13. Bolton Overlook

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13.Bolton Overlook

Size: 4.5 acres

Access: Off street parking on gravel drive located using 157 Wattaquadock Hill Road

Description: The 4.5 acre Bolton Overlook parcel, a gift from a developer (Landquest) in 2011, was part of a proposed housing development that failed to materialize.  The lot was donated for tax purposes with the stipulation that the land be maintained as conservation land.   In 2015, the Bolton Conservation Trust entered into a 30-year lease with Nashoba Valley Spirits, Ltd. on the property. The purpose of the lease is to return the 4.5 acre parcel to active agricultural use, while maintaining the conservation values and public access to the property.

As tenants, NVS Ltd. will perform periodic mowing to assure public access to the perimeter trail and overlook, and will work to improve the soil, wildlife habitat and aesthetic qualities of the site.  The proximity of the land to the existing holdings of Nashoba Valley Spirits and the land’s prior use as an orchard made this an ideal location for the expansion of the Winery’s heritage-variety orchards, including the “Mother” apple, developed in Bolton in the early 1800s.

According to the American Pomological Society (paraphrased), the Mother Apple originated in Bolton, Massachusetts, on the farm of a General Gordon, and first came to notice at an exhibition of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society in 1844. It is now practically lost to cultivation in the United States, but the English currently recognize it as one of the finest of fall apples, calling it “American Mother” to distinguish it from another ancient English apple with this name.  The American Mother Apple ripens here the middle of September, but unfortunately does not keep in prime condition beyond the end of October.  The scions grafted in the nursery were donated by Old Sturbridge Village from their heritage apple orchard.