Steele Farm: a historic beauty protected forever
When communities rally together to save a special piece of land, there is something celebratory that resonates in air. At Steele Farm in Boxborough, it resonates in the pastures, cart paths, footbridges, and trees.
The Levi Weatherbee Farm house on Middle Road is a preferred spot to start, as visitors can observe the great work that is happening on one of the oldest properties in the town of Boxborough.
Currently, work is being done on the house to preserve it, while the barn restoration was recently completed and is being enjoyed by the community of Boxborough.
Take a moment to check out the ice house that sits on a knoll looking out at the open grasslands. It was built in 1904 and was relocated to the Steele Farm in the 1990s.
The massive open field invites visitors to stroll the trail that heads into the towering pine trees in the distance. It is a New England scenic gem, a snapshot of what much of this area used to look like with it’s deep agricultural history.
Once vistors make it closer to the pine trees, they realize the pathway wanders through them. Its quality is nothing short of fairy-tale.
The story of Steele Farm’s history can be told through the trails on the land. Throughout the 1800s and into the early 1900s, apple orchards were the agricultural focus of the farm. In 1938 a massive hurricane damaged many of the apple trees, and the family decided to shift its farming to dairy and christmas tree. Remains of christmas tree plots can be found around hidden bends in the shrubbed wooded hillside area of the farm. Roaming around the varying states of planted trees conjures many December childhood memories for walkers.
The central walking trail used to be a pathway for equiptment and is marked by stone walls lining the sides. Pine needle and treaded earthen ground make it an easy approach for all ages, working its way into a red maple swamp area. Follow the yellow trail as it eventually leads to a lovely footbridge over a wetland reaching the other access point.
When many rally together, land can be preserved forever:
In 1997 the town of Boxborough purchased the land, and in 2012 a conservation restriction was made to preserve the property. Steele Farm itself is 36 acres and is sandwiched between the Beaver Brook Conservation area and the Boxborough community gardens. All together it creates a linked network of over 100 acres. Come in the winter and snowshoe, visit in the spring and enjoy the incredible bird activity, wander in the summer time to check out the community gardens and spot blooming lady slippers on the way, and of course drop by in the fall where the colors are simply amazing. You can even get married on Steele Farm, how romantic is that?