If you were able to attend the 2012 Annual Meeting you heard Maggie Jones, Executive Director of the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center (DPNC), tell us about efforts to purchase and preserve land on the east side of the Mystic River. Maggie, the Nature Center, the Trust for Public Land and a dedicated group of volunteers from throughout the community are working to preserve this land. They seek to purchase the land and secure it from development forever.
This is the very land where our ancestors carved out their first homestead from the wilderness, settled and put down the roots that grew in Mystic, in Ledyard where we have the Gallup Cemetery, and beyond. These are the forebears of the Association and ourselves. “The property now known as Coogan Farm began to take shape in the 17th-century when Captain John Gallup received a 500-acre land grant from John Winthrop, Jr. for his efforts in the Pequot War. This land was west of Captain George Denison’s land and eventually bounded by the Mystic River at the farthest western edge. Gallup built his house on the west slope of the north-south ridge that divides the land. A stone lined well marks the approximate location of the old Gallup Homestead. Recent clearing on the property has revealed what we believe to be the site of this early homestead.” (DPNC) This is the first known Gallup land outside of Boston. Benadam Gallup, also built a homestead on this same property across the ridge to the east.
“Captain John Gallup joined his friends and neighbors Captains John Mason and George Denison and their troops in the Great Swamp Fight in RI, which was a part of King Phillips War. Gallup lost his life in the conflict and was buried in a mass grave. The Gallups continue for another two hundred years to occupy or own the land until the Greenman brothers of Mystic purchased the 80-acre Lower Farm of the Gallup land sometime in the 1840s.” (DPNC)
The Homestead has wonderful stone walls that have survived since the time that the Gallups created a farm out of the wilderness. These walls are the predominant feature of the land. Built five and sixe feet tall, carefully cut and positioned, these walls have large stones and quarried stone gate posts. They are sentinels that have stood over this property for 360 years.
The Campaign to Save Coogan Farm is succeeding. Along with the gift that the Gallup Family Association made to this Campaign last August, the goal of raising $3.5 million needed to secure the land, is becoming a reality. That is a staggering sum, but don’t let it daunt you. My sister Pam and I gave a donation last August in the name of our mother, Ruth Gallup Bowers. After visiting the site again with Anne Nalwalk earlier this year, we are making another donation. Together, with all of our small amounts, we can be part of preserving this priceless family treasure. This is not just another old farm to save, it is the land where John Gallup, son of Captain John, put down roots and grew his family. This is land is the trunk of our family tree. By Roger Gallup Bowers with excerpts from DPNC website.
Please consider a donation today to help us reach our goal to preserve this early Gallup Homestead for generations to come. Donations can be sent to the:
Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center
P.O. Box, Mystic, CT 06355
For more information, visit the website at: www.dpnc.org