Bolton Equine Center Buys Camp Virginia Property

Bolton resident’s, Dr. Amy Clark and Dr. Brett Gaby, and their newly formed business, Bolton Equine Center, are the excited new owners of the former Girl Scout Camp, known as Camp Virginia.  The property located on Rt 85 in Bolton, MA went on the market about two years ago when the Girl Scouts decided to no longer make use of the camp.  Essex Equine Inc., an equine ambulatory veterinary practice specializing in sport horse medicine located on Sampson Road in Bolton, also owned by Dr. Clark and Dr. Gaby, will continue to run under its current name and rent space from Bolton Equine Center.

I had the pleasure of meeting with Amy and her husband, Brett, to learn more about their business and their plans for the property.

Dr. Brett Gaby graduated from Cornell University in 1992. In 1994 he moved to Dublin Ireland to study veterinary sciences at the University College Dublin. After returning to the United States, Dr. Gaby attended the Mississippi State College of Veterinary Medicine and graduated in 1999.  He completed an internship at the Rochester Equine Clinic and was then employed by Boston Equine Associates in Rehoboth, MA for nearly four years before starting his own practice in Littleton, MA before eventually settling in Bolton, in 2003.

Dr Amy Clark graduated with her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 2005 from Atlantic Veterinary College in Prince Edward Island Canada. Amy is a native of New Brunswick Canada and began her career with Essex Equine after graduating. It was there she met Dr Brett Gaby, the two are now married with two children.

Over the years, the Essex Equine business has grown from two to five veterinarians, in addition to hiring veterinarian assistants, support staff, and caretakers, and therefore the need to expand. When the Camp Virginia property became available, Brett and Amy knew purchasing it would be the perfect opportunity to both expand their business and give them and their children plenty of acreage to ride their own horses and build their own personal residence.

Amy and Brett have hired King Barns out of Pennsylvania, who design and build fine custom horse barns, to build their barn, arenas, and outbuildings. They also hope to restore and reuse the buildings that once housed the Girl Scout Camp.

Bolton Equine Center made use of Bolton’s Agricultural/Business Use Special Permit to be able to utilize this amazing property, for their large animal veterinary services, breeding, raising and training of horses, and the construction of their new barn with attached office. This bylaw allows Agricultural Businesses the ability to utilize property in the residential zone, since Bolton is a right to farm community, and has no specific agricultural zone.

The Bolton Economic Development Committee wants to thank Dr Brett Gaby and
Dr Amy Clark for capitalizing on their vision for this special property and for creating a valuable asset to the residents of Bolton and beyond!

Phineas Wright House; A Treasure to be Shared!

Phineas Wright House

“Too much goodness not to share” is how Wendy Harrop, owner of The Phineas Wright House in Bolton, would describe her property.

The Phineas Wright House was built in 1785 by the third reverend of the First Parish Church in Bolton. In the last 230 years only five other families have lived in this great antique house.
After living in California her whole life, Wendy decided to follow her dream of living in the New England countryside and she and her husband Keith purchased the Phineas Wright House 6 years ago. She hasn’t looked back since!

The property came complete with a fabulous barn that Wendy and her husband painstakingly renovated. Wendy had worked as a wedding and event planner in California and then at the Nashoba Winery in Bolton. She envisioned using the barn to host fabulous celebrations! A local artisan built three gorgeous farmhouse tables for use in the barn, using wood that was removed from the third floor hay loft. Wendy collected chairs from thrift & antique stores, flea markets, and yard sales, and she hung strings of tiny white lights casting a magical glow.

Wendy has big plans for the use of her barn and beautiful property as it is now available as a venue for intimate weddings, rehearsal dinners, and birthday celebrations, just to name a few.

Wendy also will be collaborating with an amazing group of artisans, entrepreneurs, collectors, chefs, bakers, artists, and authors who will be offering workshops at the barn including floral design, wine & cheese tasting, rustic sign making, and gardening to name a few. Grab a friend and a bottle of wine and learn a new skill in an intimate, interactive setting.

Additionally, she will be holding a one week nature camp on the property for kids ages 4 to 6 years old. It will be a week of discovering the nature above, below, and around us.

I have had the honor of attending several events at the Phineas Wright property and it is a wonderful and unique experience that you won’t want to miss!
To learn more about Wendy, upcoming workshops, or book an event visit her website at

I want to thank Wendy for capitalizing on her vision for this special property and for creating a valuable asset to the residents of Bolton and beyond!

Colonial Candies. Bolton’s Candy Store for Over 40 Years!

If you live in Bolton, I’m sure you’ve enjoyed a chocolate covered Oreo, peppermint patty, or one of the other decadent chocolates Colonial Candies offers… and if you haven’t you should!!

I had the pleasure of meeting with Richard Hebert, who along with his wife Grace, own and operate Colonial Candies located, coincidentally, on Sugar Road in Bolton.  Colonial Candies, originally named Hebert Candies, opened its first store in 1917 on Route 20 in Shrewsbury, MA. In 1978, the Bolton location opened and in 2005 the name was changed to Colonial Candies.

All of Colonial Candies’ chocolates are made from the original recipes. Their white chocolate recipe, produced in the 1940’s, was the very first white chocolate produced in the country! All of the chocolate production and packaging takes place in the basement of the store primarily by Richard, Grace, his sister Dianne, and their daughter Kelly.

Grace Hebert takes great pride in decorating the store for each holiday, both inside and out. On Halloween, the blow up creatures behind the store can be seen from interstate 495. In fact, 90% of their business comes from interstate 495 exposure!

Colonial Candies does sell their candies online from their website, but the majority of their business comes from good old fashioned word of mouth. Their chocolate covered Oreos are sold all over Massachusetts. In addition to being sold at the store, they can be found locally at Country Cupboard, Bolton Orchards, and various Paper Store locations.

I asked Richard what holidays were the most important for the business and he said #1 was Easter, #2 Christmas, and #3 Valentine’s Day.

In addition to candy, Colonial Candies also offers a make your own ice cream sundae bar. They have gift baskets, toys, and stuffed animals to purchase for additional gift giving opportunities. They also offer “Candy Camp” which is a great option for birthday parties and field trips. Children are given the opportunity to make their own candy creations!

Recently, Colonial Candies was selected to be in the opening scene of the Hallmark movie “A Snow White Christmas” and Richard and Grace had their first film debut.

The Bolton Economic Development Committee encourages everyone in town to support our small family run businesses like Colonial Candies. Thursday is February 14th, Valentine’s Day, so stop by and get your Valentine something special!