Land trust receives substantial gift
Fox Hill Farm owner Ellicott "Tot" Wright, as part of a land sale agreement, has given a significant gift that will ensure the pristine setting will not be developed.
"As a result of a gift from Ellicott Wright, Fox Hill Farm will remain substantially in its present state for all future generations," said Quentin Anthony, president of the Conanicut Island Land Trust.
"Last week Tot gave the land trust a conservation easement over four lots with frontage on Fort Getty Road and an easement that limits two other buildable lots to an existing cottage or replacement structure. This easement complements an existing easement over the 41 acres of open fields presently planted in alfalfa. In effect, with this new easement, the number of houses at Fox Hill Farm will never change, and the fields and views of Dutch Harbor and the Watson Farm will remain protected forever," said Anthony.
This gift was part of a larger transaction in which Wright sold 60 acres of the historic farm to Patrick and Jemma Driscoll. Driscoll purchased the colonial farmhouse, said to be built in the early 1700s or earlier, from Wright in 2003, and the sale last week unites the entire farm under one owner. Anthony said, "It was a serendipitous event when Tot and Patrick met. Tot was anxious to see the farm remain undeveloped, and, fortunately, Patrick and Jemma were equally committed to the same objective. They worked almost four years to make the permanent protection of this special part of the island landscape a reality. The loss of Fox Hill Farm to development would have been incalculable. Now, this can never happen. Our island is the beneficiary of the work of Tot and Patrick to preserve a part of its heritage," Anthony said.