History of the Farm
1900 - 2001
Charles Beebe Portrait
Eastleigh Farms History*
The area today known as "Eastleigh Farms", located on land known as "Gibbs Mountain", is situated in the northwesterly corner of Framingham near the Marlborough line on Edmands Road.
Paul Gibbs inherited the family farm in 1872. The property remained in Paul W. Gibbs' ownership until his death, after which it was sold to Thomas J Bowlker in 1904 and subsequently to Charles Beebe.
The Beebe history of Eastleigh Farm is quite interesting. According to Allen Glick, Charles Beebe, heir to the Jordan March fortune, got into some serious trouble while a student at Harvard. Rather than a jail sentence for life, the family was able to convince the court that Beebe should be committed to a mental hospital. But not just any mental hospital. The family purchased Eastleigh Farms and made it an extension of McClain Hospital and it was so posted. With his family's fortune he was able to live a quiet life in northwest Framingham for 40 years.
In 1981, auto-dealership owner Allen Glick bought the Gibbs House, Eastleigh Farm, a nearby mansion, and the surrounding 380 acres, "because he thought it was probably the most beautiful piece of real estate in the area."
In 1986, the state Department of Environmental Management purchased more than half of Glick's 300 acres to preserve open space.
Charles Beebe on the Farm
*Eastleigh Farms history from records at the Framingham Historical Society.
2002 - 2015
Current owner, Doug Stephan, purchased the property in 2002 to spare it from being developed and to allow continuation of agriculture in Framingham. Doug was raised in the neighborhood of the farm and spent his childhood and adolescence working and enjoying the farm. Doug began the process of reconverting the facility back to a dairy farm. He started selling raw milk produced on the farm as well as locally produced cheeses, ice cream and more. In 2015, they stopped selling raw milk and other dairy products and Doug was in a holding pattern trying to figure out how to keep the farm alive.
2016 - Present
Breathing new life into Eastleigh Farm. Doug knew he had to think outside the box in order to keep this farm going. We've renovated some spaces in the barns and added retail shops with artisan goods and antiques. These new interests are a natural fit and visitors are loving these fresh ideas. There are many family events being planned and Doug is interested in any ideas you may have to help raise awareness of this beloved, historical farm.