The Georgi Estate is situated on nine acres along a curve of the Battenkill. This side of the kill is in Salem township; the far side in the Town of Jackson.
The land was owned by Clarence Jackson, a prominent citizen of Shushan, a farmer, businessman, and postmaster, who used to lead his cows along Adams Lane, the little dirt road leading off from Main Street, down here to pasture.
There's a wonderful deep hole right on the curve of the river, and for generations, the kids of Shushan enjoyed swimming there on hot summer days. Fishing was a favorite of young and old.
In 1952, Clarence sold this land to William Georgi, a wealthy banker in New York City, and his wife Maria. The Georgis built this house on the property for their son Henry. Wanting to establish privacy, they promptly put up a fence. It did not sit well with the residents of Shushan, who missed their old swimming hole. This fence remained in place for the next several decades.
Henry did not enjoy the house all that much and did not spend much time here. He and his wife Jessie lived in a Victorian house at the corner of Main Street and Adams Lane. Jessie did live here for about the last year of her life, after her husband had died. She was a kind and generous woman, and endeared herself to the people of Shushan. Henry died in 1980 at the age of 49, his wife eight years later. They are both buried here on the Georgi grounds.
It was the wish of both Jessie and Henry that the estate be turned over to the residents of the Town of Salem. The estate is managed by the Town of Salem, under the auspice of a director and a volunteer stewardship committee.
After the town took ownership, the fence was promptly taken down and the house and grounds opened to the public at no charge. They are maintained primarily by volunteer effort. The gardens were installed by volunteers and are maintained by volunteers. On a pleasant day you're likely to see kids and adults from Shushan and elsewhere wandering the park, picnicking, swimming, reading, enjoying a concert on the lawn or tubing, kayaking or canoeing down the river.
The old garage, up near the entrance to the grounds, has been turned into a community center. There are bathrooms, tables and chairs, and a small kitchen which can be used by various groups.
The community park is open dawn to dusk throughout the year.
The Georgi has sponsored many events in past years, including children's theatre, concerts, the Mettawee Theatre Company, Shakespeare in the Park, Halloween and Christmas events. Occasional church services are held along the banks of the river. Art shows are held regularly in the museum. Many weddings have been held at the park, and the descendants of some of those kids who swam in the old swimming hole in the old days before the Georgi years have been wedded here.