A Beloved Family Property Preserved for Posterity



Love of a family property and the history entwined with it have led two brothers to write a book, and to place a conservation easement on 26 acres of land that has been owned by Henry and Gordon MacAdam’s family since 1874.

After reading a story about another landowner’s decision to protect their property with a conservation easement, Gordon began looking into possibilities for his 26 acres, which are part of a larger parcel of land owned by the family in the Town of Thompson, New York.

Meanwhile, Henry and Gordon began researching their family’s history and writing a book, which will soon be released. For the past two-and-a-half years, the brothers have collected many photographs and diligently sought information to create the book, Family Remembrances, which will be given to all family members.

In addition to maps and photos depicting the area during the period of the late 1800s and early 1900s, the book contains documentation of birth and death certificates, marital and military records, farm and population censuses and more.

The process of compiling the book brought the brothers even closer together as they worked to connect dots and gain a deeper understanding of their family property in its historical and social context over time and in relation to the surrounding area.

The brothers grew up on the property, which their mother inherited from their grandfather, and namesake, Henry Gordon Dougherty (1863-1937).

“It’s a small property, but it means a lot to us,” says Gordon. “Our mother loved it, and we recognize it as being unique, in that it has belonged to our family for so many years, and will continue to be there for our children and grandchildren.”

In addition, the forested block lies north of the 5,500-acre Neversink River Unique Area. Along with another nearby property protected by the Conservancy, it will help to begin the building of a greenway that adds to the scenic views and supports the protection and environmental health of the region for human and wildlife populations.

Henry and Gordon’s property was protected with assistance from the New York Environmental Protection Fund and the New York State Conservation Partnership Program administered by the Land Trust Alliance, in coordination with the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

While the property’s past informs the brothers’ heirloom book, the future of Gordon’s acreage will be preserved for posterity thanks to his decision to pursue an easement through the Conservancy.

For those with an interest in local history, the book will also be available to the public. (Contact Gordon at 845-665-1899 for more information).