Our Mission

The farm at Sylvester Manor

Our mission is to preserve, cultivate and share historic Sylvester Manor.

Once a Native American hunting, fishing and farming ground, Sylvester Manor has since 1651 been home to eleven generations of its original European settler family. It reflects a remarkably intact history of America’s evolving tastes, economies and landscapes.

Over time, the place has been transformed from a slaveholding provisioning plantation to an Enlightenment-era farm, then to a pioneering food industrialist’s estate and today to an organic educational farm responsive to, and supported by, our neighbors and friends worldwide.

In light of this history, we envision a farm, a community, and a world where people celebrate food, arts, and inventiveness in the everyday, with a spirit of fairness and joy.

Language Matters

At Sylvester Manor, we believe that Language Matters, therefore in our written materials, our speech and tour narratives we do not refer to an individual as “a slave” as that designation does not describe the individuals personhood. We say, a person was “enslaved,” “born into slavery” or “was living in slavery.” We use the terms “enslaver” or “slaveholder” not owner or master. Sylvester Manor was a provisioning plantation, “a place of enslavement” not a “slave plantation.”