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Betty Ives

Betty Ives - Spring 2006

Cheshire Land Trust
Preserving Land as a Living Resource Since 1969

       Ives Farm

The Cheshire Land Trust acquired Ives Farm in August 2006. The historic farm is the bequest of Betty Ives, the beloved and dedicated farmer who by sheer force of will began her farming career upon the death of her husband Eddie Ives in 1967.

Ives Farm is the first farm the trust has owned and operated as working farm. Over the past several years the trust has been following a farm management plan to meet the needs of the community and to fulfill the vision of Betty Ives. Since the spring of 2011 T&D Growers of Cheshire has managed farm operations. Their efforts and the the farms fantastic soils have produced seasons of diverse harvests including many varieties of peppers, tomatoes, sweet corn,cabbage, eggplant and strawberries.

Ives Farm Fall 2013

The new barn at Ives Farm was introduced to our members and friends Oct. 5, 2013

Joining CLT in the day long celebration was the Cheshire Historical Society, The Quinnipiac River Watershed Asso., the Quinnipiac Valley Audubon Society, and our farmers, T&D Growers of Cheshire.

We thank American Country Barns and all of the CLT volunteers that helped with this important project.



Ives Farm Barn Project 2013

June - August 2013


The American Country Barns timber frame barn kit was delivered to Ives Farm in May. Work began in early June with periodic interuptions due to the rainy spring weather. ACB is did a fantastic job and CLT volunteers have done their part too. Dodging the rainfall and taking time out from their regular day jobs, volunteers painted the barn in the classic barn red color, finished the trim work and completed a clean-up around the outside of the barn that included remaking some stone walls, regarding and seeding. By the end of August 2013 the barn was basically done.

Ives Timber Frame June 2013Timber frame June 2013
CLT Board membersCLT governing board have 1st meeting at the new barn 8/19/2013

IvesbarnTimber frame July 2013



The last of the barn siding boards was painted July 1. A total of 352 boards comprising 2,927 BF now have one coat of paint and are ready to be put up. Picture are Jim and Margie Mertz and Ed Schweizer, a volunteer who has done many many many of hours of work during the teardown last fall and the painting marathon over the last several weeks. Thanks Ed!

Thanks to Hines Hardware for a generouse discount On Benjamin Moore "Barn Red" paint. Thanks Pat Bowman! And Thank you Cheshire Roofing for a terrific job installing the roof shingling on the barn.

Dave Schrumm has led the volunteer effort which has helped save thousands of CLT dollars in volunteer sweat equity.


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 Oct 2012
Ives Barn Bangers


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

Farm History

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-Merriman Hotchkiss Place

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



Ives Farm Today

Ives Farm is a working farm currently managed by T&D Growers of Cheshire.

T&D Growers

Cheshire Land Trust has developed a management plan for Ives Farm including the house and other structures on the property. We are dedicated to to preserving the good relationships the farm has enjoyed with the Cheshire Street community and all that have known and worked alongside Betty Ives. This important community asset will remain a working farm long into the future. The community should take great comfort in knowing this wonderful gift by Betty Ives to CLT is also a gift to the entire community. Together we must strive to support the success of the farm enterprise.


This detail of the barns at Ives Farm is from a painting by Charlotte Sternberg, a nationally renowned artist who lived and painted in Cheshire for many years. The nearly 2' x 4' egg-tempera painting was done in 1976.

Sternberg Painting of Ives Farm

Ives Farm as depicted in this masterfully rendered painting by the late Charlotte Sternberg, a nationally renowned artist who lived and painted in Cheshire for many years. The nearly 2' x 4' egg-tempera painting was done in 1976.

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Site last updated: March 11, 2016