Richmond Land Trust Benches
Updated: Mar 10, 2021
To offer a seat to rest from a hike or enjoy a vista, the Richmond Land Trust has several benches in place, including one partway up the main trail at Hollow Fields on Perry’s Peak Road. The new bench is the second at Hollow Fields, a preserve owned by Berkshire Natural Resources with a conservation restriction held by the Richmond Land Trust.
The first bench, placed in honor of Ron and Judith Shaw who donated part of the Hollow Fields land, is near the red barn where the Land Trust has held pie socials in the past. The newer one gives hikers a chance to sit and enjoy a superb view of Lenox Mountain to the east. It was purchased in memory of Stephen and Leonora Congdon, using funds given to the Land Trust by their children, Charles and Eleanor.
The Congdons lived on Swamp Road for many years in a house next door to Bartlett’s Orchards. That’s where the versatile Berkshire Community College chemistry professor maintained a 3,000 square-foot garden, raised bees, made his own maple syrup, baked bread, and split many cords of wood to heat the house. A bench at the corner of Sleepy Hollow and East roads offers a lovely vista of one of the Boynton family fields and the Taconic Range. Many acres of the Boynton farm land have been protected from development with conservation restrictions. The fourth, and oldest, bench faces west across what is now Sugar Hill Farm, once owned by the Malnati family and now owned by Michael Lynch and his wife, Susan Baker. It was placed at the intersection of East and Reservoir roads in memory of Nancy Hull, a Richmond artist who often painted the small “ice house” that is part of the view. The Reservoir Road bench has proved a popular spot to watch the sunset behind Perry’s Peak.