The land at 800-934 Templeton Road has a family history that we know, and a deeper history that we want to know.
John and Polly Holden first bought the house at 800 Templeton Road in 1933, on an original acre, for $500. John built a woodshed in the 1980s in the yard, and he joked that the cost of the shed was the same as the house. They named the house Grassy Ledge.
After spending summers here with their growing family, the Holden family moved up to the land in 1949 on a permanent basis. John, Polly, and their children Sally, Spike, Bonnie, and Martha, moved onto the land and started the life of hospitality, service, and care of the land that acts as the good ground for Open Way.
John spent his free time in winter in the woods, cutting firewood. Polly is known for her ardent and accomplished perennial and vegetable gardening, and her joy in sharing seeds and plants with new neighbors. Both were involved in many community projects in Vermont. Polly was involved in bringing Planned Parenthood to the state and worked at Goddard College, and John worked at the state level in education. Later in life, John acted in community theater. Both John and Polly were involved in blazing trail in the Worcester mountain range, and were involved in conservation and environmental initiatives in the state. The land itself is part of the Vermont Land Trust, one of the earlier trusts in the organization, dating back to the early 1980s.
As the Holden family lived and grew on the land, so did their landholdings. By the 1970s, they owned 80 acres of adjacent property. As John and Polly aged, and moved on from the land, they divided up the property among the siblings, and the current property is roughly half of the original Holden property.
We honor the family that has made this project possible. We honor the families, histories, and peoples we do not know who were on the land before us. We look forward to building on the traditions of hospitality, earth care, social engagement, and thank the ancestors for these gifts. May we use them and share them well at Open Way.