Open Space Committee, Town of Peterborough, New Hampshire

Roads that served a town well in its early history often are discontinued when getting to the grist mill or ice house, or transporting farm produce to the railroad, no longer is required—or the town center moves from a hilltop, where the growing season is longer, to a river dammed to create power as manufacturing replaces agriculture.

Often old roads are given up by town meeting vote, thereby reverting to adjacent landowners, but some are not given up and remain public pathways known as “Class VI” roads.

Clubby Scott, named for Alexander Scott who had a club foot (and was a shoemaker), runs between Middle Hancock Road and Windy Row, offering one of the longer Class VI walks that includes possible connection to trails at MacDowell Dam.

When selectmen considered discontinuing the road, there was successful protest, including the poem (author unknown) printed below. Future generations benefitted as a very scenic pathway remained open to the public on foot or snowmobile.

Class VI Roads

Photo by Joanna Eldredge Morrissey

Photo by Francie Von Mertens

Class VI Cornish Road is an extension of existing Cornish Road that offers a short hike south to Old Jaffrey Road.

Photo by Francie Von Mertens

Explore Class VI roads and you will find cellar holes like this one on discontinued Crosby Road—not far from what little remains of a bridge over Otter Brook.

Clubby Scott in early winter, December 2014, as people were beginning to wonder if any snow would fall. It really did.

This boundary marker, with an S for Sharon, a P for Peterborough, and the date 1865 on the top, is found on Class VI Spaulding Road that connects Cross Road (just over the border in Sharon)  with Sharon Road. Find the marker and then listen. You'll likely hear  appropriately named Town Line Brook not too far away.

Oh, progress stay your restless hands,

And greed your ravages restrain,

Despite the storage tank’s demands

Let Clubby Scott’s Road still remain.

Though bushes clog its ancient bounds,

And storms encroach upon its crown,

The forest’s fastness still resounds

While brook and birds sing its renown.

Stilled are the sounds of children’s play,

And gentle kine no longer low,

In protest of a new day,

With memories of long ago.

Shall sturdy beeches vigil yield

To gasoline and steel and brass?

Shall silvery birches be concealed?

Then let the Clubby Scott Road pass.

Photo by Rhonda MacLeod

Photo by Baxter Harris

Photo by Francie Von Mertens