Saturday, January 15, 2011

A bit of History

I wanted to share with you what I found about a post that I did last fall " Be as Happy as you want ."
In that post, I told you of the lady that  had donated her land to the park system so that everyone could enjoy it. She had retained a small portion for her private use. After her death in 1980, the remainder of the land went to the park system. For safety reasons, the house was torn down as was the stables, kennels, garage and several other buildings that made up her farm. I was finally able to track down some photos of the original house. These were taken in 1980 just before the demolition occurred. The photos on the left were taken this fall, with no house behind us. It was kind of spooky, when I first saw the photos of the house and where it was. Knowing that I walked around trying to picture it and was so wrong in my assumptions.
All that remains now is the wall that encircled the lawn and the grand stone steps that led down to the tennis court. I can only imagine how wonderful it must have looked when it was being taken care of by the grounds keepers compared to now with the weeds growing out of the cracks.
 Beyond the tennis court is still a beautiful lane that goes out to where the road used to be. With tall hundred year old white pines lining both sides, you feel dwarfed standing there. It's so beautiful that more than one couple has chosen to have their wedding ceremony there amongst the pines.
The stone steps makes for a gorgeous place to take photos. Everyone looks better in a setting such as this.

The only way to get to this site now is by way of the hiking trails in the park. It's almost a mile back in there, but well worth the trip. I am looking forward to hiking out there in the winter to see all of this with the cover of snow.

13 comments:

oneSAHDdude said...

Looks vaguely familiar. Is that on the mountain bike trails at Stony? I recall seeing a tennis court back there once and wondering how the heck it got there.

Stew said...

I knew someone from Washington Twp. would recognize that. If you go to the Westbranch picnic area, where the sledding hills are, and follow the trails, you'll run into it.

There isn't a lot of info on it out there. I got what I have from someone who works at Stony Creek. He's the one that took the photos.

It was known as the Shelden Estate, Greenhill Farm back in the day.

sophie...^5 said...

Yes, it's sad to imagine what COULD have been done with this property. At least, you are allowed to explore the area. Sounds like a place to get lost in and find yourself. The blgds may be gone but the ambiance is there...breath it in.

AJ-OAKS said...

I can only imgagine how beautiful the grounds with buildings would have been. It sounds like it was so grand! Too bad the buildings had to come down. :( The row of pines reminds me of a place, I think it is in Louisiana, called Oak Alley.
I bet sitting there on the steps one could 'hear' what used to be.

Jim said...

Love to take a hike on those trails! I remember this post Stew and was intrigued at the time that the owner had donated it to the public....how generous.

Razzberry Corner said...

I remember the original post, too. It sounds like it was once a wonderful place. Such history.

John Gray jgsheffield@hotmail.com said...

lovely tribute
looks like a film set

Coop said...

It was very generous of the lady. Too bad they couldn't use the house and buildings for something. Maybe make a little $ off of the weddings.

Jason said...

I went hiking with my son at Stony Creek yesterday and came across this location as well. I was also very intrigued as to what the history was. I'm so glad you found these old pictures of the estate and posted them. It was definately a spooky spot but I too would have loved to seen it in person before it was all demolished. There isn't a tennis court there anymore but there are some high chain-link fences there which I assume housed the tennis court. It would be nice if they removed the chain link fencing. I love the Stony Creek trails. I feel like I'm up north everytime I go running or hiking there. Thanks again for posting this.

Anonymous said...

I moved to Rochester in 1976 and remember hiking back into this area and seeing the house and grounds when they were fully operation. The house and grounds were utterly amazing and it was a travesty that it was demolished after the golf course was built. I remember watching the golf course being constructed also.

Sunshine Gorilla said...

I have a blog called The Shelden Estate " Green Hill Farm" it has history regarding the Shelden Family.Check out the Stony Creek Nature Center they have information all about The Sheldens . Stony Creek Nature is giving a tour of The Shelden Estate this summer.You can reach me on the blog or my e-mail is jsieja@gmail.com

Very Nice Site.
Have a Great Day
Jerry.

mrwallyrooster said...

I would like a time travel machine. It would be awesome to see the estate and buildings. The subdivisions they build now just don't have much character.

mister beel said...

Yep found it went to the nature center for maps back then it covers the whole bike and hiking trails