Tunbridge – December 13, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — Donald Blackmer and his late wife, Joan, purchased their Tunbridge hill farm in 1972. Since then, several generations of the Blackmer family have enjoyed the land’s trails, rolling pastureland, northern hardwood forest, and its mid-nineteenth century farmhouse. To permanently protect the land from development, the family donated a conservation easement on the 50-acre property to the Vermont Land Trust.
The property, now owned by Don and his three children, Stephen, Alexander, and Katherine, continues to be the primary gathering place for the family.
The family had talked about protecting the land for years. “Our 50 acres in Tunbridge has been at the center of our family life for over 40 years now,” said Steve Blackmer. “As we near a generational change of ownership, we wanted to make sure to keep the land open and productive for the next generations just as we have been able to enjoy and experience it. Happily, all three generations of Blackmers are delighted at this prospect.”
A walk on the property—a mix of forestland and fields—provides a glimpse of the region’s history. The Blackmers are only the third family to own the property in modern times. The Townsends lived there during the first half of the nineteen century until the land was transferred to the Pedusey family in 1946. The land’s fields and boundaries are lined with stone walls and Drew Cemetery lies in the northwest corner, The 42 headstones date from 1814 to 1881.
And yet the farmland plays a role in today’s farm economy as well. The Blackmers’ friend and neighbor, Ted Hoyt, pastures his organic dairy herd there and takes hay off a four-acre meadow. The property also includes a small sugarbush.
“It was a real pleasure to work with the Blackmers,” said Bob Linck, central Vermont director for the Vermont Land Trust. “Their deep love of the land is evident, and they chose the best option for protecting their part of Vermont’s rural landscape.”
The conservation easement on the Blackmers’ land is a perpetual legal agreement that will ensure the property is not further subdivided or developed, while allowing sustainable, productive use of the land. Support for some of the costs associated with the project came from the Freeman Foundation. The Vermont Land Trust will be responsible for staying in touch with present and all future owners, and seeing that the terms of the conservation easement are upheld.