Southwick’s New Hundred Acre Wood

Seth Kellogg, of Southwick, stands in front of the 134 acres of land which will be sold to the town. (Photo by chief photographer Frederick Gore)

SOUTHWICK – By the time he was five years old, Seth Kellogg could easily traverse his backyard. While this may not seem like a big deal, it is, because Kellogg’s backyard included more than 100 acres of wooded land.
Today, Kellogg, now 72, continues to walk those woods.
“I still walk in the woods and am a birdwatcher,” he said, noting there are about 125 species on the property, 100 of which nest there.
That property, located off South Loomis Street, is being sold to the town by Kellogg for passive recreational use as conservation land protected in perpetuity.
Kellogg said he wanted to keep the land – complete with trails and brooks – as it is.
And now that the Southwick Community Preservation Committee approved funding $185,000 toward the purchase of the land, it will.
“It will stay as it is,” he said. “I’m happy about that.”
The total land value is $540,000. Sixty-six percent of that will be paid by the state through a land grant, leaving the town to fund $185,000.
CPC member Dennis Clark said a trust for the 134 acres of land would be held by the Winding River Land Conservancy and would include conservation restrictions.
Kellogg said the land has been in his family for 300 years and was passed down from generation to generation.
“Samuel Kellogg acquired the land in 1712,” he said. “I acquired the property from my mother, who bought it from my uncle after my father died.”
A home on the Kellogg property would not be included in the purchase.  However, a driveway to the home would be used as an access road to the land.
Much of the land is wooded and has numerous trails. Munn Brook flows through it, as does a smaller waterway called Dead Brook, said Kellogg. There are marshlands and endangered species, as well as forests. And, the brooks are stocked with a variety of trout.
Kellogg said there are two fields on his property, one of which is included in the sale. He said as a kid, there was tobacco in the field and cows grazing along the brooks.
“There was a natural spring and when I was nine or 10, I would run to the spring to get water for the guys picking tobacco,” Kellogg said. “I would get 10 cents a gallon – I think by the end of the summer I had about $20.”
Kellogg’s parents, Seth and Irene, farmed some of the land. Irene was a school teacher who emphasized education for her three children and Kellogg earned his doctorate in English Literature from the University of Massachusetts and followed in his mother’s footsteps.
He pursued a teaching career and ended up back in Southwick, purchasing his uncle’s house where he still lives today.
Kellogg and his wife have one daughter (“she’s not outdoorsy, she’s indoorsy” joked Kellogg) and no grandchildren to walk the trails, so he wanted to leave the land for future generations to appreciate as he has.
“I hope they gain a love of nature, like I have, by walking in those woods,” said Kellogg.
Residents will have the opportunity to approve using the CPC funds to purchase the property at the fall Town Meeting.

To Top