|Winhall Hollow Rd|
Postal Code: 05340
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Gale Meadows Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is an approximately 707-acre parcel located in the towns of Londonderry and Winhall. It is owned by the State of Vermont and managed by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. It includes a 195-acre man-made pond that averages 8 feet deep and has a maximum depth of about 20 feet. The principal tributary to the pond is Mill Brook. Sited on a peninsula along the western shoreline is an 1800s vintage farmhouse and barn. The property and pond can be accessed by the developed boat launch located at the easternmost point of the pond off Haven Hill Road in Londonderry. Another option is to park on the shoulder of the Winhall Hollow Road, which bisects the northwesterly portion of the property.
Gale Meadows WMA is open to regulated hunting, trapping, fishing, hiking and wildlife viewing. Several miles of stonewalls and the 200-year old farmhouse and barn are evidence that the lands of Gale Meadows WMA were used for agricultural purposes for several generations. The land began to revert back to forest in the late 1800s when farming activities ceased.
Gale Meadows takes its name from Levi and Horace Gale, who acquired the property in 1827. They divided the land between themselves by means of an unwritten agreement. It is generally assumed that Levi constructed the home and barn for his wife and eight children. The farm remained in the Gale family through the late 1920s. Between the late 1920's and 1945, the farm had several owners. At one time, it even served as a boy's camp known as Hexonia. In 1945 Henry and Alice Green purchased the buildings and some acreage from a Boston physician, who was using the house as a hunting camp. The Greens affectionately named the property Tralee, and over a 20- year period acquired adjacent lands totaling approximately 485 acres. The Greens were instrumental in the creation of the pond in 1964. They donated land and procured additional land 50 feet above the proposed water level. Nine other landowners and the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department also contributed to the pond-building project. In 1993, the Greens placed conservation easements on 194 acres of their land and deeded an additional 181 acres to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. Land around the perimeter of the pond was secured as a natural and undisturbed riparian zone with the help of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board and the Vermont Land Trust. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department inherited the remainder of the Greens' landholdings in 1996. The Greens' legacy left 707 conserved acres, the third largest water body in southern Vermont, and 95% of the shoreline in public ownership.