Cassandra and Bill Pulig were “brought to” their land in Quaker Valley by a series of serendipitous, and a few scary, events. Having met in the graduate program at the University of Detroit’s Medical College, the couple had grown up in the North Country of changing seasons and shade trees.
Then they moved to the Santa Rosa area in Northern California, a beautiful ranch on the Russian River, and stellar careers—Cassandra in bio-chemistry and executive development for the big names of Hewlett-Packard, Syntex, Silicon Graphics, and even Industrial Lights & Magic (that’s George Lukas films!), while Bill followed the path of army physician for 30 years.
Somehow, that California mystique changed with wildfires, lack of water, commuting, developments, and Cassandra’s developing pulmonary hypertension. All of which brought them to Pennsylvania, where Pittsburgh pulmonary experts are the best in the nation. And, they had missed those broad-leafed trees! The couple moved to Pennsylvania in April of 1998. Cassandra underwent successful double lung transplant surgery in 2001.
The Puligs had also grown a fascination for Civil War history and re-enactments while in California, which brought them to Gettysburg, after briefly checking out a few other Pennsylvania neighborhoods, although Bill’s family is from western Pennsylvania. Imagine the thrill of finding 105 acres in Butler Township, within the original William Penn land grant, with a beautifully maintained Georgian home, a pond, a wood lot, and gently rolling hills that had been run through by Jubal Early’s troops. They also purchased another, non-adjacent orchard that had already been preserved through the Adams County Farm Preservation program.
Cassandra contacted the Land Conservancy of Adams County more than two years ago about preserving their property. She and Bill took time away from their ideal life of volunteering and part-time professional work—Cassandra with the Penn State Fruit Lab and counseling, Bill with hospice and Lutheran Health Care—to work with the Land Conservancy on crafting a conservation easement on 96.7 acres of their orchard and farmland. The Puligs’ easement was finalized on May 19, thanks in part to funding from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, with county matching funds. The Puligs are delighted with the “excellent help” they received preserving this special farm, citing the expert work of the Land Conservancy’s conservation coordinator, Sarah Kipp. The Puligs proudly display a Land Conservancy sign at the end of their lane.
The preservation of the Puligs’ land is important not only because of the history and well-preserved nature of the property, but also because the land adjoins other preserved farms in this high, open section of Adams County. The Puligs will continue to farm their land, with apple orchards and Leicester Longwool sheep, an endangered species. It’s a perfect re-enactment of past centuries on this property!
The Land Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) member-supported organization with the mission of preserving the rural lands and character of Adams County. For further information, call 717-334-2828, email LCAC@adamscounty.us, or visit the website http://www.LCACnet.org.