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Hull Family Hone & Farmstead Growing by Gary N. Costello

posted Apr 23, 2012, 11:11 AM by Pamela Davison

The Patriot, Volume 2, Issue 1 – January 2008

The Hull House Foundation has expanded its holdings and added significantly to its    potential through the acquisition of two new properties in 2007. 
The majestic c1810 Hull House once sat perched at the head of a three hundred forty acre farm, one of the most prosperous farms in Erie County.  Over the ensuing years, the farm has been continually  whittled down, until 1992, when all that remained of this once grand estate was the neglected house itself, sitting dejectedly on less than one acre of land.  But through the efforts of the Hull House

Foundation, portions of the original farm are being slowly put back together.  Eight acres of land to the north of Hull House, including the Hull family cemetery, were added in 2003.  Then one and a half additional acres and the big red barn to the east of Hull House re-joined the site in 2004. Both of these purchases were greatly aided by New York State grants.

The two latest acquisitions have pushed the total acreage to nearly eighteen.  In October 2007, with the help of the Alden State Bank, the Hull House Foundation was able to       purchase two more acres and the marvelous  old Victorian home immediately to the west of Hull House.  This home will, at  least for a time, serve as the Foundation’s headquarters,    providing much needed office space, meeting room, classroom, service kitchen, and lavatory. 

This acquisition was seen as critical, not only to provide the necessary back office    services, but also to protect  the Hull Family Home & Farmstead from encroaching         commercial land Industrial  development along Genesee Street.

Then, in December 2007 the site grew   further when a contract of sale was finalized – a deal in the works since 2004 for the purchase of an additional five acres of agricultural land belonging to the LaFarge Corporation on the south side of Genesee Street. 

As were the 2003 and 2004purchases, this purchase will be made with the help of a grant from the New York State Environmental  Protection Fund. It is this land that is projected as the future home of the Hull Family Home & Farmstead’s Visitors’ Center. While it is impossible to reclaim anything even approaching the original farm’s total acreage, what we have now as a result of these recent acquisitions, will afford us the opportunity to develop a more complete heritage site- one that will be able to offer our visitors a fuller, richer cultural heritage experience.  Are there other land purchases in the Foundation future? 

….. Hey, you never know!