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We are committed to conservation at The Beardslee Homestead.  This does not refer only to agricultural practices but also to the rich history and heritage of our farm and homestead.  It means remaining true to the spirit of the Beardslee family, too.  

Featured in Farm and Ranch as well as Love Property as one of the oldest American homes, The Beardslee Homestead is rich in history.  It dates to 1785 when New Berlin, NY settler Matthew Bennett applied for a license to open a tavern.  Cornell University conducted a dendrochronological study of the trees used in the tavern constructed and dated them to the 1620s and 1640s.  The Bennett tavern, situated on the Unadilla River, was in active service until 1799, when Fairfield Connecticut native Jabez Beardslee (great-great-great grandson of William Beardsley who emigrated to Connecticut from Derbyshire England during the Puritan migration 1620-1640) purchased the tavern and moved it a half mile to its current location, still near the Unadilla River.  Jabez Beardslee then expanded the structure to build a home for his family and successive generations of his family.  Jabez was one of the only farmers in the area to prosper even during the Summer of 1816, known in New England as the Year Without Summer, doing which he gave much of his store of corn to those who were starving because of the ice and cold even in June, July, and August.  

Jabez was the father of Jesse Beardslee, who took over the Homestead.  Jesse, too, was very prosperous, as was his son Augustus.  Augustus was the father of Jabez Dwight Beardslee, who was the father of Francis Dwight Beardslee, who was the father of G. William Beardslee.

In the 1840's, a hop house was built on the homestead.  The hop house was finalized in its present form in 1865.  To this day, the Beardslee Hop House is the only fully functional, pyramidal roof hop house in all of New York State. Today, while fully functional with a potbelly stove to heat the hops, it serves as a museum with antique pieces of farm equipment and hops industry equipment.  G. William Beardslee, direct descendant of Jabez, meticulously restored the hop house in the late 1990s. More than 100 hop plants of all varieties grow in front of the hop house.  The Beardslee Homestead produces hops tea and a very subtle hops liqueur.

The Beardslee family was one of the most prominent families in Otsego and Chenango Counties.  Much of the stone used to build St. Andrews Church in New Berlin came from The Beardslee Homestead.  The Homestead featured over time a mill, a stone quarry, farmland, housing for workers, and more.  For many poor growing seasons, the Beardslees were known to give away or sell below market their stocked food supplies, especially grain.  During the Civil War, the Beardslees even sent a son to battle, Lt. Cyrus Hardaway, whose mother Mary Ann Hardaway had married widow Jesse Beardslee.  Cyrus become a member of the distinguished Berdan's Sharpshooters Regimen, and when he returned to New York led a very successful business career.  His letters home from the Civil War battlefield are of historical importance.  

Many of the historical documents of the farm are still at the Homestead, available for guest study.

The family history of the Beardslees is well-documented in books, historic records, paintings, and photos.  Some of those records follow:

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