History of the Farm
It all started when…
Located in the center of Pittsford at 42 Elm Street, The Pittsford Village Farm sits on over 20 acres of the former Forrest Farm and contains an 18th century farmhouse and 19th century barn. In 2017 Baird and Betsy Morgan purchased the property to preserve it for the future of Pittsford.
In 2018 two community forums were held to gather input from the citizens of Pittsford to decide how best to use the property. The forums identified three main areas of interest via a voting system facilitated by professionals from the Vermont Council on Rural Development. A Community Center, Agricultural Hub, and Retail Opportunities were identified as the top 3 areas. The Pittsford Village Farm was formed and is a registered 501c3 organization with a 7 member board. Three separate committees were created to focus on the 3 main areas for the Village Farm.
In 2017 a Historical Architect Survey was completed on the Farmhouse and Barn. Improvements in 2017 included the removal of dilapidated sheds, a new roof on the Farmhouse and a 1 mile trail cut connecting to the Cadwell Loop of the Pittsford Trail System. In March 2018 the first Community Gardens were established on the property as well as a free weekly 'Sprouts' program to teach children about gardening and the environment. The farm has been hosting community events outdoors and hopes to create an indoor space to hold events in the future.
This IS community. This is young and old, all walks of life, getting together, creating something amazing, enjoying the outdoors and having fun! This is exactly what the Pittsford Village Farm is working to create. We are ALWAYS looking for others that would like to help us realize our goals for the farm. Please attend a meeting, volunteer at an event or donate.
Pittsford Village Farm in Times Past
The 18th century house that sits on the Village Farm property is known to many townspeople as the "Dr. Swift House." It was built in 1798 by Stephen Avery and four of Pittsford's physicians lived there. A Dr. William Frisbie bought it in 1807, a Dr. Freeman Mott in 1819. Dr. Abiel M. Caverly, author of Pittsford's first history published in 1872, bought the house in 1866 and remodeled it in the Italianate Revival style. The Caverly design incorporates a very deep entablature with a wide cornice and paired scrolled brackets along the eaves of the roof. Atop the center of the roof is a large cupola. Not long after Dr. Caverly's sudden death from pneumonia in 1879 at age 62, Dr. Henry Haven Swift took over his practice. It was around this same time that Dr. Swift bought the house. He had married Dr. Caverly's daughter Caroline, and she added the large two-story west ell capped by a slate-shingled gable roof with shed dormers. These changes took place ca. 1890 and the wing was planned but never used for a hospital. Raymond Fallon acquired the house in 1928 and began farming the property. In 1977 Robert Forrest bought the house. The house is listed in the Pittsford Village Historic District as well as in the National Register of Historic Places.
Anne Pelkey, Curator
Pittsford Historical Society