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The original item was published from 11/18/2023 2:52:40 PM to 11/28/2023 12:00:01 AM.

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Egremont Historical Commission

Posted on: November 18, 2023

[ARCHIVED] VanGuilder Farm: Egremont's Past from Mahican Roots to Today’s Ruins

abandoned house with peeling paint vegetation growing up the exterior a gaping opening where door is

The Egremont Historical Commission seeks to preserve what is still possible for the VanGuilder property at Jug End. Since 1994, this property has been owned by the Departments of Conservation and Recreation and Fish and Wildlife.

The site of the VanGuilder Farm goes back to the mid-1700s when the Mahican Indians deeded the land to Jon Konkapot VanGuilder, presumably the son of Chief Konkapot, who was believed to have been raised in the home of the VanGuilder family. The Mahicans had settled the area in the late 1600s. The Mahicans welcomed the Dutch in the last years of the late 17th century and early in the 18th.

The property changed hands several times until Major Smiley and his wife, Heather, bought it in 1922. Smiley built two houses for employees, converted a farm building into a studio for their daughter, added maintenance buildings, and landscaped portions of the property. Some of these buildings, the stonework, and landscaped areas remain as ruins overgrown with vegetation today.

Visit the Egremont Historical Commission web page to view a photo slideshow (exterior and interior) of the property. Download the 1995 Jug End News (PDF) with its historic structure inventory and archaeology.

If you enjoy delving into local history and preserving the heritage of Egremont, consider becoming a volunteer member of the Egremont Historical Commission. You can learn more about the work of the Commission here. You can apply by emailing the Select Board's office.

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