Family Farmstead

Marjorie James 4.25 x 3.25.JPG
  • Since 1904 the Kirk family has lived in the farmhouse and tended the surrounding land tucked at the foot of the Helderberg Escarpment. The Kirk Estate is hemmed in by Black Creek on one side, the escarpment and its waterfalls on another, and nestled into the Historic Village of Altamont, NY.
  • Current caretakers Jen O'Connor + Eric Krans arrived at the farmhouse in 2006. At that time the only vegetation that remained from a once thriving homestead were the property's hundreds of trees, naturalized creek-side forest, a few perennial beds, and foundation plantings. In their first few years, and with the help of friends, family, and many volunteers, Jen and Eric were able to re-introduce vegetable gardens, add additional fruit trees to the established orchards, begin planning and planting an arboretum in earnest, reintroduce perennial fruit bushes, and expand original flower beds and herb gardens.
  • Five generations of decidedly matriarchial Kirk lineage have lived at the farmhouse and surrounding 5 1/2 acres of land, beginning in 1904 with James E. and Rena Kirk. Letters sent back and forth between the pair detail Rena's extensive canning processes and James E's love for his gardens and orchards. Margaret Kirk Warner and her husband Luther inherited the property next. During the Depression, Margaret's brother Richard's three children were sent to Altamont to live with their aunt and uncle -where food was more plentiful and more reliable than in the city where they were being raised. Margaret and Luther died childless after Margaret suffered a devastating and near-fatal stillbirth early on in their marriage. The property was transferred to Richard's eldest, James L. Kirk and his wife Doris who lived at the Kirk Estate from the 1970s until the early 2000s. Carol Kirk O'Connor and her husband Frank inherited the property following the passing of Carol's parents. It was then deeded to their daughter Jen O'Connor and son-in-law Eric Krans who reside there currently.
Jen O'Connor