E-4-1

Greengate

Samuel Adams built the first house here, moving here with his wife, Sarah Felt, and their oldest child, Sarah. As so many early settlers did, he came from Massachusetts after extensive service in the war. From his pension application we know he was” 5’ 5” tall and 28 years old” when he began his final enlistment in 1781. His family was originally from Braintree and he was a cousin of the more famous revolutionaries, Samuel and John Adams. Samuel and Sarah had six more children after they settled in Packersfield.

By 1810 Samuel had gone insane and his fifth child, Joseph, bought the place from his father and took out a big mortgage to pay the debts Samuel had incurred by mismanagement. In 1812, Joseph admitted failure and asked the town to step in. In 1814 the town took over management of Samuel, his wife and their 11-year-old son, John, hiring Reuben Barrett to take over the farm and take custody of the family. Joseph gave the town a deed for the property and its contents and moved to Rodham, New York. Barrett also failed and the town sold the property in 1825. The place was abandoned then. Samuel died in 1832 and his wife a few years later. They are thought to be buried in the Village Cemetery, but they have no markers.

In 1904 Wilmer Tolman sold the property to William Hall, a Boston lawyer. He built the current house (designed by Frederick Law Olmstead Jr.) on the site of the old one.  Hall, a batchellor, left the place to his cousin, Sarah Sharples Olmstead, on his death in 1937 and she sold it to Newt and Janet Tolman in 1959. It was sold to William Raynor in the 1980’s.