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Upper Makefield site used by Hamilton gets conservation easement


A local couple and Upper Makefield officials have teamed up to preserve an important piece of American history.

At a public meeting on Dec. 19, the township board of supervisors approved the signing of a contract that places a conservation easement on a 58-acre estate on the 1300 block of Eagle Road.

It’s not just any property, though.

Township Manager Dave Nyman explained that a portion of it dates back to a William Penn land grant called the London Purchase.

The house thereon is on the National Register of Historic Places. And it was here that the Continental Army had one of its local headquarters locations in December 1776, before famously crossing the Delaware River on Christmas night and ultimately winning the Battle of Trenton — a small but pivotal victory in the Revolutionary War.

General Henry Knox and Captain Alexander Hamilton were stationed on the property.

Property owners Roger Pomerantz and Cathy Colt donated the easement to the township.

“The residents want to preserve the history,” Nyman explained.

In Pennsylvania, a voluntary conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust or government agency that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect its conservation/natural values — the upshot of which is that significant development is typically prohibited under terms of the deals.

Such easements allow property owners to continue to own and use their land, as well as to sell it or pass it on to heirs. Owners can donate easements, or seek to be compensated by land trusts or government agencies that wish to conserve the land in return for placing an easement on a property.

Approximately 5,500 acres in Upper Makefield are either preserved land or under conservation easement.

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