Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Chicken Farmer, I Still Love You! - Who was the Chicken Farmer?


Anyone driving through Newbury, New Hampshire on their way to Mount Sunapee has passed this unusual bit of graffiti, which has been on this boulder since the 1970s.  And I'm sure most of the passers-by have wondered "Who was the chicken farmer?"  or "What's the story behind this?"

Over the years the sign has been repainted, and the vegetation has been cleared, making it visible to everyone passing by on Route 103.  In 2011 the New Hampshire Department of Transportation painted over the rock after a graffiti complaint, but this caused a local uproar and the Chicken Farmer sign reappeared and has been freshly repainted annually ever since.  It is such a local favorite, this story even appeared on NH Public Radio's "Fresh Air" as a full episode. 

Originally the rock read "Chicken Farmer I Love You", but after the town of Newbury (less than 2,000 souls in Newbury, and 192 signed the petition) complained to the state of New Hampshire to have their graffiti remain on the boulder, the message now reads "Chicken Farmer I Still Love You".   No one knows the real story, but many people have theories.  I've included some links to stories I found online that explore some of these theories. 

The Chicken Farmer Rock has been the subject of a story in the February 1998 Yankee magazine, bumper stickers, a movie, in the book Chicken Soup for the Lover's Soul, and there is even a Chicken Farmer 5K race every year in Newbury.  If you haven't seen it, take a detour off Interstate 89 and drive along Route 103 to see it for yourself!

For the truly curious:

The Chicken Farmer Rock is on the right side of Route 103 heading west, about 4 1/2 miles after the intersection of Route 114. It is difficult to see heading east, and is located just after Colburn Farm Road. 

Atlas Obscura:  https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/chicken-farmer-rock  

NH PR "What's up with that Chicken Farmer I still love You rock?": https://www.nhpr.org/nh-news/2017-11-03/you-asked-we-answered-whats-up-with-that-chicken-farmer-i-still-love-you-rock  

Youtube film version of the Chicken Farmer story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zK4nK7l9d38&t=1s  

New Hampshire Magazine:  https://www.nhmagazine.com/nh-love-stories-chicken-farmer-rock/  


To Cite/Link to this blog post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Chicken Farmer, I Still Love You!  - Who was the Chicken Farmer?", Nutfield Genealogy, posted January 4, 2022, ( https://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2022/01/chicken-farmer-i-still-love-you-who-was.html: accessed [access date]). 

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