The house and landscaping for this home have been lovingly and meticulously restored by the same family for over 30 years. Land is owned on 2 sides of the road with the Umpachene River runs through the property. There are 2 ponds with extensive landscaping and one with field-stone steps leading to patio area with fire-pit fountains waterfall. The outside creates a spa like feel with the sound of water. The house on Canaan Southfield Rd was built in 1797 and is a classic example of New England Federal architecture. The wing to the house was built in approximately 1850. The property is also known as "Umpachene Old Farm" because in the 18th & 19th Century, indigent individuals could work on the farmlands surrounding the house in exchange for food and shelter. The property was purchased by the current owners in 1981 and a full renovation of the structure was conducted in 1986-87. The initial property came with approximately 19 acres in 1981 and the owners added approximately 4.6 acres, to control both sides of the Umpachene River as it flows through the property and insure privacy.
The owners have a longstanding interest in landscape architecture and have accomplished substantial landscaping on the property over the past 30 years. The vision for the landscaping was that there would be trees or bushes in flower from April through October, and that water elements would be visible and could be heard from every room in the house. In addition, the goal was to have fragrant bushes and flowering trees so that lovely fragrances would be present at all times. Since the owners viewed the property as exceptionally beautiful, the goal was to integrate the inside of the house with the outside landscaping providing multiple sight lines and views of the landscape from every room in the house.
The owners have been blessed with a unique relationship to one of the top nursey wholesalers in New England. This relationship has allowed the owners to bring in a wide variety of unique specimen trees and bushes purchased from diverse areas throughout the US. In the late 1980s, the owners commissioned a New England stone wall executed by a prominent local stonemason and sculptor. The project took two years to complete. Stone walls and foundations were purchased from throughout South County and transported to the property and laid up dry. The wall runs approximately 300 feet along the front of the property and consists of over 300 tons of New England fieldstone. The initial expense for labor and materials for the wall was approximately $100,000. The owners estimate that to duplicate this wall at the current time would cost approximately $250,000. One unique aspect of the stone wall is that the sculptor tried to convey that stones were once molten and, thus, the stonework is intended to flow between various portions of the wall. It has become somewhat of a local "tourist attraction" with individuals occasionally stopping to admire the wall. It's construction was featured in an article in the Berkshires Eagle. The wall is framed with mature viburnum mariesii which provide great privacy to the house and have cascading layers of white flowers in the month of June. There are also multiple cornus kousas, crabapple trees and several mature European beeches behind the stone wall to further provide visual shielding for the house and property. The driveway entrance to the property is framed by viburnums and several large apple trees. Pink dogwoods are planted on either side of the entranceway. As individuals enter the property, ahead of them they will see Pond 1. This is approximately a 30 x 30 feet, 8 feet deep and spring fed. It was dug approximately 20 years ago. Extensive plantings have been placed around the pond including a large grouping of clethra (sweetspire), multiple willows, blueberries, river birches and cypress trees. There is also a mature willow tree with a swing hanging from it adjacent to the pond. To the right of Pond 1 are two more mature European Beeches, as well as several Japanese maples and groupings of viburnums. The mature European beeches were planted over 30 years ago by the owners. Smaller European beeches can be seen at various stages of growth throughout the property. There is an extensive morning garden on the front of the house with an eastern exposure which provides a lovely place to have breakfast. There are multiple plantings in the morning garden including a mature stellate magnolia, large Japanese maple, "burning bush" and multiple flowers. Honeysuckle run up the trellises on the front of the house and provides a constant show of hummingbirds. Adjacent to the house is an approximate 20 x 40 foot New England fieldstone patio, looking out towards the Umpachene River. There is a grouping of stellate magnolias and rhododendrons as well as other blooming trees such as different types of elms (acer grisims, acer rubrums, etc.) approximately halfway between the house and the Umpachene River. There is a large apple tree behind the house and a small grouping of 3-4 more apple trees to the left of the house, nearer to the river and adjacent to Pond 1. A second pond, approximately 30 x 30 feet and 8 feet deep was dug in 2012-13. It is lined with extensive New England fieldstone. There are New England fieldstone steps leading down to the pond. The pond itself has a fountain and a waterfall. These are coordinated to maintain the pond at the appropriate level as well as aerate the pond. There is an approximate 20 x 60 foot New England fieldstone patio with a large fire pit consisting of a foundry cauldron encircled by New England fieldstone. The fire pit allows for entertainment into the evening and also facilitates use of the patio during cold autumn nights. All stonework on the property, with the exception of the front wall, consists of stones found on the property. Extensive landscaping has been installed around the pond with the goal of having bushes and trees flowering at all times which can be viewed from the owners' studies and master bedroom. There are multiple cornus kousa (white flowering dogwoods), Eastern rosebuds, sweet bay magnolias, river birches and other specimen trees planted near the pond. There is a large grouping of summer flowering azaleas and another grouping of sweetspire clethras. Over 1,000 flag irises have been planted as well as viburnums to provide privacy from the road. In the background, as a second layer of landscaping behind the pool, there is a mature stellate magnolia and a grouping of mature cornus mas (spring flowering yellow dogwoods). There are multiple Western cedars, Norway spruces and white pines to provide further background and privacy.
