who board there, standing in the field with the red barn and white house in the background.  Then I gave the painting to the owner and he put it up inside the farm store.)

I think Nourse Farm is one of the treasures of our historic New England neighborhood, and I remember the saga of Rebecca Nurse every time I drive by.

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