History of Maple Hill Farm in Hardwick, Massachusetts
The 250+ acres of Maple Hill Farm were first settled some time between 1730 and 1740. The first part of the present house was built in 1752. When New England farming was at its peak, Maple Hill Farm was established as one of the preeminent dairy farms of the area. All land that could be cleared with available technology (manpower and oxen teams) was put into hay and silage production. Very few trees were left on the farm.
The dairy business was so good that in 1896 the old barn was raised 20 feet and made twice as long to accommodate an increasing herd. The animals were located on the first level of the barn, the equipment on the second level, and the hay was stored even higher on the top level. It was constructed of hand-hewn American Chestnut beams, as well as sawed beams cut with both straight and circular saws.
Today, most of the acres are in a permanent Conservation restriction held by the Trustees of reservations (TTOR) and the East Quabbin Land Trust respectively.