The property owns a large field going up to the highway bridge over the Umpachene River maintained by the Town of New Marlborough. This field has multiple evergreens, viburnums, etc. to provide interest and shielding from the road.
Approximately 50 yards to the rear of the house the Umpachene River flows. This is a mountain stream which joins the Konkapot River at Umpachene Falls, which is approximately half a mile from the property. The property owns both sides of the river as it flows through the property. There is approximately 1,000 feet of river frontage on each side of the river. Multiple specimen trees have been planted on the banks of the Umpachene including river birches, black tupelos, gingko, red maples and evergreens.
A suspension bridge was completed in 2015 to allow access to the 4 1/2 acres owned with the property on the other side of the river. The land on the far side of the Umpachene is also partially cleared and approximately one-half of it is mowed.
The property also consists of approximately 12 acres on the opposite side of Canaan Southfield Rd. Approximately two-thirds of this land is mowed. There is an approximately 900 sqft shed which was constructed in 2011-12. This allows storage of a large mower, tractor, front loader/backhoe, heavy duty trailer. The shed is surrounded by large evergreens and has its own driveway. It is essentially hidden from the house and the property on the other side of the road. Extensive pieces of outdoor teak furniture are at various strategic locations throughout the property to provide pleasant spaces to sit and enjoy the landscape. In particular, there is a large teak table on the patio directly behind the house as well as another teak table which is placed by the Umpachene, which provides a wonderful place to enjoy lunch, serenaded by the sounds of the river.
The house is a classic example of New England Federal style architecture. An extensive renovation was undertaken in 1986-87 with the goal of modernizing the house, but still retaining its historic character. The renovation was led by noted architect, Bob Fleury and was designed to maximize sight lines and views of the back of the property down to the Umpachene. All of the beams were left exposed to emphasize the historic character of the house. The floors are hard pine wood and pegged. Extensive tile work and hand crafted, burled maple cabinetry can be found throughout the house. There is a total of approximately 3,389 sqft of living space. The kitchen has a sub-zero refrigerator and a gas stove with a four burner cooktop and broiler. There is custom burled maple cabinetry throughout the kitchen as well as custom tilework on one countertop and a large island with storage space beneath. The beams from the original house were left exposed to maintain the historic character of the house and suggest the original room configurations. The fireplace was constructed from stones taken from the foundation of the house during the renovation. The study features custom, burled maple cabinetry and a built in mahogany desk. The upstairs master suite also overlooks Pond 2. There is a large bathroom contained adjacent to the master suite with separate his/her sinks. There is elaborate tilework throughout the bathroom and a two-person Jacuzzi which overlooks the back of the property and the Umpachene River. The wing of the house contains a half bathroom, mud room, two-story foyer with a stairway to the upper story and master suite, as well as two bedrooms and a two-story fitness room with fitness equipment and loft.