Note: this page has recently been updated with information about the Sperry Cider Mill showcased in our 2016 Annual Meeting. Please scroll down the Olmsted page for a link to the assessment report.
Olmsted Outlook is a special one-half acre parcel located on River Street at the foot of Broad Street that was given to the land trust in 1981 by Howard and Deborah Weaver. The land trust viewed the gift as an opportunity to provide to all residents a scenic view and small public park on the bank of the West River.
At the dedication of Olmsted Outlook during the trust’s annual meeting on 16, May 1982, Carolyn K. Evans, President said:
It was Howard (Weaver)’s desire that we call this property “Olmsted Outlook.” A view, framed by old trees, encompasses the ever-changing West River and salt marshes, with Westwoods in the distance. It was 150 years ago that Frederick Law Olmsted, the famous landscape architect, first visited Guilford. Views such as this influenced his thinking when designing parks such as Manhattan’s Central Park. As far as we can tell, the site today is very much the same as it was when Olmsted first saw it years ago. The site, along the river, forms a sort of boundary to the old center of Guilford, providing a vista – an opening to the countryside. Such a setting for contemplation and appreciation of unspoiled natural beauty is rarely found near the center of a town. We hope you will enjoy this property and help us care for it.
Click here to read the full dedication
The land trust maintains the property, including the seawall, the picket fence, the flower beds and the lawn. There is a small parking lot, and a bench invites visitors to stop a while and enjoy the view, framed by old trees, across the marsh, with Westwoods in the distance. The vista includes 59 acres of marshland acquired and protected by the land trust.
Across River Street from Olmsted Outlook sits Sperry Cider Mill.
The property evidently descended through several generations of the Stone Family to the current owner, Robert Sperry, through his mother. The building was originally built as a cider mill and houses an early apple grinding mill (“nut mill”) and two cider presses. As such, it is a rare surviving example of an early to mid 19th century special purpose farm outbuilding.
For more information about the Sperry Cider Mill, please click here to download the report.
Olmsted Outlook is under the careful care of volunteer steward Ted Mankovich, who also helps to maintain other properties for the land trust. Volunteer help is always welcome, and anyone wishing to assist Ted with the landscaping and other work at Olmsted may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.