Beloved Alderbrook Farm co-owner mourned

Aug 13, 2021

The community is mourning the loss of Allen Manley, former Dartmouth fire chief and long-time co-owner of Alderbrook Farm, who died Friday, Aug. 13 at home.

With his wife Nancy, he owned and operated the farm, a popular spot for area families to spend time with the animals and check out the farmstand produce. Prior to the farm closing in December 2019, visitors could often see him tending to the farm animals, in particular his beloved oxen.

He was also a veteran of the fire department, where he became a firefighter for Dartmouth Fire District #2 at the age of 14. He retired from the department as chief in 2002.

Considered mainstays of the community, he and Nancy were honored in January 2020, a month after retiring from the farm, with a celebration at the Grange Hall. More than 100 people attended, with some waiting in line an hour for a chance to say hello.  

 His modesty was evident in his comments that day

“I had little to do with Alderbrook Farm,” he said to the laughter of those in attendance. The farm had been in his family for 126 years.

 “I was the guy who fixed something when it busted...But the lady who did all the work is behind me,’’ he said, referring to Nancy.

He was a member of the Massachusetts Farm Bureau, Dartmouth Historical & Arts Society, Friends of the Dartmouth Libraries, Russells Mills Engine Company, Dartmouth Grange No. 162, New Bedford Whaling Museum, Dartmouth Heritage Trust and the Wylde Center. 

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his three children: daughter, Carol Fish and her husband Brad of Acushnet; son Allen "Sam" Manley, Jr. and his wife Julie of Westport; and daughter Sharon Dorian and her husband Steven of Fairhaven.

He also had eight grandchildren: Shawn, Michelle, Brandon, Rebecca, Tucker, Isaiah, Meghan and Emily; 10 great grandchildren and was awaiting the addition of 3 more. He also has four surviving cousins: Thomas Manley, Elizabeth Morgado, Charles Manley and Marjorie Turner. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: Shriners Hospital for Children, 51 Blossom Street, Boston, MA 02114-2699, the Dartmouth Historical & Arts Society. 1205 Russells Mills Road, Dartmouth, MA 02748 or to the charity of the donor’s choosing.