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Asgaard Farm nominated for historic status

Asgaard Farm in AuSable Forks (Photo provided in historic register nomination form)

AuSABLE FORKS — Asgaard Farm has been nominated to the state and national registers of historic places.

The farm, currently operated by owners Rhonda Butler and David Brunner as a goat dairy farm, was nominated alongside 18 other sites around the state. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the nominees in a press release Friday.

Asgaard Farm was the home of artist Rockwell Kent. It sits against a backdrop of the Adirondack High Peaks and was depicted in some of his paintings, including “Moonlight Sleigh Ride,” “Asgaard’s Meadows,” “Asgaard in January” and “Clover Fields.” The property still attracts artists. Last Friday, a group of plein air painters set up camp on Sheldrake Road overlooking the farm’s fields.

Kent’s studio, built in 1928, is still on the property. A frame cottage built in the 1930s for Kent’s son Rocky — now known as the Emerson house — is also there.

Kent lived and worked in his studio at Asgaard from the 1920s until 1971, when he died at Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh following a stroke. He’s buried at the farm with a marker of his own design, according to the governor’s office.

Asgaard Farm is seen in "Clover Fields," a painting by farm owner Rockwell Kent made in 1939 and 40.

If Asgaard is registered as a historic place, that designation would also encompass all of the 226 acres of land originally owned by Kent.

According to the governor’s office, having a property listed on the state and national registers can make them “eligible for various public preservation programs and services, like matching state grants and state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits.”

There are more than 120,000 historic buildings, structures and sites across New York state on the National Register of Historic Places. Among the other nominees announced last week were Western New York Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church complex in Niagara Falls, the Delaware Avenue Medical Center in Buffalo, the Alexandra Apartment Hotel in Schenectady and the Bigelow-Finch-Fowler Farm in West Lebanon.

The current owners of Asgaard Farms did not immediately respond for comment.

(Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly said when Rockwell Kent began living and working at Asgaard Farm.)

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