Homestead on Flat Hill where Henry Skudzienski lives (1965)

Homestead on Flat Hill where Henry Skudzienski lives (1965)
(No photograph available)

Silas Sheldon, son of Israel and Naomi (Warner) Sheldon probably built the first set of buildings on this property about the time of his marriage.  Silas was born in 1749 and married Elizabeth Bates in 1772.  They had no children, but evidently they had a good deal to do with the bringing up of Silas’s nepthew.  Captain Silas Sheldon, a son of Israel Sheldon Jr. and Keziah (Bates) Sheldon.  This Captain Silas Sheldon was known as Silas Sheldon II.

Elizabeth Bates Sheldon died in 1828, age 78.  Silas Sheldon married (2) widow Jerusha (Clark) Loomis.  She died in 1854, age 79.

Silas died in 1840, age 91.  In his will, dated 1832, he left the use of his dwelling and one-half of all his real estate to his wife, Jerusha.  He also left her one horse and two cows.  A niece and nephew, Paul W. Sheldon, received bequests, but his principal beneficiary was “to my nephew Silas Sheldon II, I leave all the rest, residue and remainder of my estate including the property my wife is to have life use of”.

However, widow Jerusha Sheldon transferred her interest in her husband’s estate to Silas Sheldon II for $500 immediately (1840) so he became sole owner of all the real estate that belonged to his Uncle Silas. 

An item of interest regarding this homestead was that Martin Pomeroy kept school here for three months in “Silas Sheldon’s house”.  This was about 1781.

Silas Sheldon was the Sheldon that gave a large sum of money to help start the Sheldon Academy and for whom the Academy was named.

Captain Silas Sheldon (Silas Sheldon II) had a son, Silas Bates Sheldon, and this son bought the property from his father in 1848.  He had been living here before he bought it from his father, probably since 1844 when he married Phebe Barnes.

Silas Bates Sheldon only lived here about a year after he owned this property when he sold it for $1200 to Martha Avery, wife of Ransford Avery of West Springfield in 1849.

Martha Avery sold to Erastus Lathrop Jr. in 1856 and he sold it to Philetus Elwell in 1868.

Philetus Elwell and wife Jane sold to Samuel B. Fox in 1885.  Fox had three daughters, one of whom was Genevieve Fox Fuller, a writer of stories about the southern mountains.  “Mountain Girl” was one of her popular books, and she also wrote one with a local background.

Samuel Fox sold to Peter Boshan in 1910 (656-435).  The buildings burned during Mr. Boshan’s ownership, and he did not rebuild.  However, the next owner, Wladislaw Skudzienski built a nice looking medium-size house probably in 1923.  He had bought the farm from Boshan’s heirs Aug. 14, 1922 (797-137).

As of 1965 the house is occupied by Henry Skudzienski and family and possibly his mother.  His father, Wladislaw, died several years ago.

–From “History of Old Houses” by Atherton Parsons

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