History

The Cookingham family came to America from Wurttemburg, Germany in the 1730’s during the Palatine Emigration. They settled on this property in a small house on the northeast corner of the 120 acre property in an area known as “Rocky Daniel”. Primrose Hill Farm’s name has been in use since 1867 when it first appeared in Beer’s Atlas of New York and Vicinity. The current farmhouse was built in 1854 when Michael Cookingham and his wife, Abigail Harris, were married. They were great-grandparents of Viola Cookingham (Schoch), the current owner, who was born in the living room of the house.The farm is one of the few remaining farms in Dutchess County which has remained in the same family for well over one hundred years. The farm was operated as a general family farm with cows, chickens, horses, pigs and an orchard by Harlow C. Cookingham until 1957. The first Christmas trees were planted in 1962.

The barn is an authentic Dutch bank barn built in the 1700’s with three floors. The structure is made of handhewn oak beams.

In 1933, a beacon light was installed on the farm’s hill as a navigational aid for aircraft traveling from Montreal to New York City and operated nightly until the advent of radar.