Historically speaking

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:48

    There is a home in Sparta with a marvelous past that makes it one of the area's best historical secrets. That site is the Green house on Green Road off Stanhope Road. The original structure sits on 7 ½ acres of the original 780-acre site, which now is Sawmill Estates and Hemlock Hills. The homestead was built by Major John Boss in 1840. Major Boss, who had spent 12 years in the state militia, used the house as a retreat and rest home for ailing and needy soldiers. One year before he died, Major Boss lost the property because of unpaid liens. The property lay abandoned and neglected until 1915 when George G. Green ("GG") purchased it as a hunting lodge and country home for his family. The Greens resided in a magnificent mansion in Woodbury. GG's father, Coloniel Green made his fortune in patent medicines and elixirs and had built the famous Castle Green Hotel and Resort in Pasadena, California. GG's passion was hunting, collecting Indian artifacts and basketry. The entire top floor of the Sparta house was a virtual museum and the collection, when sold at Sothby after GG's death, was the largest of its kind. Still hanging upstairs is an enormous moose head acquired by GG from the Smithsonian. The head is so huge that part of the roof had to be removed to bring it in. GG died in the early 70s. The current owners of the Green house, Karen and Peter Seed, purchased the home in 1996. GG's daughter Blanche who vacationed at the lodge as a child, moved there permanently in the late 60s. The women became friends after Blanch employed Karen, an interior designer and artist, to reupholster a chair. They remained close friends until Blanche's death in 1995. The Seeds have maintained the integrity and style of the homestead including a portrait of Major Boss and many of GG's hunting trophies. They continue to do extensive landscaping and have created a park-like setting with a stocked pond with spring house, beautiful walkways, manicured lawns with statues and a unique stacked blue stone sphere sculpture. Patricia Giantonio Sparta Historical Society Trustee.