Chopmist Hill Inn Property Protected (RI)

SCITUATE, Rhode Island, 9/27/02: The Town of Scituate announced today its purchase of the 40-acre Chopmist Hill Inn property on Chopmist Hill Road for $280,000. The Inn building is slated for renovation into a new Youth/Senior Community Center, while 10 acres of adjoining land will be redeveloped into recreation fields. The remainder of the property, some 30 wooded acres, will be protected as open space and will be accessible to the public via a network of nature trails. The Town was assisted with the acquisition by the Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit conservation organization that purchased the property in June of 2001 from George Rivard to hold it off the market while the Town investigated possible sources of funding.

“I am delighted that the Chopmist Hill Inn has been protected for use by the youth and elderly of Scituate,” said Theodore Richard, president of the Scituate Town Council. “On behalf of the Town, I would like to thank the Trust for Public Land for coming to our rescue when a quick purchase was necessary. It was their hard work and dedication that afforded us this opportunity and made the purchase possible.”

“This project is one of those rare cases where everyone wins,” said Rich Iverson, director of the Scituate Department of Public Works. “We have protected precious wetlands, preserved a historic 1800’s building, satisfied the needs of our seniors and teens, and ensured that the property will remain in the hands of the Town of Scituate for all times. I applaud council president Theodore Richard, the rest of the Scituate Town Council, and the taxpayers for their support of this project. Also, it goes without saying that this project likely would not have moved forward without the dedication of the Trust for Public Land.”

“The Chopmist Hill Inn parcel is a great example of land that has something for everyone—from soccer players and birdwatchers to seniors and teens,” said Christie Anderberg, project manager for the Trust for Public Land. “The Town of Scituate has shown great foresight in acquiring the property, and the Trust for Public Land was delighted to help make it happen.”

“I’m pleased that the Inn has been passed into the hands of Scituate residents,” said George Rivard, who owned the property previously. “The Trust for Public Land was instrumental in helping me make sure that my property would be put to public use rather than being turned into another restaurant or bar.”

Originally constructed in 1815, the Inn served as a stop for stagecoaches traveling between Hartford and Providence throughout the 19th century, and accommodated hundreds of guests for clambakes, banquets, and other events. The woods to the rear of the Inn include Swamp Brook, an important tributary of the 14,000-acre Scituate Reservoir. Scituate Town Meeting voted to purchase the property on April 3, 2001. The Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving land for people to enjoy as parks and open space.

Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 1.4 million acres nationwide, including nearly 100,000 acres in New England.