Family fetes 200 years in New Haven home

NEW HAVEN — Beverly Marshall Landon and her kin go back a long way in New Haven. She and family members gathered at the Fitts/Farr homestead at 730 River Road on June 5 to celebrate ownership of the stately white farmhouse for exactly 200 years.
Landon’s great-great-great-great-grandfather Simon Farr purchased the property from Ruloff Lawrence, who lived in Middlebury, for $3,000.
This very special Two Century Celebration included Landon’s children, Cynthia Graham, Tracy Longchamp, Christopher Landon, Billi Jo Whitehill and Lou-Bea Landon-Forbes, together with their spouses and nearly all of her dozen grandchildren. They joined in a family-style picnic on the 200-year-old property in a birthday party that included a special cake. Landon prepared individual books for her children giving the history of the property including photos of buildings, a landscape map and family history over the years.
The present residence was built about 1830 and extensive repairs were later done including clapboards and new windows with the addition of two front piazzas happening in 1903, according to the news article found in the Middlebury Register. A phone was installed in the farm house about July 17, 1903, according to another news article.
Electricity was installed in 1927 and plumbing also arrived in May of that same year. Insulation was completed Aug. 31 of 1942 by the Eagle Rock Wool Insulation Company of Vermont, according to a certificate. Beverly’s father added a new hot water heating system throughout the house in the fall of 1956.
In 1950 a hurricane caused wind damage to the horse barn roof, and made the storage barn a total wreck. The grain barn came off its foundation and the young cattle barn was heavily damaged.
Many births, marriages, deaths, anniversaries, services, meetings and other celebrations have been hosted or happened over these 200 years. Much happiness has thrived here, including one very special delivery of a Shetland pony to three little Fitts girls by Santa Claus; they found the little pony inside their living room tied to the front door knob!
One other notable event at the homestead was the delivery of a baby in January of 1956. The father and his wife became stuck in the snow nearby while on their way to the hospital, and they came to the house for shelter, where the father delivered his child.
Blanche Fitts (Beverly’s grandmother) used to take boarders at the family homestead, which was then called Crystal Spring Farm. To this very day, that same spring supplies the homestead and those driving by the residence may observe the gravity overflow of the spring as it spurts up into the air just east of the house.
Editor’s note: This story was provided by Bev Landon.

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