ADAMS -- Resident Kristen Demeo gives a thorough account of Cheshire's famous gift to President Thomas Jefferson in her latest children's book, "Jefferson's Cheshire Cheese," set to hit local shelves next week.
To create a 1,235 pound cheese took quite a lot of planning in 1800, and Demeo said readers can expect a detailing of the social, political, physical and mathematical considerations that went into the process.
"As I looked into the story, I started to discover that there were a lot of interesting factors involved in the creation of the cheese," Demeo said. "These spanned from mathematics to the political atmosphere of the time."
Demeo's findings caused her to frame the book in a way aimed at exercising the minds of young readers through various quizzes and other "neat things."
The subject, Demeo said, was an interesting one to study.
Four feet in diameter, the cheese was delivered to the White House by two Cheshire natives in January of 1801, coinciding with Jefferson's inauguration. They transported it for over a month in a sled pulled by oxen, a sloop in the Hudson River and a horse-drawn cart along Pennsylvania Avenue.
The gift prompted handwritten response from the third U.S. president, which Demeo found reprinted in full in a history of the town published by two women in 1885.
According to Demeo, Cheshire was the only town in Massachusetts that favored Jefferson in the election against his Federalist opponent, John Adams.
"The community embraced his message," Demeo said. "He was for the people and the farmers."
The new party Jefferson flew under, the Democratic-Republicans, opposed the "Quasi-War" against the revolutionized French state and the new taxes Washington sought to pay for it, and were wary of government self-perpetuation.
Massachusetts cast its 16 electoral votes for Adams in the election of 1800, but it was Cheshire who triumphed in the result, as Jefferson won with 61.4 percent of the popular vote.
"[The cheese] was a statement the people of Cheshire wanted to make," Demeo said.
The book addresses everything from the period's political drama to the amount of milk used in the cheese, which was made in a cider press.
Demeo dedicated the book to 100-year-old resident and member of the town's Historical Commission, Eileen Nutall. According to Demeo, Nutall is a descendent of one of the men who delivered the cheese, Darius Brown.
"She's part of Cheshire's history and a descendent of someone who created [the cheese]," Demeo said.
Next week, Demeo plans to place copies of the book at local businesses, including Red Lion Inn, The Porches, H.D. Reynolds, Berkshire Emporium & Antiques, the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum, Herman Melville's Arrowhead home and more.
SC Book Publishers, of Tennessee, is printing the initial 100 copies.
To reach Phil Demers, email