After several months of waiting for an answer, FOFAH was notified of the award of $330,000 to transform the 1606 Mapleton Ave property to the Hilltop Farm Welcome and Interpretive Center. FOFAH purchased the property in 2022 and has cleaned up the yard and took down the broken fences. Many of you have noticed how beautiful the oak trees are as now seen from the Creamery! The house was the former Stroh residence.
The plan is to make this property conform to today’s public building standards. This will include installing handicap bathrooms and parking, as well as connecting to the public sewer system. The trees will be trimmed up and the broken-down outbuildings and crumbling pool will be removed.
The Hilltop Farm Welcome and Interpretive Center will allow FOFAH to offer programs all year round and indoors. This will allow people to learn more about the history of agriculture and industry in the Connecticut River Valley over the past centuries.
Additionally, FOFAH will be able to display its iconic Indian Motocycle and a high wheel bicycle. There will also be room to display farming equipment, tools and machinery important in Suffield’s agricultural history. The plan includes space for meetings, classes and workshops.
As with most State Department of Economic and Community Development Grants, FOFAH is required to provide matching funds for a minimum of 20% of the entire award, so as always, any contributions will be welcome. Watch the progress of this new Welcome and Interpretive Center over the next year!