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Power and peace at Robin Hill

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 August 2014 at 12:00 am

Lyndonville site is full of natural splendor

Photos by Tom Rivers – A tree is pictured next to Smith’s Pond near Platten Road in Lyndonville, part of the Robin Hill Nature Preserve.

Robin Hill has about 400 varieties of trees. They create a natural sanctuary.

LYNDONVILLE – If you’re looking for serenity and a sense of awe, Robin Hill Nature Preserve should provide your needs.

The site off Platten Road is a nature paradise with about 400 types of trees. Many tower high in the sky. Others are short and the branches shoot outward, creating a canopy of leaves you have to stoop to miss.

It’s a great place. I was fortunate to stop by this evening with my family to see Doug Pratt. His late grandfather, William Smith, developed the 45-acre site, and also built the accompanying house of Medina sandstone.

The site is popular with photographers and nature lovers. Pratt enjoys sharing the space. He created the Robin Hill Foundation with an educational mission for the property. Click here for more information.

Smith owned a canning factory in Lyndonville and built a nature preserve. In 1948, he and his wife Mary began work on the sandstone home, doing much of the work themselves with some help from family and employees at the canning factory. It took several years to build the house.

Smith and his wife Mary kept swans, and many Lyndonville youths from two generations ago grew up feeding the majestic creatures.

William and Mary Smith created the site after their daughter Lucille died from Scarlet Fever at age 19. They named it Robin Hill. Many of the trees and plants are rare and exotic, and they attract numerous varieties of birds.