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Newbury, New Hampshire

Chicken Farmer Rock

A strange, heartwarming, decades-old declaration of love on a New Hampshire roadside. 

A New Hampshire folk legend has grown up around a crudely painted piece of graffiti on a stone outcropping near a rural highway roadside.

Newbury, New Hampshire is a small town, home to a little over 2,000 people and a piece of roadside graffiti that reads: “Chicken Farmer, I still love you.” As local legend has it, the original message: “Chicken Farmer, I love you.” was written on the rock sometime in the late 1980s (in some reports as early as the 1970s) by a shy teenage boy who had an eye for a young schoolgirl who lived on the small chicken farm across the street from the jutting rock where the boy painted his love note. He was reluctant to approach the girl in person so he settled for a less personal but more public way of reaching out to her by using a paintbrush and a chunk of granite to deliver the message. The awkwardly hand-painted love note remained on the rock and, but for the weather and growing vegetation, was unmolested for years.

One night in the early aughts the sign was repainted to the current message by an unknown hand. On occasion someone would clear away the brush blocking the sign from view and the letters would be spruced up again. The sign had become a local institution and was cared for like any other landmark so that it could continue being enjoyed by passers-by.

In April of 2011 some busybody ended up lodging a complaint about graffiti, and the rock was painted over by a member of the Department of Transportation in a fit of responsive customer service. The painted-over space didn’t remain empty for long and a newly repainted Chicken Farmer message reappeared along the side of Route 103 once again. There the words of long lost love remain to this day and in perpetuity thanks to a petition organized by townsfolk intent on keeping this odd little piece of local folklore intact. 

Know Before You Go

When heading west, the sign is on the right side of Rte # 103 4.3 miles from the intersection of Rte. # 103 and Rte. # 114.When heading east, the sign is on the left side of the road about 2.1 miles from the Newbury Town Lake Sunapee beach landing.

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