Vandals strike Escobar farm's corn maze in Portsmouth

Corn stalks damaged, port-o-johns tipped over

By Jim McGaw
Posted 10/14/18

PORTSMOUTH — Lori Clarke held aloft a possible clue that was left behind after one or more vandals struck the Escobar's Highland Farm Corn Maize late Friday night or early Saturday …

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Vandals strike Escobar farm's corn maze in Portsmouth

Corn stalks damaged, port-o-johns tipped over

Posted

PORTSMOUTH — Lori Clarke held aloft a possible clue left behind after one or more vandals struck the Escobar's Highland Farm Corn Maize late Friday night or early Saturday morning: a men’s Nike sneaker, size 9.

Inside the shoe was a nip bottle of vodka.

Ms. Clarke found them while surveying the damage to the corn maze she manages on Middle Road. It wasn’t just confined to two areas of corn stalks inside the maze, either.

“We had tables flipped over and they pulled out a couple of signs and tipped over a trash can. Just stupid stuff,” Ms. Clarke said.

Worse, five of the six port-o-johns at the farm were also knocked over. 

“They got five of them, but not the handicapped one. At least they respected the handicapped,” said Ms. Clarke, managing the only smile she could muster.

The maze hosted a fund-raiser for Melville School until about 7:30 Friday night, said Ms. Clarke, who lives nearby. “I went to bed around 10:30 and didn’t hear a thing.”

She noticed the damage Saturday morning.

“I know there’s not much to do, but you just don’t do that,” she said. “They were running in and out of the corn, judging by the way they smashed the corn down.”

The maze was open for business Saturday, despite the damage that caused a “giant path” in phase one of the maze, said maze worker Peter Cypher, whom Ms. Clarke calls her “life-saver.”

The damage to the stalks of corn didn’t only hurt the maze’s aesthetics, Ms. Clarke pointed out.

“This is feed for animals,” she said.

In a Facebook post, Bill Clarke, Ms. Clarke’s husband, urged anyone with information about the vandalism to contact Portsmouth Police at 401/683-0300.

This is the 19th year the dairy farm has offered a corn maze, which has a different design each year. This year's theme is a tribute to first responders.

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Meet our staff
Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.