The earliest recorded owners of the farm were members of the White family. William White was one of the original 12 settlers of Haverhill, Massachusetts and one of the five signers on the deed evidencing the purchase of land (then called Pentucket) from the Penacook Indians in 1640. Pentucket encompassed an area that now contains the towns of Haverhill and Methuen, Massachusetts and Salem, Atkinson, Plaistow and Hampstead, New Hampshire. William White was believed to be the author of the deed and for many years the original deed was in the possession of the White family eventually given to the Town of Haverhill in the mid 1800s. William White’s Farm was located on the Great Road (now Mill Street) in Haverhill approximately two and one half miles from Sweet Hill Farm. It is not known if William White owned the farm as records of specific property ownership during those early times are scare. William died in 1690 leaving his property to his grandson John, Jr. (John. Jrs. Father, William’s only son, had died earlier), who also inherited his father’s large holdings which included land in both Haverhill and Plaistow. It is likely the property upon which the farm is located were part of these holdings.

The first recorded occupant of the farm was Nicholas White (John, Jr. son) who received the farm and other property in Plaistow from his father. In 1732 Nicholas and his family were recorded living on the farm. Nicholas was a leader in early Plaistow affairs serving as one of its first selectmen and the town’s first moderator overseeing Plaistow’s Incorporation in 1749 and presiding over its first town meeting. Members of the White family lived on the farm for the next one hundred years. Brothers Joseph and Gage Day from Bradford purchased the farm in 1845 and Joseph Day and his family occupied the farm as their family home. They and their descendants owned and lived on the farm for the next 97 years. An interesting sidebar regarding the Days is that Henry Ford while visiting Plaistow in 1915 acquired a Native American stone mortise and an early carriage from the Day family. The earliest known photograph of the farm is believed to be from 1880 and shows members of the Day family in front of the house and barn

Nelson and Hazel Daniels purchased the farm from the Day’s descendants in 1942. The Daniels, by all accounts, were energetic and enthusiastic owners of the farm adding on to the barn, building the clay tile silo and adding a large henhouse and renaming the farm “Holiday Farm” after the movie Holiday Inn. They raised horses, dairy cattle and chickens. As you can see from the photos below, in a short span of time they constructed major additions to the original farm buildings resulting in generally how the barn appears today.

Mr. Daniels was the owner of the Daniels Tool and Die Company in Haverhill Massachusetts and was considered an innovator and compassionate man being the first to hire women for his assembly line and among the first to hire the disabled. Sandy Daniels, Nelson’s daughter lives nearby to this day. The Daniels sold the farm in 1952.

In 1962 the farm (then at 35 acres) was purchased by Eugene and Marie Goudreault, who owned a dairy farm in Haverhill. Eugene and Marie’s son, Richard, his wife Luciene (Lu) and their two children moved in shortly after the purchase and began modifying the farm to what you see today. Until 1978 the farm was a dairy farm eventually transitioning to a hay and vegetable farm through the early 1980’s. In 1982 the Goudreault’s put up their first greenhouse and for the next ten years added successive greenhouses for a total of twelve growing primarily ornamentals (annuals, perennials, mum’s) grains (sweet corn) and vegetables. They have been incredibly dedicated and conscientious stewards of this exceptional place.

The current farmhouse and barn are of uncertain age. The original house and barn were likely built prior to the 1730’s by Nicholas White. We can discern this from the foundations in southeast portion of the barn (the part parallel to Newton Road) and the farm house. The original home (but apparently not the barn) burned to the ground in November 1836 and was rebuilt in the style of the time shortly thereafter. The original outline of the house (based upon the foundation) is the piece parallel to New Road with rear portion added during the rebuild after the fire. You can see what the house and barn looked like in the1880 photo above with Joseph Day and his family. Today the house also includes a gabled in-law portion that was built in the 1990’s by the Goudreault’s. Today our daughter Caitlin and her husband John live-in the farmhouse and Larry and Kim Kostiew (the day to day farm managers) reside in the in-law portion.

The original barn contains significant examples of mortise and tenon framing consistent with building methods used in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Over the years many repairs and alterations have been made to the barn and much of the original timber framing has been modified to reflect the needs of the times. Under Nelson Daniels the barn was expanded (the portion perpendicular to Newton Road and the rear shed) and the tile silo added. You can see the original barn in the photo below dated from 1925 and it is likely to have looked very similar for the previous 100+ years

In 2014 the Goudreault’s after working the farm for 52 years chose to sell their farm. A number of parties expressed interest but few expressed an interest in keeping is as a farm. My wife Theresa and I who have lived in Plaistow (1 mile from the farm) for many years and were frequent visitors and customers of the farm briefly looked at purchasing the farm in 2015 but were admittedly a bit overwhelmed and were otherwise employed running our healthcare service business. In the Fall of 2017 we were driving by the farm and Theresa commented that it was shame that there had been no interest and that we would regret this farm being developed. To quote her “you should buy it”. You will note she did not say we. Admittedly it should have taken more than that, but hey, who does not love a challenge. The Italians have a word “campanilismo” which loosely translated means a sense of place, of pride in belonging to such place. All of us who call this farm home have such “campanilismo” and we look forward to sharing that with you.

Weathering the first year was tough as the farm learning curve is steep and we were pretty dumb about farming. We are certainly less dumb today but not yet smart. We began organizing the farm to become a robust fruit, vegetable and hop farm all geared to supporting our on- farm market and eventually the planned brewery and farm to table restaurant. To date all of our activities have been directed at improving the health of our living soils, repairing and upgrading our greenhouses to support year round organic growing and building infrastructure to support the farm and its mission. While our journey on this road less traveled has certainly started we have a ways to go. Perhaps we will meet you on the way.

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep.”

– Robert Frost