New Canaan Now & Then: Long View Farm


70 Barnegat Road

‘New Canaan Now & Then’ is sponsored by Brown Harris Stevens Realtors Joanne Santulli, Karen Ceraso, Bettina Hegel and Schuyler Morris.

The home located at 70 Barnegat Road was built in 1800. 

Anthony Fenick, originally from Austria-Hungary, came to the United States in 1912 and worked as a farmer in Greenwich. In 1922, he purchased the property which consisted of 15 acres, a small apple orchard, and plum trees, and called the property “Long View Farm.”

Mr. Fenick sold vegetables and, during the winter months, plowed the snow and helped construct some well known buildings, including the Country Club of New Canaan. Mr. Fenick and his wife, Stephania, had 12 children. Toward the end of his life, his sight was poor and he was unable to plant his fields. He died in Bridgeport in 1981 at the age of 92. His obituary includes that he resisted an onslaught of land development and continued to operate one of the last working farms in Fairfield County.

Anthony’s children had interesting stories of their own:

(1) His son Vincent was born in 1928. Vincent built his own home on two acres of property that he purchased from his father (40 Barnegat Road). He moved away to Rome, N.Y. in 1978 after all 10 of his sheep were killed by neighborhood dogs. The property was then sold to Robert W. Cooper for $160,000. According to articles in The Advocate, in 1977 up to 2,000 to 3,000 dogs roamed New Canaan at night (the town currently has about 3,000 registered dogs). A petition was signed by over 600 people asking for the enforcement of a “dog roaming law.” The Fenicks believed at the time that they were fighting an uphill battle. Vincent Fenick’s son, Stephen, was tried and later acquitted in a Stamford court in October 1976 for shooting a dog that he claimed was attacking the family sheep. Bizarrely, one of the dead sheep was used in a Christmas Nativity scene at the First Presbyterian Church. Vincent is quoted in a 1978 article in the Stamford Advocate, “If I tell the dog owners their kids are a damn nuisance they’d agree. But if I tell them their dogs are a danger, they want to fight.”

(2) Daughter Rose Irene was born Feb. 6, 1910. She married Jacob Krapowicz on Aug. 11, 1930. Together, they owned and operated the “Pioneer Tree Experts” in Pound Ridge where they made their home. Jacob Krapowicz was the first police chief in Pound Ridge. Mrs. Krapowicz supplemented his small income by raising chickens and selling eggs. Having grown up on a farm, she was able to grow and sell fruits, flowers and vegetables. With no refrigerator, she kept perishables such as milk and cheese in her well. She was quoted in a 1997 article in the Record Review saying, “Gardening is the best therapy you can get.” Ms. Krapowicz died in 2014, having lived independently in her home until she was 102. On Feb. 6, 2014 the city of Stamford declared the day Rose Krapowicz Day in honor of what would have been her 104 birthday. 

(3) Son Anthony Fenick Jr. died in 1971 at the age of 58. He was an inventor of farm equipment and a farmer. His wife Louise predeceased him. He also resided at Barnegat Road.

(4) Edward George Fenick was three years older than Vincent. He died in 2011 at the age of 85. He worked as foreman for many years at James J. Kelley and Sons Nursery in Darien.

(5) Mary was born in 1923. She served as a Wave in World War II and received training certificates from Hunter College and Indiana University. She had a lifelong love of learning and attended University of Bridgeport and Yale for managerial and accounting classes. She lived in Easton and died in April 2013.

In 1982 a group of neighbors tried to raise enough money to buy the land from the Fenick Estate ($300,000 for seven acres of farmland and barn) or all of the land ($600,000 for 10 acres and house on the west side of Barnegat Road) with the idea of preserving the farm land. If they had succeeded the land would have been presented to the New Canaan Land Trust Preservation to be kept as an open space in perpetuity. The effort was led by Mona Mittaud whose property abutted the Fenick Farm.

John Zech purchased the property  on July 30, 1982 for $270,000. He was the president of the American Independent Reinsurance Company in Stamford. In June 1985 the estate of John and Mary Ann Zech applied for a subdivision of two parcels of land on the westerly side of Barnegat Road and the northerly side of Pinney Road (Oenoke Ridge) resulting in two four-acre parcels of land. The nine-acre parcel once divided would also donate a one-tenth acre strip to the town to widen Barnegat Road. The remaining parcel of land remained in the Zech family and was sold in 1990 to William and Pamela Randon. Ms. Randon was a native of New Canaan and a third generation New Canaanite. The Randons owned the property until it was sold in 2014 for just over $1.5 million. 

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