Henry P. Kendall had begun buying land in Sharon around 1910, much of it in the Moose Hill area of the town. In 1931 he bought a 140 acre farm from Arthur Dreyfus which became Moose Hill Farm. Moose Hill, the highest elevation in Sharon, was a scenic and historic place to establish a home. It was an area of small farms and pastures as early as the 1700s, with remnants of old stone walls and cellar holes still visible when Mr. Kendall acquired the property. Henry P. Kendall renovated the house and outbuildings and settled his family there in 1934, moving from their first home on Embankment Road in Boston. The farm was home to members of the Kendall family for over sixty years.
Moose Hill Farm was not only a residence but a working “gentleman’s farm.” Mr. Kendall added several cottages and a network of barns where he maintained a herd of 60 prize-winning Guernsey milk cows and several prize-winning bulls, with nearby fields cultivated to provide fodder. One of the fields also became a landing strip for Henry W. Kendall’s private airplane. Additional farm operations were located on South Main Street in Sharon. A substantial dairying operation continued at Moose Hill Farm until 1960, after Henry P. Kendall’s death, when the herd was sold at auction. The farm also featured an orchard, a wood lot, a horse barn, beehives, vegetable plots and a flower garden. Plans, records and photographs of these features and activities are included in the Archive.
The main dairy barn burned down in 1963, and other barns and outbuildings in the complex were lost to fire in 1969 and the 1970s. The Kendall family continued to reside at the farm for a number of years. After the death of Henry W. Kendall in 1999, the family began to divest itself of surrounding property. In 2004 the farm property itself, including the main building complex and about 400 surrounding acres, was deeded to The Trustees of Reservations by the Henry P. Kendall Foundation.
Much of the Moose Hill area of Sharon is now conservation land, protected from development. The Massachusetts Audubon Society’s Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary occupies about 2000 acres near Moose Hill Farm, most of its land donated from Henry P. Kendall’s holdings. Moose Hill Farm itself has returned to its agricultural roots by becoming a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm site.