Manor house demolished on North Maple Street

  • The Hadley Farm Manor House, located at 111 North Maple St., Hadley on University of Massachusetts Amherst property, was demolished. GOOGLE MAPS

Staff Writer
Published: 3/12/2019 5:45:52 PM

HADLEY — A building erected in the early 1980s as part of what its developers envisioned as the largest equestrian and horse-breeding center in New England has been demolished.

The three-story structure, known as The Hadley Farm Manor House, came down late last week at the University of Massachusetts-owned property at 111 North Maple St.

Officially called the UMass Equine and Livestock Research and Education Farm, the 130-acre animal science complex was developed in the 1980s by William and Mary Young of Longmeadow as the Young Meadow Farm and acquired for $1.5 million by the UMass Foundation in 1992.

UMass spokesman Edward Blaguszewski said the Manor House demolition, which started Thursday, was due to building deficiencies and deferred maintenance issues identified by the facilities department.  All of the wood parts of the building are down, with some stone walls remaining, he said. The foundation will be backfilled when the weather cooperates.

In preparation for the demolition, Blaguszewski said new modular instructional space and offices at the Hadley Farm were brought to the site.

“The new classroom building is down the hill from the former Manor House and includes two offices,” Blaguszewski said. 

The Manor House’s other uses have been as a residence for student farm managers and a conference site, though in 1999 the university considered expanding its use for alumni functions and president’s office activities.

Formerly the Kentfield Farm, and situated between North Maple Street and Route 116 west of McGuirk Alumni Stadium, the Young Meadow Farm was developed in 1983, with the Manor House, three barns, a training track, two sheds and a reviewing stand opening a year later.

But within a few years the enterprise floundered and the Youngs faced mounting debt, including from a failed effort to develop a 125-home subdivision on the west side of North Maple Street, directly across from the farm. A handful of homes were built but never received certificates of occupancy, and remained boarded up for several years until they were demolished.

Overseen by the College of Natural Sciences, the farm continues to house two dozen horses, including those used by the UMass Mounted Police and Equestrian Team, and numerous sheep and goats that graze on the fields.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com


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