Matlock Farm

Making Dreams Become a Reality

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"Flint Fields are two adjoining agricultural fields, the South and North field, totaling approximately 35 acres.  Lying below Lincoln Hill and close to the center of town, these fields are a cherished part of the Lincoln landscape.  These fields are a portion of one of the oldest family farms in New England.  They have been owned and farmed by the same same family since the mid-seventeenth century; in fact, the land was part of a 750-acre grant deeded to Thomas Flint in the 1640's.  (Included in the tract was all of the land presently thought of as Lincoln town center and Flint's Pond, covering about 150 acres.) 

In the first decade of the eighteenth century, Flint's heir, Captain Ephriam Flint, became the first to farm the land. He built the farmhouse, which stands near the end of the North Field, west of Lexington Road.

By the end of the nineteenth century, the Boston market was supplied with produce from the Flint farm: fruits from the strawberry field and the apple orchard covering much of North Field, a wide variety of vegetables and pickling cucumbers, and hay from the pasture land.  Then, in the early twentieth century, the Flints built four greenhouses in the North Field, extending the season and allowing for an expanded variety of market crops.  Radishes, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and flowers were all grown there, but unfortunately the 1938 hurricane destroyed two of the greenhouses, and in the late 1940's another hurricane took the other two.

The old barn next to the Ephriam Flint house was moved from behind the white barn across the street to its present location in 1918.  Recently, both the North and South fields have been used to grow silage corn and hay made up of timothy, clover and alfalfa.

A grand effort of grass-roots fund-raising and reduced sale prices, culminating in 1989, successfully preserved Flint Fields, a unique agricultural and historic treasure.  Participants included the Flint family, the Lincoln Conservation Commission and other town boards, the Lincoln Land Conservation Trust, abutters, and other committed town residents.

The Warren Flint, Sr. family sold development rights on the South Field for less than half the full market value of the land.  The permanent restriction on the field permits continued agricultural use while prohibiting development and other activities inconsistent with the lands natural, scenic and open character.  The North Field was sold to the town outright under favorable terms by Henry and Edward Flint.  It is now under cultivation and permanent conservation use.

In addition to North and South fields, more Flint property had been previously preserved.  In 1979 Henry and Edward Flint donated a 7.3-acre parcel of land to the town for conservation purposes as a memorial to their mother and father, Edward F. Flint and Josephine R. Ritchie Flint. 

Conserving these parcels has been essential to retaining the rural character of the historic center of town.  Together these parcels are a testament to the importance of preserving agricultural land, and to the careful stewardship of one family for three and a half centuries."

*Taken from 'A Guide to Conservation Land in Lincoln', Copyright 1992 by The Lincoln Land Conservation Trust*