Including the present family, the Haselton Farm on Bush Hill Road has been home to 6 generations of Haselton’s. The first generation was Nathaniel; born 1762 in Nottingham West (now Hudson). By 1795 Nathaniel had purchased the farm and buildings from Abraham Page, Jr. Mr Page had no known children of his own; but history tells us that he helped raise Nathaniel Haseltine. As part of the sale agreement Mr. Page and his wife secured a life lease on the property; thus assuring themselves of a dwelling place for the duration of their lives. Mr. Page was a farmer and a builder; a trade he learned from his father. A number of 1700 vintage homes in Hudson have been traced back to these builders. Nathaniel married Rachel Smith in 1795 and soon thereafter changed their name to Haselton.
This week’s photo was taken C 1920 from a hillside above and slightly south of the home of Arthur Haselton built about 1895; now the home of Don and Beverly (Gates) Jackson at 25 Bush Hill Road. Their home is on the right side of the photo and faces Bush Hill Road. Opposite this is the Haselton Barn and an older Haselton family home to the right of the barn. In the background is a view of the hillside with Benson’s Animal Farm to the right.
Throughout history the Haselton Farm is known to have 3 different houses; often two at any one time. The first home was located on the same side of Bush Hill Road and slightly south of the present Jackson home. This home was built by and lived in by Abraham Page,Jr. The second home is the house adjacent to the barn. Exact date for the construction of this house is unclear but could be as early as 1793.We do know that by 1826 the first house was moved from it’s Bush Hill location to Hamblett Avenue facing the Hudson Center Common and was the home of Rev. Benjamin Dean, then pastor of the Baptist Church. This house ultimately became the home of Richard and Claudia Boucher and their family; and when Route 111 was built through the Town Common, the house was again moved from Hamblett Avenue to it current location on Windham Road.
This second house became the family home to 4 generations of Haseltons: Nathaniel, Luther, George, and Arthur. The home on the opposite side of the road was likely built by or for Arthur Haselton C 1895. This barn and the adjacent house remained in the Haselton Family until 1943 at which time it was sold to Ben Brintnal. By 1944 the barn and property on that side of Bush Hill Road was sold to The Laphan Group, the second owners of Benson’s Animal Farm. It was about this time frame that the house was dismantled and the materials used to construct a smaller house on Ferry Street.
Of all the buildings which were part of the Haselton farm, the most noteworthy is the 3 story barn with cupola. Perhaps initial construction as early as 1761, this barn was used in each of three centuries. Changes and additions have been made over this period of time, evolving the architecture and construction to match the changing use to which the building was put. Additions made to the barn between 1889 and 1910 included the addition of the cupola; now removed from the barn and in storage for future restoration. Analysis of the barn structure shows a 3 story barn, set into a bank (hillside) so there are entrances to each story at grade level. Today this barn on one of the historic buildings in Benson Park.
The family of Arthur Haselton included his wife Mary McCoy, 2 sons (Merton and Page) and a daughter, Lillian. Lillian married Joseph Gates and their family included Joseph, Jr, Beverly, and George. Some of us have personal memories of Joe and Lillian. Joe Gates had a natural ear for music and served as the church organist at the Baptist Church. During his organ postlude at the conclusion of a service I have known him to break into a rendition of Happy Birthday in honor of his wife, Lillian, or other family member. The present occupants are Don Jackson and his wife, Beverly Jackson; Beverly being the 6th generation in the Haselton line.