On June 26, 2012, John and Carol Ericsson donated a 2.3-acre building lot on Tubman Road to the Brewster Conservation Trust. Not many landowners are willing to part with a buildable lot on Cape Cod. But as Carol said, “I could not stand the thought of looking over and seeing a large house in our side yard. This historic property deserves much better than that.”
The property is the Tubman Farm, which served several generations of that venerable Brewster family in the early-late 1900s. Originally built as part of the Griffith homestead in 1750, the historic farmhouse and barn still stand on the land retained by the Ericssons. Tubman Road, casually called Poverty Lane until the 1900s, was the access road to the South Brewster railroad depot for much of the West Brewster neighborhoods.
Thomas Barton Tubman had grown up as part of the large (10 children) family farther north along the road. In one six-week period, half of Thomas’ siblings died in a diphtheria bout. Thomas bought the Griffith farm in 1914 and farmed there on 60 acres. For an historical photo of the farm, click here.
Members of the Tubman family, who still live in the neighborhood, attended BCT’s deed-signing ceremony with their friends the Ericssons. Phil Tubman, Thomas’ grandson who grew up in the house, attended along with Sandra and Sara Tubman and Sandra’s grand-daughter Ivy, a Brewster Bayskipper.
The Ericssons bought the 4.2-acre farmstead in 1991 and Carol raised sheep on the land for about ten years. Carol sheared, carded and spun her own wool from the sheep.
The land donated to BCT, consisting of more than half of the remaining Tubman Farm, includes a half-acre pasture, mature fir trees, and cedar-oak woodlands. The pasture fronts Tubman Road behind an historic stone wall. Tubman Road is part of the Old Kings Highway National Historic District. See photos of the farm here.
For photos of the deed-signing event and small celebration, please click here.