As we celebrate the beauty of The General Field with our annual Sunflower and Sunset party on June 27 (see the flyer on the right), this piece by Groton resident Deb Jefferson gives you a glimpse into the history of this spectacular piece of Groton. Thank you to Deb for sharing the story. Pictures courtesy of Deb Jefferson.
“Some asked about the history of the General Field… here are some photos, and a little remembrance...
This property, now referred to as ‘The General Field’, was my family’s ancestral home. My grandparents moved there in the very early 1900’s to manage the farm for the owner, Stephen Sabine. It was known then as ‘Pinecrest Orchards’, about 100 acres of apple orchard and egg farm. They lived there until early 1970’s, when the property was then sold to Marion Campbell. The house was located near where the parking area is now, the tall white pine tree still stands, with its lightening rod.
It was not a fancy home, a converted barn, my grandmother once told me. No insulation, drafty windows, a coal furnace in the basement, a kerosene stove in the kitchen, a wood stove in the living room. They raised six children and many grandchildren there. I can still picture my grandfather sitting in the basement, candling and packing eggs; it smelled of chicken eggs and damp coal.
We were rich in a way that has nothing to do with money. Our family all worked hard on the farm, we learned a solid work ethic; but there was a lot of fun too; chicken bbqs, corn roasts, and strawberry shortcake for Sunday supper; pick-up baseball games, sledding all the way down the hill, and watching fireworks from the roof of the house.
This single piece of property so shaped all our lives in so many ways, good ways, great ways. It was just a happy place. I am thankful that it was able to be protected from development. I am thrilled that it is still in well maintained agricultural use. It represents a part of the town of Groton, the way it was, that many will never know. Go, enjoy the scenery, the smell of hay, the birds, the sunsets, the stars, the solitude. Drink it in, then think about the hub-bub of a working farm, the family get togethers, the busy airfield at Ft. Devens during the 1960’s, the apple blossoms…”