The acreage of Sand Hill Stable was purchased in September, 2006. Rumor has it that during the 19th century the property supported a cheese factory. Along the small valley (of a very modest tributary to the Cuyahoga River), you can still find remains of equipment, farm buildings, steps, and a mysterious water pipe. The small house (with furniture and Kelvinator appliances) had been boarded up and abandoned for decades, testimony to a sad past and a profound family tragedy. Situated just east of the driveway, the residence and surrounding garden and diseased trees were razed before the stable was built.
For many years after the property was abandoned, it was leased out for farming of cash crops, such as hay, corn, and soybeans. Annual plowing, resistance to tried-and-true contour-sowing concepts, plus the planting of “Roundup-Ready” bio-engineered crops resulted in depleted topsoil and a seedbed of hardy, really nasty weeds. Portage County’s Soil & Water Conservation District and other consultants have provided practical advice on how to restore fertility to the soil and to prevent further erosion.
Following our own family tragedy we decided it was time to pursue our dream of having our own stable. After looking at many, many horse properties we decided to build our own stable. This property in Shalersville turned out to be a perfect site for our dream barn. Like ourselves, the land needed to be healed. We hope that in the process of building and operating Sand Hill Stable, and improving the land we will be able to heal ourselves, create a sense of community, and become even better stewards of the environment.