The Bender Melon Farm
At the intersection of Routes 85 and 85A remains 198 acres of historic farmland. At the turn of the twentieth century this land was made famous by Charles Bender. His Bender Melon, a prized cantaloupe variety he developed and cultivated, put this property on the agricultural map. Charles farmed these lands on his own for more than four decades, developing several dozen varieties of melons and became a local icon. Some New Scotlanders still share fond stories and memories of the sprawling farm and the delicious melons, which were sold retail both at the farm and as far away as New York City.
Find out about the history of the Bender Melon Farm by downloading Dennis Sullivan's Charles Bender and the Bender Melon Farm: A Local History
In 2008, the Bender Melon Farm property was the site of a contentious community struggle over the future of the land. The possible development of a big box store on the farm brought out huge public opposition. Determination to keep the property out of large-scale commercial development resulted in re-zoning. The land has since remained for sale.
Find out how you can help preserve the Bender Melon Farm property by visiting the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy's website.
You can also visit the small but unique Bender Melon Farm exhibit at the New Scotland Museum.