Rustic. Rugged. Reclaimed. Reimagined.
Our philosophy at Morgan Territory Brewing has always been about reusing, reclaiming and reimaging used equipment, decorations, and furniture such as the grist mill, brew house, and teak tables from Schooner’s Grille & Brewery, the cool room previously used by a dairy or the barn wood that has become a signature feature in our Tasting Room. In fact, there is a great history to tell about this beautiful wood which came from Rockingham Park in Salem, New Hampshire. The “Rock” as it was known, was the eighth oldest track in the country, and was New England’s first and finest, serving the community for 110 years.
The Rock opened in June, 1906 and was proclaimed the finest race course in the world, drawing more than 10,000 spectators to its early races. Gambling was illegal then, and while there were a few well-attended illegal races when it was first built, horse racing operations were shut down for the next 25 years. In 1933, new owner, Lou Smith, convinced lawmakers to legalize racing at The Rock, which contributed 20% to the state’s revenue. In the 1940s, the Rock was the place to be. Trains packed with Bostonians pulled right up to the grandstand. The last thoroughbred race took place in 2002. Part of the original 170-acre site was sold in 2006 with many support buildings demolished and sold for scrap, including the paddock wood that eventually surfaced in the MTB tasting room. The rest of the Rock finally closed permanently in September, 2016.
What makes this particular pine wood special is its beautiful patina, rough-cut saw texture mixed with boards rubbed smooth by the many famous race horses housed in the paddock over the years such as Discovery, Brass Monkey, and the immortal horse, Seabiscuit, who ran at the Rock as a two-year-old in 1935. Seabiscuit ran five times and while he never won a race at the Rock, he went on to be named Horse of the Year in 1938 and was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. Seabiscuit was the subject of a bestselling novel and a Hollywood blockbuster movie.