Town Hopes to Resurrect ‘Apple Way’ Scenic Byway

Comprehensive Planner John Vogl presented the Heritage Commission with a plan to reauthorize what has been known as Londonderry’s Apple Way.

“The town applied for designation of the Apple Way as a cultural and scenic byway,” he said at the Commission’s Thursday, July 24 meeting. Because there has been no action on the Apple Way in a very long time, (the state byways council) threatened to remove the Apple Way from the list of state byways, he explained.

“We’ve signed a small contract with the Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission (SNHPC) that they will update the plan behind the Apple Way and submit it to the state and keep us on the authorized designation list,” Vogl said.

“It also involves a small action by the Town Council to designate the Historical Society as the local byway council,” he said. “What the designation brings us are marketing and bragging rights for the town. There was a time when there was federal money available for improvements to these corridors, but that money has dried up due to Congressional cutbacks. In the past we used the money to put up a big Apple Way sign, and the road signs along the Apple Way had the designation on them.”

Historical Society member Deb Paul, who is also publisher of the Londonderry Times, said she had been working with historical societies in Chester, Derry, Hampstead, and Windham to coordinate a regional week honoring the 300-year history of the communities. She said it would be simulcast in Ireland.

“Saying that we have this Apple Way in time for it, even if it’s a skeleton, will really work out in helping us reach out with the regional historical week,” Paul said.

She said each town will be holding a different event each day of the week.

Chairman Arthur Rugg noted that the towns mentioned comprised the original Londonderry, then known as Nutfield.

Adam Hlasny from SNHPC will be doing the grant writing; Vogl will be doing the map and answering data questions.

Commissioner Pauline Caron noted that the Apple Way brochure had to be updated, as it listed the Town Hall as being on Nashua Road.

 The brochure states that New Hampshire had designated “the roads connecting Londonderry’s five orchards as a scenic highway, called The Apple Way. Londonderry’s five orchards, Woodmont, Sunnycrest, Elwood, Moose Hill, and Merrill’s in North Londonderry, are a vital part of what makes Londonderry special. Londonderry’s apple growers not only contribute to the local economy, but also provide valuable open spaces. Londonderry’s Apple Way, a designated New Hampshire Scenic and Cultural Byway, winds past orchards, old farmhouses and local landmarks, reminding residents and visitors alike of our heritage.”

Woodmont Orchard is no longer an operating orchard and is part of a 600-plus-acre site for a development known as Woodmont Commons.

Vogl said the brochure would be updated and turned into a “web friendly” version.

“I’d rather add than subtract,” he said.

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