In the town of Cold Spring Harbor in Suffolk County in Long Island New york is the Uplands Farm Sanctuary. Once part of the “Uplands” estate, it was donated by Jane Nichols, the daughter of the financier J. P. Morgan.
Nearly a century ago the land was used for sheep ranching for wool. It was built by Effingham Lawrence in 1917 .
In 1926 it was bought by wealthy financier J.P. Morgan and given as a wedding present for his daughter, Jane and her husband George Nichols who was a cottons merchant dealer and yachtsman.
The sanctuary is dedicated to the memory of Mrs. Nichols. Jane is credited with stopping the proposed freeway extension that would have connected Long Island to Connecticut. She hired an environmentalist to find any reason of something that may become endangered thereby stopping the expressway's extension that would have run through her property. Opposition by the wealthy to advancements in infrastructure was quite common in those times given the shape of the Northern State Parkway’s snake like appearance as it winds through the edges of the once grand estates of the Gold Coast. Besides the addition of intense traffic the parkway has not changed in appearance all that much since its construction.
In 1920, the Nichols family began raising cattle and ultimately ran a dairy at Uplands Farm until 1962. In 1981, when she passed away, the land was donated to the Nature Conservancy. The property originally contained six residences, two greenhouses, a Georgian manor house and two large garages. In 1982, the Conservancy sold off the manor house and five acres of well-kept lawns to a homeowner to bring in much needed revenue to the organization and to finance the upkeep of the preserve.
Today, the old farm buildings serve as an office for The Nature Conservancy's Long Island Chapter.
And the trails are open to the public 7 days a week.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laura Gonzalez is a photographer, blogger and historian currently residing in Newark, New Jersey.