Fair Acre, 4 Chapel Road

Martin R. Mead & Marie Adelain Andrews Mead (# II), c. 1903

The Lower Place, on Route 35

The Lower Place, on Route 35

Fair Acre occupies a portion of property next to Lakeview Cottage.  Sarah Mead gave six acres to her son, Martin Rockwell Mead, and he built an eclectic house in 1903.  The stone piers and foundation stones suggest the Shingle style; the roof line and decorative elements appear Victorian.  The house was originally brown shingle with buff trim.

Martin operated a sizable dairy farm at the “Lower Place”, at the corner of Mead Street and the present Route 35.   Later he leased it to Howland Adams who maintained a farm there until the 1960s. Part of the Lower Farm became the Houlihan property which is now Old Field Preserve.

Lots of gladioli

Lots of gladioli

Martin Mead on the front porch

Martin Mead on the front porch

Later, Martin’s specialty was raising gladiolus.  The fields next to Mead Street blazed with color from the tall waving blooms.  Customers came from near and far to buy bouquets.

In addition to selling cut flowers, he was occupied all winter filling and shipping orders for the bulbs, fruits, and vegetables that were also cultivated at Fair Acre and sold to neighbors.

Martin and his wife Marie doted on their three children, Caroline, Rockwell and Elizabeth “Tid”.  The death of Rockwell from appendicitis at age 16 saddened the whole family.  Caroline married Samuel Bartlett, the founder and headmaster of the South Kent School, where they lived for many years.  Elizabeth spent many summers in Waccabuc with her husband, Robert Murdock and son, Robert Mead Murdock.

Rockwell Mead

Rockwell Mead

    Fair Acre, 2006

    Fair Acre, 2006

The barn, 2011

The barn, 2011

A 2011 view of the south side of the house

A 2011 view of the south side of the house

Side view of the barn in 2006

Side view of the barn in 2006