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Farm History

HistoryGraphic

Dimond Hill History

Dimond Hill Farm takes its name from the Ezekiel Dimond who, as one of Concord’s earliest settlers, built his original log cabin home on this site over 240 years ago. Together, with other men from this region, Ezekiel Dimond fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1776. He later sold the land to Joseph Story Abbott, moved to Lee, NH, and became involved in the establishment of the University of New Hampshire. The University named its library in his honor and commemorates his founding role through the prominent placement of his portrait in the library entrance.

Joseph Story Abbott was born May 28th, 1800 in a home near Long Pond. He purchased the 147 acre farm in 1827 for $1,850 and made it his home. Joseph Abbott was a carpenter and builder who hired farm hands to work the farm while he pursued his own career. He constructed many area homes and buildings and also worked on the old Concord Train Depot. Working out of the two-story woodshop across the street from the main house and barn, Joseph Abbott made and fixed harnesses, worked as a blacksmith, constructed windows, and fabricated hand-planed moldings and other fine woodwork. In fact, all the windows and moldings for the large main house were built in the shop.

Joseph S. Abbott died in 1878 leaving the farm to his son Isaac Newton Abbott who devoted his life to the care and operation of the farm. Through three additional land purchases, Isaac Abbott added another 57 acres to the farm bring the total acreage to 204 acres. He used much of the land for timber harvesting, pasture land, and open hay fields.

From Isaac Newton Abbott, the farm passed to his son Joseph Newton Abbott, from Joseph to his daughter Marion Chase Abbott Presby, from Marion to her son Abbott Austin Presby, and subsequently from Abbott to his daughter Jane Abbott Presby, who operates the family farm today. Sales of various pieces property over the years have reduced the family’s land to approximately 150 acres.

Click Here to see pictures and descriptions of all the existing farm structures.

Farming Through the Years

From its inception in 1827 until the mid-1950s, Dimond Hill was a living example of the storybook version New England family farm. The family milked a herd of Ayrshire cows, raised pigs and chickens for consumption, kept draft and riding horses, harvested hay and silage, and raised a variety of vegetables.

In the mid-1950s, dairy production took center stage at the farm and the family stopped raising pigs and chickens. The family sold milk and cream, delivering them in farm-labeled glass bottles to homes in the local area. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the farm slowly transitioned from dairy production to vegetables and fruit. The family eventually sold its dairy herd and began to grow and sell raspberries, sweet corn, peppers, pumpkins, and several varieties of winter squash.

In 1998, Jane Presby built the first high tunnel at the farm for the purpose of growing tomatoes, and began to expand the array of crops raised and sold at the farm to include a variety of fresh spring, summer, and fall vegetables. Jane recently completed construction of a 5th high tunnel and is using the tunnels to get a jump on the growing season for raspberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, and salad greens. She has broadened the fare at the farm stand to include homemade ice creams, pies, breads, pancake mix, jams, pickles, specialty mustards, marinates, salad dressings, maple syrup, honey, and more. Because Jane is serious about her support for regional small businesses, these products are locally manufactured by quality craftsmen in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

Though the pigs, chickens, geese and horses are now gone, you’ll still catch a glimpse of the llamas from time to time (look behind the tunnels) and the barn still smells like fresh hay, as Jane continues to harvest to sell to several regular hay customers.

Through the collaborative efforts of the Trust for Public Land, the Five Rivers Conservation Trust, the Historic Preservation Alliance, and Equity Trust, and with the hard work and generosity of many neighbors and community members, the Dimond Hill Farm is now held in an agricultural easement, which means that it’s continuation as an active farm and a place of serene natural beauty has been assured.

The efforts of these many people have resulted in the successful preservation of Dimond Hill as a farm to be enjoyed by people of all ages, today and into the future – “Dimond Hill” a farm forever.