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The Westover-Bacon-Potts House (c. 1744) and outbuildings in Egremont, Massachusetts, is the latest property protected through Historic New England’s Preservation Easement Program. This easement represents an important partnership between Historic New England, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Egremont Historical Commission, and the nonprofit property owner, Greenagers, which engages teens in environmental conservation work.
The buildings on the farm are great examples of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century architectural styles found in rural agricultural communities in Berkshire County.
The historic farm includes the house with a connected 1806 woodshed and horse barn, a nineteenth-century barn, a sheep shed, garden shed, and garage. All of the building exteriors are protected. Interior protections focus mainly on the house and include softwood floors, plaster walls and ceilings, woodwork, door and window hardware, and fireplaces. The easement also protects the approximately four acres of land around the farm. Because the site is located near the Appalachian Trail, agricultural and conservation restrictions held by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy also protect the nearly 150 acres surrounding the historic farm.
This conservation and preservation success story would not have been possible without the philanthropy of Mary Margaret Kellogg, who originally donated the property to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy in 2011. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy assigned that older preservation restriction to Historic New England. Under this partnership, Historic New England will provide oversight and guidance on the preservation of the farm and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy will continue to oversee the conservation of the land.
A preservation easement is a legal agreement used to protect significant building and landscape features of a historic property. Historic New England works with the property owner to create the document and record it with local land records. It gives the easement holder certain rights and responsibilities associated with perpetual protection. The easement does not prevent future sales, leases, or estate planning, and the owner remains responsible for maintenance and taxes.
Learn more about Historic New England’s Preservation Easement Program.