At Downey farm, 200 years of history sit cozily with all the comforts of a modern country home. Peeling away a couple of centuries of paint and patching revealed notched timbers and original wide board floors--the beautiful bones of the 1812 farmhouse. A columned front porch was added, opening the house to its pastoral surroundings. And four cramped colonial rooms became a large country kitchen--with vaulted ceilings and custom cabinetry--a great room that quickly became the warm and welcoming heart of the place.
For the rest of the renovation, from the original library to the beautifully appointed bedrooms and baths, the same precepts of enlightened preservation prevail. New windows replicate the classic two-over-two style of the early nineteenth century. The original milkhouse is now a charming one bedroom guest cottage. Existing stone walls combine with new stone walkways, informal gardens, and ornamental trees, all of which seem as if they had always been there.
The old dairy barn is perhaps the crowning achievement of this rural renewal project. It has been cleaned and updated, and is now, once again, a working farm, complete with sheep, goats, and even a llama! Conservation easements protect not only the vistas, but a way of life. And a farmhouse with a story 200 years old will continue for hundreds of years more.