The Thad and Virginia Johnson conservation easement on 92 acres in Sutton Mills is the 95th property conserved by Ausbon Sargent. The Johnson easement can be seen from Route 114 north of the turn to the Highway Garage in Sutton Mills. Their conservation easement protects 92 acres of woodlands with frontage on three public roads. This is a gateway property for both Sutton Mills and the region at large. The property borders the west side of Route 114, the north side of Village Road, and the east side of scenic Corporation Hill Road. The addition of this easement expands a corridor of conserved properties from the southeastern side of Kezar Lake southward to Sutton Mills. The Sutton Conservation Commission has been a strong supporter of this project.
The Johnsons' easement is primarily forestland and contains several vernal pools and brooks that flow toward the Lane River and an aquifer identified along the Village Road frontage. These woodlands include an extensive network of walking trails that will remain open to the public for pedestrian uses. A view of Mt. Kearsarge is visible from the high point on the property. There is an unusual rock formation known locally as Indian Caves, which is located just off one of the trails. As well as the scenic and recreational benefits of this easement, the property offers excellent wildlife habitat for an abundance of species including songbirds, woodpeckers, spotted salamanders, turkey, grouse, fox, coyote, deer, moose and bear.
Ausbon Sargent is thankful for the Johnsons' generosity in this important donation, protecting a very special property.
Thad Johnson passed away November 2009. Virginia Johnson placed the land up for sale and on July 23, 2013, Nathaniel Byfield of Bradford, NH purchased the property.
On May 1, 2020, Josh and Melody Grover purchased the property and named it "Thistlewaite." All of the conditions and amenities of the easement agreement will remain the same.