HENRY David Thoreau was jailed here 164 years ago for refusing to pay taxes. Now the town has Jean Hill.
Ms Hill, an octogenarian, proposed banning the sale of bottled water at a town meeting. Voters approved, intending to make Concord the first town in the US to strip bottled water from its shops.
Ms Hill, 82, has achieved something that powerful environmental groups have not even tried. The bottled water industry is not pleased; it has threatened to sue if the ban takes effect as planned on January 1. Officials have hinted that they might not strictly enforce it, but Ms Hill said that would only deepen her resolve.
Tom Lauria, a spokesman for the International Bottled Water Association, questioned why she would single out bottled water. ''It's a completely legal commodity, and to ban it runs foul of interstate commerce considerations.''
Ms Hill's crusade began a few years ago when her grandson told her about the so-called Pacific garbage patch, a vortex of plastic and other debris floating between California and Hawaii.
She researched and homed in on bottled water, finding that millions of plastic bottles were disposed of daily, few of which were recycled.
Town officials said after the ban was approved that it appeared unenforceable and a magnet for lawsuits. They have asked the state attorney-general for guidance.
Ms Hill does not drink enough water herself, she allowed; orange juice, milk and Scotch are higher on her list. For those who sip water all day, her advice is: ''Get yourself a nice Thermos.''