May 12—LONDONDERRY — A family farm legacy and historic orchard in town has been sold.
Moose Hill Orchard, also known as Mack's Apples, owned and operated by generations of the Mack family will be under new ownership, with a deal closing recently, according to town officials.
Town Council Chairman John Farrell said the town became aware of the sale, saying it was "kind of a sad and historic note."
Farrell went on to say that he, along with fellow Councilor Jim Butler, and assistant town solicitor Mike Malaguti, met with the new owners, named as MHO Acquisitions LLC and Kyle Chrestensen, the manager.
There is conservation protection on the Mack's property, including a recent deal to protect 23 acres of orchard land along Pillsbury Road near the corner of Mammoth Road.
The farm's history dates back generations.
In 1732, John Mack came to Londonderry from Londonderry, Ireland. He settled in the area known then as Nutfield, and began growing potatoes, raising cattle and eventually took on apples that would become the farm's most popular staple in the years ahead.
Today the farm uses the land for apple orchards and pumpkin patches, drawing thousands of people from all over every fall to pick and enjoy the farm's many varieties. Moose Hill also operates a farm stand on Mammoth Road.
In past years, other changes in Mack's ownership were on the radar.
In 2015, it was announced that Andy Mack Jr. would take over ownership of the family farm from his father Andrew C. Mack Sr., although that deal never materialized.
The elder Mack has been a local fixture for decades, offering his unique and colorful roadside sign art to anyone passing by and dealing with political issues, climate change or just to advertise an upcoming event in the community.
Through the years, the Londonderry farm was also a favorite stopping point for many candidates, including those hoping to become president of the United States.
When reached by phone Saturday, Andy Mack Sr. said he had hoped to "keep our dynasty going" under family ownership.
He said Chrestensen approached him last fall, interested in the property and wanting to continue the Mack family's legacy under new ownership.
Chrestensen also spent time with Mack, helping out and gaining knowledge of the operation.
"That's why Kyle is the owner today," Mack said. "He has a passion and the sense to make it work."
Mack, now 85, will retain several residential spaces on the property and said he is looking forward to introducing Chrestensen to the community. He also hopes his family will continue to be part of the farm.
"The best way to be a farmer is to live in the middle of the farm," Mack said.
Farrell noted the new owner will be meeting with Conservation Commission officials to discuss the Mack land easements and protected status.