The city of Concord has a lot of iconic, historic landmarks. There’s the State House, White Park, the gasholder building, the Pierce Manse, St. Paul’s School and plenty more.
But there’s another key marker that doesn’t get the same love as the aforementioned sites – the Concord Town Pound.
Established in 1830, the Town Pound on North State Street was a granite-enclosed pen where wayward animals of the 1800s would be rounded up and stored – cows, pigs, goats and things of the like. Town pounds were very common throughout New England back in the day. Concord’s is still there today, but it hasn’t been used in many, many decades. Nonetheless, the pen still exists, as does a big white sign with a nice cow on the top, clearly visible from North State Street.
Until very recently, the sign had withered away after years of being battered by the elements. One man couldn’t stand to see the iconic sign waste away, so he did something about it.
“I did the sign and the gate, and basically the reason I did it is my brother did it back in 1976,” said Wayne Stickney, who works at Swenson Granite and who grew up just a few houses north of the pound.
“I just saw the sign and it was in terrible disrepair and thought I would do it. … I drive by it every day so I hate to see it deteriorate.”
It wasn’t just the sign, either. Some hooligans had apparently knocked over some of the granite slabs that make up the perimeter of the pen, so Stickney, using some equipment from his company, went down there and put everything back together.
Just for some backstory – former Insider reporter Keith Testa wrote a little feature about the pound in 2015, basically just saying that there’s this thing called the town pound. He asked the readers to send in any info they had.
Three-plus years later, that call was answered by Robert Waterman, whose son, Army Sgt. Cooper Waterman, helped restore the pound and its sign back in 2007 for an Eagle Scout project. Fast-forward 11 years and it was already time for another round of maintenance, which was taken up by Stickney.
Stickney first contacted Mayor Jim Bouley, asking if he thought this would be a worthwhile project. Bouley sent it over to Chip Chesley at the General Services Department, and the project was green-lit, with Stickney taking the beaten-up sign home to restore and the city repairing the sign post.
Now, the sign looks as good as it probably did in 1830, maybe even better – we don’t know for sure, but our bet is paint wasn’t as good back then as it is today.
“It’s pretty neat,” Stickney said of the restored pound. “Definitely worth taking a look at. Nothing that’s operational, but something you don’t want to see go by the wayside.”