When Peter Lane’s parents sold the family farm in the town of Turin he knew he wanted to save at least a piece of the land, and its family history, someday.
“My great grandfather purchased the property and both my grandfather and father worked the land and raised their families there,” explained Peter Lane.
Peter grew up on the farm and then left rural Lewis County for a job in Pennsylvania. It wasn’t long before Peter became discouraged by the lack of open space and the apathy people had toward the outdoors in his urban hometown.
It was then that he realized how lucky he was to know what crystal blue sky actually looked like and the smell of fresh air carrying the scent of fresh-cut hay.
“When my parents decided it was time to sell the family farm I knew that I needed to preserve at least a piece of its history. If I was able, I would have purchased the entire working dairy farm,” stated Peter.
The farm was sold unprotected, a fact that Peter understood but always regretted.
Years later, when he was financially able to afford it, Peter purchased and conserved a 105-acre portion of the original family farm, reuniting his family and the land.
Important conservation land
The combination of streams, woodlands and farm fields make this a very special place.
In addition to its great agricultural soils along Rte. 26, this portion of the original family farm serves as important habitat and source of clean water to the abutting Whetstone Gulf State Park in Lewis County.
Streams flow down the dramatic gulfs of the wooded portion of the farm, running into Whetstone Creek and the Black River, while the forest on the ridge is comprised of a mix of northern hardwoods, scattered with red pines.
A family dream becomes reality
“Even more important than preserving a part of my family’s history or even my own childhood is creating a place for my children to grow and learn about nature. My dream is for my children to spend summers in the woods like I did, and maybe they will grow up wanting the same for their children.”
Peter feels lucky to have had a chance to both conserve a portion of his family’s land and give future generations a chance to connect with farming, and nature, just like he did.
If you ask him about where that love of farming, the land, and being outside comes from he’s likely to talk about how much of what he values was established on the home-farm. “Tug Hill was my backyard and I spent countless hours walking and playing in those woods as a child.”