By Matt Lepore / Mirror Cintributor
Nestled inconspicuously on 3A is the tranquil Parker Park. Located just south of the intersection of 3A and Pinecrest, this small property encapsulates some of the most beautiful views in town. A small brown kiosk and dirt parking lot are essentially all that is visible from the highway. A quick walk down the hill reveals more of the trail down the embankment. With the Nesenkaeg Brook flowing through the property, it brings visitors close access to the water. The brook flowing under the bridge is indeed a picturesque sight. The water is clear and a delight for swimmers and fishermen alike. Once you pass the bridge, you will find the trail turning west, following the flow of the water. Here, the trail meanders along the southern bank of the Nesenkaeg. Tiny streams of water come down the hill to join the big brook on its journey to the Merrimack River. After a couple hundred feet, one will encounter more vegetation and more wetlands spanned by footbridges. This is roughly the boundary where Parker Park ends. From here, the land is owned by the Monadnock Community Land Trust, who welcomes the public. Then, the brook takes a sharp bend north. Beaver activity is evident on tree stumps chewed to a point. The trail rises steeply onto the old railroad bed, where the trolley once ran through town.
While this property may still seem obscure, it does have a story to tell of its past. The namesake is none other than Mr. & Mrs. Freeling Tufts Parker. The pair were born and raised in neighboring Manchester. Reverend Joshua Tufts, who was called up to Litchfield in 1741 to be minister of the Congregational Church, was an ancestor of Mr. Parker. The couple moved to Litchfield in 1917 and bought a property that would be known as the Tufts’ Homestead. It was in 1939 that the pair sold 3 acres of land to the Town of Litchfield to be used as a recreational park through the State Extension Service. The plan was for a playground to be built and for the Nesenkaeg Brook to be dredged in order to make a swimming pool. Today, the property serves as more of a quick retreat for a moment of tranquility.
Historical Information courtesy of Stearns Genealogy.