MeLampy-Lawrence Charitable Trust and the Oliver S. and Jennie R. Donaldson Charitable Trust Gifts
Enable Dunstable Rural Land Trust to Achieve Control of McLoon Property                                               
 Ensuring Rural Character of Entrance to Dunstable Will Remain Unchanged

On October 28, 2019 the Dunstable Rural Land Trust (the Trust) became the sole owner of the McLoon Farm, after nearly 8 1/2 years after being bequeathed the property by Olive F. McLoon.  At the time of Mrs. McLoon's passing, her will provided that her son, Ronald, hold a life estate, with the Trust holding a remainder interest.

In December 2015, Ronald McLoon passed away unexpectedly, creating a chain of events and hurdles in order for the Trust to fulfill Mrs. McLoon's request to preserve her family's land.  Approximately one month before Ronald's untimely death, he requested and the Trust agreed to forgo a portion of its interest, which allowed Ronald to sell a portion of the property to settle financial obligations that had accumulated.  During this process, it became known that Mrs. McLoon actually owned three-fourths of the property, with her son owner the remaining one-fourth interest.

During the almost four year period from Ronald's death to today, the Trust and representatives of Ronald McLoon's Estate (Estate) have worked together to reach a mutually agreeable settlement to all concerned.  Compounding the difficulties encountered during this settlement process was that the heirs to Ronald's' estate were neither citizens nor residents of the United States, complicating communications between all parties.

After the passing of Ronald and through the final settlement this week, the Trust was required to fund all prior obligations and all ongoing costs, portions reimbursed at closing; including restoration of the McLoon Barn on Thorndike Street (to prevent further deterioration).  The condition of the entire property necessitated a major clean up, including removal of hundreds of tires and mountains of debris, including old vehicles and automobiles.

Much has occurred during these 100+ months as we have worked toward resolution with the heirs:

       * One of the houses on the property, located at the corner of Main and Thorndike Streets, was destroyed by fire in June             2018 (the cause of the fire has never been determined). 

       * The land under the property has been cleaned up, leveled and returned to open space.

       * The final painting on the restored barn was completed on a Friday afternoon in June of 2019, and then lightning                       struck the barn on the following Sunday.  The Trust has since fully repaired all lightning damage. 

During the negotiation process with Ronald McLoon's heirs, various options were offered to acquire the 25% interest held by his estate.  Options included division of the property between the Estate and the Trust, sale of certain parcels which would have been contrary to the wishes of Mrs. McLoon, short-term mortgages on the property while properties were be sold, as well as selling other properties donated to the Trust in prior years, with most options not found mutually acceptable.

A final resolution came in the form of an offer by the MeLampy-Lawrence Charitable Trust and the Oliver S. and Jennie R. Donaldson Charitable Trust to provide donations that enabled the Trust to acquire the 25% interest without having to sell house lots from the McLoon property.  Without these donations, this process would have been considerably extended, allowing time for selling lots from the McLoon property. 

The Board of Trustees wishes to express its sincerest appreciation to the MeLampy-Lawrence Charitable Trust and the Donaldson Charitable Trust for their remarkable donations that enabled the Trust to acquire this property. 

The continued support of these two trusts have provided the funds necessary to restore the McLoon Barn and, more importantly, enabled the Town to retain its rural character at the entrance to Dunstable.   

The Dunstable Rural Land Trust is now moving forward to determine appropriate uses of the Barn, keeping in mind community benefits for the Town of Dunstable and its residents.

Dunstable Rural Land Trust
Board of Trustees
October 29 2019