History of East Hill Farm: The 1970s
What a journey the past 74 years have been! From the early days of housing only 30 guests, to our current capacity of 140, we have been fortunate to meet and make many lifelong friends that call East Hill Farm their home away from home. You are truly our extended Farm family!
The Inn at East Hill Farm will be celebrating our 75th Anniversary during the weekend of February 4-6, 2022. As with all celebrations, it is more fun to have your friends and loved ones to celebrate with. Please mark your calendars and consider joining us for this momentous occasion!
We will be sharing photos, behind the scenes, and fun stories in a series of monthly blog, Instagram, and Facebook posts leading up to the celebration. While the Inn’s history dates to 1772, we are focusing on what it has been since right after WWII, an agritourism destination.
Our story picks up in the 1970s…
During the 1970s, the Inn was hosting about 80 guests at full capacity. One late night there was a devastating fire which destroyed the original Cottage 2. After the fire, Cottage 1 was moved to its current location near the barn. It is now fondly known as Barnside and has housed many employees over the years. Today’s two-story Cottages 1 and 2 were built immediately after the fire to house the guests that were due to stay in them! They have remained a guest favorite over the years.
In the barn, along with the horses, cows, and pigs; chickens and about 60 sheep were added year-round – no longer just in the summer. There were lots of animals in the barn to visit and guests began to collect eggs to eat for breakfast.
Guests continued to hike, swim, listen to story time, boat on the pond,
ice skate on the pond,
and toboggan down the hill behind the barn.
There was nightly entertainment as well, including a very popular LIVE band on Saturday nights and everyone’s favorite farm activity, BINGO.
In the summertime, guests were caravanning to Silver Lake for the delicious hamburger and hotdog cookout lunch. The renowned red boat towed water skiers and provided boat rides.
In the winter, guests enjoyed the rope tow and downhill skiing on the hill behind the barn.
The Hideaway was completed in 1973 as a home for Parker and Julie Whitcomb. They lived there for a few years before it was used for guest lodging. Many families over the years have enjoyed staying in this stand-alone house with a large living room and screened in porch.
In the late 70s, the rope tow was removed, cross country ski trails and equipment were added to the winter program, and an indoor hot tub and solarium were installed.
Most notably during this decade, there was a change in ownership. In 1974, Dave and Sally Adams formed a partnership with the Whitcombs.
Two years later, in 1976, Dave and Sally took on full ownership while Parker and Julie retired to Florida.
Stay tuned and next time we will share another story written by Grandpa Jim Whitcomb, “Haying in the Old Days”, along with some fun facts about our current hay practices.
Submitted by Holly
There is no place like EHF., Something for everyone including our pets. The food, the ambiance the peace and quiet, I could go on forever. My grandchildren looked forward to twice a year, I looked forward to spending time with them. They are all grown up now. I am pushing ninety. I have plenty of pictures and the best memories. Thank you for all the good times and memories. Keep the farm going for many more years.
Thank you so much for your kind comments. We are thankful for your visits over the years and wish you well.
I worked at East Hill Farm on the weekends in 1967. It was a great place to work and we had a lot of fun. I remember those days fondly.
Thanks for reaching out. It is always fun to hear from former employees. So many of us have fond memories of working at East Hill Farm.
Loved my Grampa Jim, Uncle Parker, cousins, Julie and all the wonderful memories of time at Grampa’s and playing at the Inn. Memories of jumping into hay piles from the loft of the old barn! And a rope swing out over the hay pile! Gathering eggs for breakfast, gathering sap buckets at sugaring time, snowshoeing across the lake with Grampa and cousins!! A magical place and time!.
Thanks for sharing your memories. Those were the good old days!
1970’s is when the Chelsens first ventured up to the farm. We stayed in the Annex, which was attached to Dave and sally’s residence. We became annual visitors after that first trip, and started bringing friends from Staten Island with us. Combined with friends we made while vacationing there, we all started coming back at the same time. I miss those times!!
Those were fun times for sure. I remember playing many games of backgammon with you on the lawn. -Jen