When Ian Bottiglieri and his family first visited the Mill Green Mill property in Street, they fell in love with its beauty.
“The house is fantastic,” he said, “but it was the property that really sold us that this was the place for us.”
And so, the Bottiglieris decided to buy the 45-acre property last year, along with its lush forests, wide open fields and over 3,500 feet of frontage along Broad Creek.
The Bottiglieri family had been searching for a multigenerational home for about six months before purchasing the Mill Green Mill property in March 2021, according to the Harford Land Trust.
The property is on the former site of the mill for which the Mill Green National Register Historic District is named. Two buildings from the time it was an active mill remain mostly intact, according to the Harford Land Trust: the mill building, built in 1827, and the miller’s house, built in 1743.
Mill Green Mill is listed on several historic registers, including the National Register of Historic Places. Most significantly, it is one of Harford County’s three National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom sites, and the birthplace of Margaret Morgan, whose kidnapping from Pennsylvania ultimately contributed to the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.
To ensure that the property is permanently preserved, the Bottiglieris in March donated a conservation easement to the Harford Land Trust and the Maryland Environmental Trust.
“They were very forward thinking when they bought this property,” said Kristin Kirkwood, executive director of the Harford Land Trust. “They knew that they wanted to protect it.”
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Under this easement, certain limitations are placed on the property. The Bottiglieris, and anyone who owns the property after them, will be unable to build subdivisions there, and they must keep the woodland buffer along Broad Creek. To ensure these requirements are followed, the Harford Land Trust will send someone out to the property for an annual monitoring visit.
“We’re really proud that the property is going to be preserved,” Bottiglieri said. “I think we’ll be here for quite some time.”
Bottiglieri said the fields would be nice for his kids to play in when they’re older, and there’s plenty of room in the five-bedroom main house for when family would want to visit. There’s also a two-bedroom cottage for his father to live in.
Bottiglieri said the previous owners used the house as a summer property, but his family will be living there full time. He said they’re already working on renovations, such as fixing the roofs and updating the aesthetic of the main house.
The property also has what Bottiglieri claims is the first in-ground swimming pool in the county, which dates to 1938. Presently, it’s used as a koi pond, but he hopes to restore it to a functioning pool in the next few years. He also said they’re working with a private forester to determine what they can do to improve the health of the property’s 30 acres of forest.
“If people can come onto the property and it looks like a state park,” Bottiglieri said, “then we’ve done our job to make it better than we found it.”