Farm History

Then & Now: Belkin Family Lookout Farm

 

Three centuries before Steve and Joan Belkin of Weston, Massachusetts purchased Lookout Farm in 2005, Natick was just a small settlement west of Boston. In 1650, Minister John Eliot (whose name now graces the town’s Eliot School and the Eliot Church) and a group of settlers paddled down the Charles River in canoes and made their home by the fertile shores of the river. This group later established the farm.

 

Over the years, Lookout Farm has become one of the oldest working farms in the country, and an important part of the history of South Natick. Originally, the land yielded beans, turnips, strawberries, and grapes. Eliot and his community were friendly with the Native Americans who inhabited the area, which was known to them as “the place of the hills.” Today, this “place” is Lookout Farm.

 

Lookout Farm’s Ownership History

 

  • 1650: Minister John Eliot and settlers established the farm

  • 1761: Captain David Morse purchased the farm, and his family lived there nearly 75 years

  • 1816: Elijah Perry and family took over and owned the farm for over 40 years

  • 1856: William Hanchett purchased the farm

  • 1894: Charles Whittemore and his brothers took over, and Lookout Farm got its name

  • 1925: The Jennes family took over ownership and operation of Lookout Farm

  • 1986: Joseph Casilnova purchased the farm

  • 1992: The Marino family became Lookout Farm’s new owners

  • 2005: Steve and Joan Belkin purchased the farm

  • Today, the farm is as much a part of the Natick community as it was for John Eliot and his fellow settlers more than 300 years ago.