As one of approximately 20 homesteads that eventually made up Notchview’s 3000 acres, the Norman Miner Place began as a farm and became the nucleus of Notchview’s property after Helen Ely Budd bought the property in 1910.
Norman Miner purchased the farm in 1849 from his father-in-law. Active in Windsor affairs, Norman served as tax collector, town treasurer, and farmer. A descendant of a Revolutionary War captain, Norman was married twice and had six children by his second wife.
At some point, the original farmhouse burned down. A new structure was raised on the old foundation, using materials taken from the Baptist Society Meeting House nearby after the meeting disbanded in 1860. Fifty years later, the reconstituted Meeting House was enlarged to become Helenscourt, Helen Ely’s mansion.
While Helenscourt no longer stands, a portion of its grounds that can still be seen today. Helen and Arthur Budd were inspired by the terraced gardens at Versailles and incorporated this aspect into their Helenscourt design. The stone steps can still be seen. — Rachel Niswander, Terra Corps Community Engagement Coordinator.