The 10 bucolic acres in Ulster Park owned by Michael Compton and Kendrick Hogan are a tranquil retreat from the busy world. Sitting on a landscaped knoll, their home, which dates back to the 19th century, features a western-facing view of the property’s gardens, trees, rock outcroppings, waterfall, and pond—a view that changes almost daily as the Hudson Valley seasons transform the land.
The property’s many outdoor “rooms” draw its dwellers into the lush landscape: to laugh with friends around the fire pit; to contemplate life on the pond dock; to dine outside on the stone patio; or just to relax in the hot tub while enjoying the pink and gold sunsets over the water.
But there’s more than first meets the eye than the historic house and spacious outdoor areas for entertaining and relaxing. Tucked away on one acre of the historic property is a certified organic compact farm that has proven to be a highly productive growing operation for Compton and Hogan. With ample room for both produce and flowers, as well as a chattering flock of ISA brown chickens, the couple’s small operation has yielded a harvest large enough to supply their own small CSA, a local grocery, a local restaurant, and two weekly farmers’ market stands.
In addition to their “tomato house,” a small high tunnel where the two grow a dozen varieties of heirloom and cherry tomatoes, there are beds for a multitude of heirloom vegetables—fennel, radicchio, and romaine lettuce are a few favorites—as well as cut flowers and dozens of mature berry bushes. “We have blueberries, red raspberries, blackberries, and black raspberries—which are the most productive and delicious fruits on the property—as well as red, pink, white, and black currants, gooseberries, and jostaberries,” explains Compton, who clearly has green thumbs. “One cannot live here and not make jam!” he says.
A Glimpse into the Past
The couple first came to the area in 2014, while looking for a weekend home with space for gardens. “We were drawn to Ulster County in particular by the beautiful landscape, cultural opportunities, and the warm, fun-loving residents,” says Compton.
When they found their historic property, once part of the adjacent Twin Brook Farm homestead, they were smitten. The property’s front yard offers a glimpse back in time. “The front yard is serene and green,” says Compton. “It has a view of the old stone house as it looked nearly 200 years ago.”
The home itself is an appealing blend of old and new, with the original stone house at its center built in 1828 by Cornelius DuBois Delamater, a son of an American Revolutionary War veteran. Many families have come and gone since then, each leaving their imprint on the property. When Compton and Hogan found it, the rambling farmhouse included nearly 4,000 square feet of move-in-ready space, with three bedrooms, four bathrooms, two living rooms, and a full chef’s kitchen with cathedral ceilings and skylights. “It made our Manhattan apartment kitchen seem like a closet,” remembers Compton.
From Small Seeds Mighty Harvests Grow
Soon after moving into the house, the couple realized the property provided them with almost everything they needed. “From enjoying Sunday morning coffee on the bluestone patio to playing Sunday afternoon croquet with friends on the lawn; from soaking in the hot tub after a long summer’s day gardening to cozying up in front of a roaring fire on a snowy winter night in December, the property offered us an amazing life,” says Compton.
Within three years they’d committed to the home full-time, letting go of their city apartment and devoting themselves not just to their work, but to travel, evenings with friends, and running their on-site farm.
While growing their compact farm, the two still kept plenty of produce aside to feed themselves and their frequent guests. And with three spacious bedrooms, each with their own ensuite bathroom, and a downstairs office with a hidden Murphy bed, Compton and Hogan always had ample space for welcoming overnighters. The chef’s kitchen includes three sinks, a six-burner Viking range, a bread warmer, a standalone ice maker, a double oven, and miles of countertops—plenty of room to turn fresh, heirloom produce into homestyle cuisine.
At the heart of the original 1828 stone home, the traditional dining room features the original wide-plank floorboards and exposed-beam ceilings, as well as space for a 10-seat dining table and an updated fireplace for year-round warmth and camaraderie. After dinner the couple and their guests relax in the adjacent den, which includes vaulted ceilings and an oversized bluestone fireplace. “It’s our favorite out of the home’s four fireplaces,” says Hogan.
The serene primary bedroom suite includes an oversized bathroom with cathedral ceilings. A step-down sitting area with its own gas fireplace and private patio has made the bedroom the perfect place for the pair to unwind after days of sowing seeds.
Setting Sail for a Different Shore
During their over 10 years in the Hudson Valley, Hogan and Compton fully embraced their life on the property. However, now it’s time for them to move on to the next chapter—and for their historic homestead to hold space for the lives of another family.
“We tend to never stay put anywhere for more than a few years, although we’ve cherished this home so much that we’ve stayed nearly 10,” explains Compton. A developing interest in the nautical arts has turned their attention seaward. “We’ve loved it here,” says Compton. “But now it’s time to set sail—quite possibly literally—on our next adventure.”
Real Estate Listing Details
42 Union Center Road, Ulster Park, NY
3,607 Square Feet
Halter Associates Realty
Woodstock and Kingston