Starting this journal feels like the beginning of a new chapter in our journey into shepherding and stewardship. We are moving once again, this time to a place that stole my heart from the moment I saw it. Our new farm comes with it's own story, one that I have been digging for months to uncover.
To date what I have found is that our home was built in 1795 by Alvah Bosworth. In 1797 Alvah began operating as a tavern and Inn in Chesterfield, NY. This was known as Bosworth's Tavern. From what I have uncovered this property was the site of a White's Militia training, part of the underground railroad, and the barns were possibly part of the weapons storage during the 1800's.
Photo of contents of Time Capsule found under floor boards in upstairs south wing of house
Two days ago we received a package from a neighbor that held some incredible information on our home, including a timeline, outline, and journal from Andrea Knight, a previous owner of the property.
This package contained photos of Bosworth after it was renovated to a home in the 1860's by the Bishop family, the apparent second owners of the property. I can't imagine the undertaking this was for the family in that time period! They raised the roof, turned it to face west, towards the new road being built, and converted the tavern to a family home. I’m so amazed at how this was done, the evidence of the original saltbox frame is still evident in the eaves of the house. Andrea Knight had written a story of the house and history that she found including quotes from a journal she must have found from the Bishop's. Saddle bags were found in the walls of the house as well as an old post masters bag. I may have found the post masters bag in the attic now thinking of this and knowing what it could be. I feel this great responsibility to our home, we are the stewards of this property and our job is to take care of it, restore and preserve the history of the structure and past families as best we can.
We also found a time capsule left by the Knights in the 1990's. Within a letter found inside, it was noted that there were letters in the floor boards of the attic from the Bosworth's. I have yet to find these, but you can bet I will do my best to hunt them down. Inside the attic is filled with boxes and trunks that I have not had the opportunity to fully explore. I have of course done a little digging, I couldn't help myself. There are many letters, postcards, and photographs inside, that I'm excited to put into a timeline.
We have many projects going on, the most pressing is restoring the Ell addition, which were the living quarters of the Bosworth's in the 1700's. We also will begin evaluating the best approach to restoring and preserving the 1804 barn that is still standing across from the house. At some point want to rebuild the old post office that was once on the property, we first need to find the cellar which is somewhere on the south side, near Old Mace Chasm Road.
Our calling to this property and preservation work stems from our desire to raise heritage breed livestock. As I write this our foundation in becoming Shepherds are on their way to us all the way from Washington state. Funny enough this is where I was born and raised. Everything that is meant always feels like it has a connection with me. I don't think I have ever been so excited for sheep in my life. We are starting with a breeding pair of Valais Blacknose Sheep. This pair has been carefully selected for genetics as we have big plans ahead for Rove Farm.
I hope that you look forward to my next post, I'm excited to see what I'll have to share. Certainly more progress on Bosworth Tavern, and the farm. Fingers are crossed for a smooth journey for Docie and Zürich and that they adjust smoothly to the Upstate New York.
Thank you so much for reading,