Ives Farm Barn Project News
Video - Barn Falls
OCT. - DEC. 2012: CLT Volunteers began a careful deconstruction of the old barn. Old timbers have been salvaged for use elsewhere. The foundation work was completed in December just before the first snowfall of the season. The new barn will be contructed by spring 2013
Ives Barn Backstory:
Plans for rehabilitating the 1825 hay barn were abandoned last (2011) summer. The expense of rehabbing the old barn when compared to the projected cost and reliability of a new timber frame barn was deemed too high. November 2011 CLT applied for a Farm Viability Grant with the Connecticut Dept. of Agriculture and we were recently awarded a grant in the amount of $40,000 to build a new 30’ X 40’ post and beam barn on a concrete foundation. We intend to purchase a barn kit made by American Country Barns of Bethlehem, CT.
The bulk of the construction work will be done by American Country Barns and local subcontractors along with CLT and farm volunteers.
Fundraising efforts December 2010 netted $8,185 in contributions. We received 89 contributions and netted a matching grant from theGive Greater Challenge in the amount of $2,875. Many thanks to all of our supporters. All funds will be used to eventually construct a new barn at Ives.
Ives Farm listed on the CT Register of Historic Places
On November 7, 2007 the Connecticut Historic Preservation Council voted to place the Bradley-Ives Farm on the CT Register of Historic Places, making it eligible for state funds for the rehabilitation and/or restoration of the farmhouse, sheds, barns, and windmill. (The greenhouses, which we don’t own, are not historic, nor is the small shed used for retail sales.) Nina Harkrader, the architectural historian who conducted the research and filed the nomination. Her work was supported by $3000 grant to the Land Trust from the CT Trust for Historic Preservation.
Historic Restoration Fund Grants (HRF) may be used for the restoration, rehabilitation or purchase of historic buildings, structures, and objects as well as the investigation of archaeological sites if the properties are listed on the State Register of Historic Places and owned by non-profit organizations or municipalities.
Ives Farm Acquired
The future of Ives Farm is secure thanks to Betty Ives and her vision for its future. Betty Ives bequeathed her home, barns and the entire 164-acre farm that spans both sides of Cheshire St. to the Cheshire Land Trust.
CLT President Nell DeVane, Tim Casey, Dave Schrumm & Tim Slocum (May 2006)
Betty Ives died May 28, 2006, one day shy of her 94th birthday. Betty had begun her farming career in retirement after the passing of her husband Eddie Ives in 1967. Her farm was an institution and its future was always a source of concern for friends and neighbors, town officials, area developers and the Cheshire Land Trust.
Some conditions were placed on the property but the intent of her gift is to preserve the land and sustain farming as long as possible and practical as determined by the Land Trust. Ives Farm, well known for delicious strawberries and sweet corn is open for business. The forested lands on the east side of Cheshire St. will be maintained as forest and managed in accordance with good forestry practices. This is a working farm and all operations will continue as the public has experienced in the past.
Why the Cheshire Land Trust?
One can only imagine what went through the mind of Betty Ives as she guided her tractor over the magnificence of Ives Farm. Betty Ives was a Cheshire Land Trust member but she never disclosed to the Trust or even her closest friends and business associates what her intentions were. Her thoughtful reflections have paved the way for no pavement over Ives Farm. Her vision expands protection along the Quinnipiac River. For the foreseeable future Cheshire grown fruit and vegetables will remain a reality there.
The Ives Farm
The Cheshire Street community was built around farming, small manufacturing enterprises and taverns that catered to the stagecoach lines that served Wallingford to Southington and Middletown to Waterbury travelers. The manufacturing and tavern interests went the way of the stagecoaches but farming in the area remained and prospered because of the excellent soils there and the presence of the Quinnipiac River and its vital water supply.
According to Landmarks of Old Cheshire, the house at 1585 Cheshire Street was built about 1790 by Merriman Hotchkiss. The style is described as "a great, square, center-chimney house". The property was sold in 1794 to Seth De Wolf who established a tin-smith shop just south of the house. The shop was eventually relocated to Sindall Road and no longer exists today. One of De Wolf's peddlers was Lyman Bradley. He earned enough to be rather well off and bought the property. He sold it to Edward Ives in 1867. The Ives have farmed the property since that time. A descendant, Eddie Ives married Elizabeth Porter and farming continued on the property.
Ives Farm - July 2006 - Merriman Hotchkiss Place - circa 1790
Elizabeth Porter Ives began her farming career after the sudden death of her husband Eddie in 1967. Betty, as she was known to all, employed neighbors and her brother to help with the many tasks surrounding such an enterprise. Tim Casey joined the farm in 1986 and became Betty's partner in the agricultural pursuits of the farm. A longtime friend, Roger Williams, has skillfully managed the extensive forested property on the eastside of Cheshire St. cutting and thinning timber every year. This careful management of the forest has made it a valuable and healthy second growth forest habitat that supports an abundance of wildlife.
See photos more photos of Ives Farm