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Shelter Island's Sylvester Manor Returns to Farming

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"Imagine going to your great-aunt's funeral and unexpectedly being offered an estate that harked back to the 17th century, complete with a plantation house where slaves once slept in the attic." Isn't this the plot of a 1940s ghost movie or at least a Scooby Doo episode? Anyway, that's what happened to then-23-year-old Bennett Konesni seven years ago, now the 11th generation to live in Sylvester Manor. His great aunt died in the lovely yellow Georgian house on Shelter Island, and the family needed someone to take care of the homestead. Konesni had always been interested in organic farming, and now most of the acreage of the former plantation is being returned to farmland. Archaeological work continues on the early life of the farm and the slaves who worked there.
· Life on the Plantation [NY Times]