This 50-acre former dairy farm was purchased by the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation in 2000. Art and Ella Rosenburg and their son ‘young Art’ moved here in 1933 and had a milking herd for more than 50 years. The Williams Outing Club operated a rope ski tow here from the late 1930’s to the mid 1950’s. The farm was called Sunny Brook Farm, and the landscape Sheep Hill, for the sheep raised here in the late 19th century.
The farmhouse and grounds are open year round to the public. Picnicking, hiking, and birdwatching are just a few of the activities possible at Sheep Hill. The farmhouse contains a lending library and local history and nature exhibit and classroom space as well as binoculars, field guides and other tools for loan while on the grounds. We also have regular seasonal events including Full Moon Hikes, Firefly Hikes, Star gazing, Kids Nature Programs, Tracking workshops, Full Moon Snow Shoe Hikes, and Back Country Skiing. The farmhouse is open Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm and the grounds are open from dawn to dusk seven days a week.
The Mary & Craig Lewis Center for Nature and Rural Heritage
The farmhouse dates from the early 19th century and is home to the WRLF offices, a lending library, meeting space, accessible bathrooms, and Sheep Hill nature and history exhibits. Programs offered throughout the year include full-moon snowshoe outings, firefly hikes, bird and butterfly walks, ecological landscaping and rural heritage events.
The Barns and Sheds
Sheep Hill has a variety of barns and outbuildings which all had a specific purpose on the farm. While the WRLF plans to repair the barns, they will be kept much as they are today. Look for identifying information on each building.
The Demonstration Garden at Sheep Hill is planted with flowers and shrubs specifically chosen for their attractiveness to birds, butterflies and bees, and information in the garden kiosk will help you to identify the plants and their visitors. The Farmhouse Garden at the entrance to the Lewis Center has flowers and shrubs popular in early 20th century gardens. Rose, peony, hollyhock and a variety of herbs give the garden its nostalgic charm. Planting guides are available.
The WRLF is active in maintaining several trails in the Williamstown area on property it owns or helps manages. There are two trails through the Sheep Hill meadows, the Rosenburg Ramble which is a perimeter trail, and the shorter Meadow Walk. The WRLF maintains other trails in the area as well. Our Sheep Hill trail kiosk has complete information on all Williamstown trails, including Hopkins Forest, Mt. Greylock, and Field Farm. For a more comprehensive guide to area trails, we recommend the Williams Outing Club Northern Berkshire Guide, available.