An arts center, an equestrian/athletic facility, a sugarhouse and a working farm in a complex with ties to the native peoples, the early days of this country and even “Winnie-the-Pooh.” Maple Hill Farm is all this and more.
Tucked away in rural Redding, the farm is actually a group of revamped buildings that lies along Umpawaug Road, which places it on one of the original Native American trails of the Northeast as well as one of the original post roads for deliveries. Once owned by Joseph S. Montgomery — founder of Cannondale, the high-performance bicycle manufacturer — the farm was the home of a prominent movie director, who prefers to remain anonymous, for 17 years. In 2012, he sold it to the current owners, who worked with architect Andrew A. Bartolotta, principal of Studio Bartolotta LLC, and Amy Zolin, founding interior designer of Clarity Home LLC, to recreate it as a 9,720 square-foot manor house — situating it to embrace expansive views of the landscape and filling its 13 contemporary rooms, which include seven bedrooms, six full baths and three half-baths, with the latest amenities.
But the manor house is just the beginning of the 47-acre property’s many structures (and stories). Among them is the Barn At Maple Hill Farm, an 1800s almshouse turned state-of-the-art private music studio and performing arts venue that has hosted musicians and “Austin City Limits”-style shows as well as fundraising events. The barn’s catering kitchen was repurposed from the house, as was the garage. Now called the Green Room, it is a one-bedroom, one-bath space where musicians can rest between sets, sleep when recording an album or just hang out.
The property also has three additional houses, all dating from the 18th century and restored with new interior design by Kelly Mittleman of Kelly & Co. Design. One of them, said to be the fifth oldest house in Redding, contained a pair of machine-stitched shoes that were found in a wall during the 2012 renovation. (In the 1800s, people would put their children’s outgrown shoes in the walls to ward off evil spirits and encourage fertility.) The owners had them repaired and still keeps them there.
The other outbuildings are a sugarhouse, where the owners make their own maple syrup from trees on the property; another barn that according to local legend was visited by George Washington’s traitorous general, Benedict Arnold, and was used in the 1900s for town and mason meetings; a coop for pigs and chickens; a boathouse with a dock on the property’s 2-acre pond, which is stocked with largemouth bass and brown trout; a small tennis hut that accompanies a court; and a pool house to go with the pool.
The property is well-suited for equestrians as well as swimming and tennis buffs, with a riding ring, stalls, paddocks and acres of trails known as “The Hundred Acre Wood.” Riders will find them adorned with custom wood-crafted depictions of characters from A.A. Milne’s enchanting “Winnie-the-Pooh” books that were created by a local chainsaw artist.
Do you think Pooh Bear would forgo his beloved honey for once for a taste of Maple Hill Farm’s own syrup? It would be worth visiting the farm just to find out.
For more, visit williampitt.com and thebarnatmaplehillfarm.com.