The garden that exists today has evolved over time from its earliest inception as a Cushing family garden. After the Cushing family acquired the 1808 house in 1818, they gradually added sections of neighboring properties, increasing the garden to its current dimensions.
Cushing family members and their staff cared for the gardens over the course of a century-and-a-half, filling it with varietals of fruit trees, perennials, and annuals. At one point the Cushing family propagated “blood peach” trees, producing a fruit which on the exterior was a mousy color but whose inner flesh and juices ran blood red. The family sold the harvested fruit to locals on the condition that the peach pits were returned to the Cushing family so that no-one else could corner the market on this rare and delicious fruit!
After being given to the Historical Society of Old Newbury by the heirs of Margaret Cushing in 1955, research was undertaken to determine the garden’s original configuration based on historic documentation. The current garden layout is based, in part, on historic documents as well as a sketch done by Margaret Cushing showing the garden as she remembered it from her childhood in the 1860s and 1870s. Restoration on the garden brought to light a large cobblestone yard made of river stone, hidden for over a century under accumulated deposits – a very rare feature seldom found extant in other historic properties of the period.