The roots of this re-energized farmscape run deep. Native Americans living in what is now eastern Massachusetts had been clearing land with fire and raising crops long before Columbus crossed the Atlantic. Colonists who settled in Dedham claimed this area in the 1600s and this land was farmed steadily through the 1700s and 1800s. Timber and charcoal industries were also part of its history.
In 1923, Miss Amelia Peabody of Boston purchased a house just north of the farm. Over the next 60 years, until her death in 1984, she would add 30 additional lots (including this parcel and what is now Noanet Woodlands) to her land holdings, totaling almost 800 acres. Miss Peabody enjoyed a privileged life shared by many of her Brahmin background, giving parties and riding to the hounds. But she also opened her vast estate to local people, who walked the trails and carriage paths, admired the farm’s champion livestock, and enjoyed the simple, restorative effects of being in nature. Miss Amelia’s commitment to public access to open space is continued today by The Trustees.
Property Acquisition History
Originally 188-acres were purchased from the Executors of the Amelia Peabody Estate in 1985. 33 acres sold to the town of Dover as permanent conservation land and another 33 acres that were not essential to the farm operation were sold as a limited development. The remaining agricultural land was protected with an Agricultural Preservation Restriction to the Commonwealth and the Town. In 1989 the farmland was transferred to The Trustees and opened as a reservation in June 2008.