No region in America had a bigger impact on the country's history than coastal New England. Up and down the Eastern seaboard, the towns and villages from Cape Cod to the rocky coast of Maine became settled by pioneer families, first by the Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony in 1620, and soon thereafter by Puritan colonists of the Massachusetts Bay Colony who dropped anchor at one of the many harbors along the Atlantic coast.
Kittery, Maine was one such harbor that saw its first colonists in 1623, seven years prior to the settlement at Boston, sixty miles to its south. Kittery was the first incorporated town in Maine, and its location on the Piscataqua River just across from Portsmouth, NH makes it the southernmost town in all of Maine.
Eliot, Maine was once a part of Kittery, but was incorporated as a new and distinct town in 1810 but traces its own history to the earliest settlers in the region. If it can be said that the early settlement at Boston transformed itself over the centuries to become the commercial hub it is today, it can also be said that Eliot, just an hour's drive to the North by today's transportation metrics, remains still a quaint reflection of life in an earlier century. While that life began as a small local harbor with a fishing and shipbuilding economy, it slowly added an agricultural economy as farms were carved from the Maine woods and rocky coastal soils.
Maine has always had two distinct lifestyles and economies, the first being the coastal harbors first settled along its Atlantic shoreline, and the second being the vast inland landmass that provided timber to the rest of the colonies. Towns like Eliot embraced both the early settlements associated with the economics of an ocean harbor, and the inland settlements that focused on timbering and farming.
Steve and Donna Towne found a small corner of what remained of one of those old farms, Stonecrop Farm, originally the Simpson farm in Eliot. It is a Twenty-acre remnant of Maine agricultural history that has now become woodland. Instead of ocean views or hayfields and grazing meadows, it had become a silent and majestic stand of pines and hardwoods that took over the ground when it was long ago abandoned as a family farm. Untouched except by the hands of nature and time, the many rock walls that once laid out the working demarcation of an operating farm still existed. An old barn, and other remains of buildings once integral to the everyday operations of a family farm can still be found on or near the overgrown farmstead.
Stonecrop Farm in Eliot was carved from what was once wilderness Maine. Its name undoubtedly came from the wry expression that early settlers used to describe the rocky soils that they worked. But with typical Yankee ingenuity they made a positive out of the rocky "crop" they endured each tilling season by turning that crop into the iconic stone walls that formed the pastures and fields of their beloved farms and homesteads.
It is hard to stand in the presence of such remains of a now silent history without being moved in the contemplation of the extraordinary efforts expended by those who stood there before us. It is that understanding of the emotional connection to a piece of ground that first inspired Steve and Donna Towne to purchase a part of the old Simpson farm and then to think about how they, the new stewards of that former farmland, could nurture it to become a proper legacy for a small portion of the former farm and homestead. They began by building their own period historic style home on the property, mindful of the history of the region's architecture and sensitive to the natural beauty of the former farm and its potential to still be the site of a cluster of homes that are in harmony with the history of the land they will occupy, while also accommodating a new vision for homes that are comfortable and yielding to the demands of today's twenty-first century families.
Steve Towne, a professional civil engineer himself (over 35 years of ownership) carefully managed the woodlands, restored the pasture and access road, and laid out the boundaries for a six-lot cluster of homes using the natural stone wall boundaries and inherent land characteristics that themselves dictated appropriate and best homesites. The Townes then contacted a company in Middlebury, Vermont, Connor Mill-Built Homes, whose reputation for designing homes and milling exquisitely accurate historic architectural detailing for them, was known throughout the Northeast and beyond. Together they assembled plans and pricing for an appropriate home for each site, which is now being offered to the public. And while each home is a wonderful example of and a tribute to revered architecture found throughout the region, this is no museum settlement. Rather it is a unique collection of homes with the common attribute of architectural beauty borrowed from the best architectural examples in history, mixed with the best refinements and efficiencies of today's building technology.
To complete the team of experts who will oversee the vision of esteemed architecture married to today's building technology, Connor Mill-Built Homes will turn over the actual site construction to its local Preferred Builder, Mark Eitelman, himself a student of historic architecture, but also a studied practitioner of modern construction technology. The team is modeled on the old-school concept of "Master-Builder" whereby every aspect of the build is handled in-house by a level of expertise and sensitivity that ensures efficiency and control so that each owner gets to enjoy a matchless, enjoyable building experience.
The Townes have given the development the name once used by the original family, Stonecrop Farm.
Time moves on and each generation has its own chapter to write, but there is something satisfying in the continuity that exists when generations have something to share. At Stonecrop Farm, a piece of ground with a history so different from the story that will be written by today's new stewards might seem a history so disparate as to be irrelevant, and yet what is shared is the appreciation of a setting that has changed little. While the past owners of the farm pass on the ground that was so integral to their own lives, they also pass on the pen that will write the next chapter for it.
The country roads that lead to and surround Stonecrop Farm still pass by the remaining farms and woodlands and venerable homesteads that continue to tell the story of what once was here. And the new homes that will be built at Stonecrop Farm give respect to the past while writing a new chapter of lives lived in the twenty-first century. These homes will be appreciated for their timeless architectural beauty but will also tell their own story of how technology and energy issues that are our generation's concerns, our "stonecrop", in a way that gives honor to all the generations who have lived and will continue to live here at Stonecrop Farm.
PURCHASING A HOME AT STONECROP FARM
There are three participants on the sale side of a new Connor Mill-Built Home. First, there are the current landowners, Steve and Donna Towne, from whom the building lot is purchased. Second, there is the home designer and manufacturer, Connor Mill-Built Homes. And the third participant is the General Contractor, Mark Eitelman, who is also a Connor Mill-Built Homes designated Preferred Builder. All three project participants work together to ensure that the land purchase and the construction of the home is a seamless, efficient and rewarding experience for the buyer.
The homes presently chosen for each lot represent homes that have been selected for their historically inspired beauty and appropriateness for each lot. Siting of the homes on the large 3 acre lots to carefully preserve natural features, the large old growth forest setting, and historic fieldstone walls will be as important as the homes themselves. Each of the homes can be modified or even completely re-designed should a client prefer a different plan or historic style. The present property owners have final architectural control so as to ensure that the lifestyle built around timeless architecture and place is preserved and honored.
Connor Mill-Built Homes will be the designers and shop builders for each home, utilizing our unique manufacturing process that ensures the highest-level construction quality and design integrity. Mark Eitelman, our Preferred Builder, will be the General Contractor for the project.
All three participants have a common love and interest in historic architecture, and the project will be a unique blend of established country character with floor plan layouts and amenities that will make Stonecrop Farm a place where the serenity and beauty of the past combines harmoniously with today's technology and energy efficiency.
To learn more about this most unique property please contact:
Chris Erikson, Esq.
Aland Realty | Broker/Owner
email@example.com | Cell: 603.930.4470 | www.alandrealty.com
25 Government St, Kittery, ME | 175 Market St, Portsmouth, NH | 177 Shore Rd, Ogunquit, ME
For more Information about Connor Mill-Built Homes, please contact a sales representative at CMBH:
Connor Mill-Built Homes
227 Pond Lane Middlebury, VT 05778