Miss Muriel Church and her parents came to Chester from Massachusetts in the spring of 1914. At eleven years old and coming from the city, this move began Miss Church’s lifelong love of Spring Hill Farm and a country lifestyle. She never married, but loved children, teaching for many years in the local one room schoolhouse and taking foster children into her home. She inherited the farm in the 1930’s and then in 1969, retired from teaching and became a full-time farmer, at long last. For Miss Church, it was a dream come true.
In 1995, Miss Church, in her 90’s, couldn’t fathom the thought that Spring Hill Farm would be split and sold to developers after she was gone. Instead, she graciously donated her 400+ acres to the Town of Chester to preserve the open space. In addition, she stipulated that the farm was to be managed by a private trust. It was the trust’s responsibility to see that the farm was preserved as agricultural land and managed carefully. It was her dying request that Spring Hill Farm would forever be available for someone to make their living, running a working farm.
Maggie Mae Farm is proud and honored to be stewards of Miss Church’s beloved farm. We live in the same home she did and work the same land. Three of Miss Church’s cows – Spring, Sweet Potato, and Norma live a pampered lifestyle in the lush pastures. Every day it grows closer to our hearts – making us truly understand how much she loved this beautiful place!
There is so much that Miss Church’s legacy has to offer. There are miles of wooded trails open to hiking, horseback riding, snow shoeing and cross country skiing. The farm hosts a myriad of educational and community building activities. In addition, it is a working farm, according to Miss Church’s wishes – raising livestock and growing organic vegetables.
Maggie Mae Farm sincerely hopes that Miss Church would be proud of our efforts. Through the farm her memory remains alive and cherished!