Kenny Snyder was the “love of my life” his widow Deb Snyder reminisced, her voice breaking with the grief that is palpable two years after his passing.
Adding to her grief was the “most difficult decision” to place the more than 200 year-old Snyder Family Farm for sale. “It took me two years to decide. I can’t do it physically or financially,” she said.
The Snyder family, including Deb, are hoping — and praying — that whoever purchases this very special property will respect its heritage and keep it as farmland.
The historically significant farm includes the Snyder Family’s stone house built in the 1800s and the farm house that Deb lives in across the road. It also includes one of the few remaining barns built in the Dutch manner.
The Snyder Family’s history dates back to the 1600s when they first emigrated to America settling in or around New Paltz and the Hudson Valley. Eventually they moved to Saugerties farming around the current farm and properties along Churchland Lane, according to documents provided by Jeremey Russell of the Saugerties Historic Preservation Commission.
The Commission granted a local historic designation in 2006, according to Peigi Mulligan, also a member of the Commission. That status makes it eligible for National Historic Register designation.
The nearly 70-acre property consists of pristine farm land, ponds, fields, and beautiful views of the Saugerties Village and beyond and includes acreage on both sides of Rt. 212.
Kenny died an untimely death in 2017 at age 65 after a long illness leaving his family shocked and heartbroken. His siblings include Ann Snyder Borek, Albert ‘Smiley’ Snyder and Carolyn Snyder Francis who were raised on the farm and are saddened that it will be no more after their family lovingly tended it.
Kenny’s only child, Shane, also worked the farm and was married atop its hillside. Nephews helped as well. They marked the eighth generation of Snyder farmers. Kenny is also survived by his stepchildren Jamison Williams and Rebecca Williams who undertook farm chores as well.
Kenny followed in his father John’s footsteps farming fulltime. Kenny’s brother Smiley could be seen on the bucolic hillside helping during the farm’s heavy hay season.
John Snyder and Kenny plowed their fields by horse power for many years just as the generations of their family did before them. Kenny’s mom Madeline could be found in her farm kitchen tending to her wood stove. She generously shared her wisdom in making butter, pickles, sauerkraut, among many other delicacies. John and Madeline Snyder have since passed.
Keeping the farm alive took its toll on Kenny as the years rolled into decades. He was gored by one of his boars and injured. But it was a tractor accident that eventually led to the end of his tending livestock, which was an important commodity in keeping the farm afloat.
Deb and Kenny met over hay bales she was purchasing for her pet goats. When Deb moved to the farm it was an adjustment for Kenny learning — with some difficulty — that goats and ducks could be pets. “I came with my goats,” Deb reminisced. Deb relished living on the farm helping as much as she could and selling eggs from her flock of chickens. “I thought I would die here like Kenny did. I wanted to keep this for him.”
The community has its own fond memories of the farm and its family. John and Kenny would literally close Rt. 212 while moving their herd of cows. During the crossing, they would even take time to chat with friends and neighbors who waited patiently in their cars. Those same friends would often coax the wayward chickens and ducks away from the roadside and later on Deb’s pet goats.
The farm, however, is best known for its sleigh hill where generations of Saugertisans took their first sled ride or even learned to ski. Cars still line the roadside during a good snow storm.
“It was another time” sibling Ann said. “I have such wonderful memories of my Mom in the kitchen. Now we all have to move on.”
The property is listed with Win Morrison Realty in Saugerties and among other realty agencies through the multiple listing service.