Your Town, Your Life: Rehoboth - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Your Town, Your Life: Rehoboth

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By: Alexandra Cowley

In Tonight's Your Town, Your Life, we travel to Rehoboth, Massachusetts. A town in Bristol County established back in 1643. Rehoboth claims to be the birthplace of public education in North America.

Early on, members of the community and a local church collected money to pay a teacher to educate the settlement's children. The town is named after the Hebrew word for 'enlargement' referring to the wide space settlers had to live on. The original Rehoboth included Seekonk and East Providence as well as parts of several other areas like Attleboro and Woonsocket.

Today Rehoboth is mostly rural with many historic sites and 53 historic cemeteries. Part of Rehoboth's rural landscape includes an Alpaca farm. It's run by a husband and wife who purchased their first Alpaca's just a few years ago. Now, it's almost become their full time job.

Just off Reservoir Avenue in Rehoboth, Dave and Karen Medeiros care for nine Alpacas. It started two years ago, with their daughter's idea.

"We have chickens and goats, and she asked us why don't we look into the Alpacas because she really likes knitting with alpaca yarn," said Karen Medeiros. 

Since then, the gentle, wooly animals have become part of their family.

"It's definitely a commitment, and the animals life expectancy is 25 years so were in it for the long haul," laughed Karen Medeiros. 

The Alpaca's graze right on the Medeiros' property and drink from the reservoir. Their coat is sheared once a year in late Spring. It's unlike any other wool.

"The Alpaca's have such a super soft, durable fiber, that it's very valuable. It's often said that Alpaca is the cashmere," said Karen. 

Once sheared, they take the fiber to the New England Alpaca Fiber Pool in Fall River. From their, it's sent to local manufacturers who make warm fuzzy items, like socks, mittens, and hats. It's fulfilling for the Medeiros' to see the whole process.

"It feels good, to have your own stuff that you're raising the animals and they have very high quality," said Dave. 

Dave used to work on underground utilities and Karen teaches 2nd grade. The couple hopes their passion will soon be their full time job.

"I'll give up my teaching job in ten years and be a full time farmer's wife," laughed Karen. 

Kave Rock Alpaca is one of about 20 Alpaca farms in all of Massachusetts. It is open for tours by appointment: 

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