House of the week: The owner will miss her lovingly renovated horse farm in Canastota. His horses too.



CANASTOTA, NY – Darlene Sandlin says she considers herself “a slightly spiritual person.”

However, when she walks the 204 acres of her horse farm at 3863 Cottons Road, near Canastota, she experiences feelings like nowhere else, overwhelmed by a “sense of comfort and peace.”

“There’s something in there,” she said. “The feelings I have are unlike anything I have felt for another house.”

When Sandlin started her boarding and riding business there, she named her property “Fair Haven Farm”, a nod to the sense of peace and serenity she felt there.

The Kansas City native didn’t know there was a popular state park of the same name, likely because she was so busy renovating the house and starting her own business.

“I poured my heart and soul into this place,” Sandlin said.

She bought the property in 2002. She worked as an assistant rider and trainer for Beezie and John Madden. Unable to ride a horse after an injury, she decides to look for a new place.

The Cottons Road property had been used as a dairy farm for 60 years and had been in the same family since 1815.

When she first saw it, Sandlin said the property was “in pretty bad shape.”

The main farmhouse, built in 1870, had not undergone any type of renovation since 1950.

A cistern with a jet pump and a garden hose supplied the kitchen sink with water. The wind was blowing so hard through the cracks of a downstairs bedroom that the plaster blew from the walls. The linoleum floor used upstairs had copies of 1928 newspapers underneath. The barn had not been used for years and wild animals had taken up residence there.

Sandlin said it was “rustic” to say the least.

But Sandlin saw something in the place and believed in its potential.

“When I entered the house, I saw that the structure was in good condition,” she said. “I loved that he was old. He had resisted everything.

Sandlin knew what she had and what she wanted. She got to work, doing all the drawings, sketches and measurements for her house and her horse business.

The farm has been rebuilt to exacting standards and all but one of the walls have been ‘stripped down to the posts’.

New windows, new kitchen, surround sound, foam insulation and new ceilings were installed.

The original free-standing barn has three horse stalls, a workshop and a hayloft.

The brand new heated and insulated main barn features 17 stalls, two washing cabins, a grooming area with a central vacuum system, a saddlery, a laundry room, a full bathroom and a full loft for storage or to organize events like weddings.

Hoping to avoid the “horrible” winters of central New York City, Sandlin designed it so that the main barn was connected by covered “alleys” to a horse exercise building and a magnificent 80’s indoor arena. feet by 200 feet.

Sandlin lived on the property during the renovations, which ended in 2010.

The work had gone even better than she had expected.

“I love this place so much,” she said. “I love the house. I love the facilities. The land is beautiful. And the horses are so happy there.

She calls it a “very difficult decision to sell.”

“I wish I could take everything with me,” Sandlin said.

“And my horses too.”

For more information on this property, please contact Realtors Mary Anne Cramer or Peter J. Babbles of RE / Max Masters or Allen Olmsted of Canaan Realty. Their information is below.


Address: 3863 Cottons Road, Canastota, NY 13032

Price: $ 1,500,000

Area: 1,924 square feet (firm)

Area: 204 acres

Monthly mortgage: $ 4,982 (based on national average rate of 2.88%, according to Freddie Mac on Sept. 23, for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a 20% down payment. Fees and points not included. )

Taxes: $ 22,122 (Based on an assessed value of $ 552,000)

Built: 1870

School District: Canastota

Food: Darlene Sandlin’s friends told her she had the “best kitchen for work.” The brand new space was designed by modern Syracuse kitchens. The fully remodeled kitchen includes new “high end” appliances and custom cherry wood cabinetry. The stove area and the backsplash were designed by her. There is a breakfast room that overlooks its bird feeders in a crab apple tree, this is a favorite spot for its morning coffee. The space is a nod to the original owners who have kept their kitchen tables there. “It’s really cool,” she said. The kitchen has access to the new Ipe wooden terrace, which promises not to rot. “It’s very nice to sit there,” she said.

Living spaces: This 1870 farmhouse has been completely renovated to exacting standards. Sandlin took all of the interior walls except one “to the posts”. The bright living room opens onto the formal dining room which comfortably seats at least 10 people. There is a new gas fireplace in the living room that “heats the whole house”, topped off with a custom mantel. The dining room has a wood-burning fireplace. Sandlin maintains a home office in a bedroom on the first floor. Visitors enter the house through a porch that serves as a three-season room. With its many windows, plants can grow there all year round.

Bedrooms: There are now two bedrooms in the house. The upstairs owner’s suite is spacious, occupying almost half of the second floor, and has a walk-in closet. The guest bedroom on the first floor also has its own bathroom. It used to be the main bedroom of the house. It has a “standard size” closet.

Bathrooms : The house has two bathrooms. The upstairs owner’s bathroom has double sinks and a Jacuzzi-style tub and shower. The full bathroom on the first floor has a large shower.

Barns and carousel: Sandlin has created a “first facility” for boarding and training horses at his “Fair Haven Farm”. it’s hot all winter. Connected to the new main barn and the horse exercise building by “lanes”, the arena measures 80 feet by 200 feet. The main barn is insulated and heated and has a central vacuum system. There are 17 stalls, two washing cabins, a tack room, a full bathroom, a grooming area, a laundry room and a complete loft with a hay chute. The space could be used for large events like weddings. The older, smaller barn has three stalls, a workshop, a hayloft and storage.

Outside: The 204 acres of peaceful farmland was one of the first things Sandlin fell in love with the property. She experiences feelings of “comfort and peace” while riding her horses there. The land includes pastures, a stream, horse trails and nine paddocks. The fields are used by farmers to grow crops and Sandlin grew his own hay there. The farm is located minutes from the New York State Thruway.

Agent: Marie-Anne Cramer

RE / MAX Masters

Address: 5788 Widewaters Parkway, DeWitt, NY 13214

Telephone: (315) 671-1624 (direct) or (315) 427-5849 (cell)

Email: [email protected]


Agent: Allen Olmsted

Canaan Real Estate

Address: 8645 East Seneca Turnpike, Manlius, NY 13104

Telephone: (315) 682-4500 (direct) and (315) 374-1032 (cell)

Email: [email protected]


Agent: Peter J. Babbles

RE / MAX Masters

Address: 16 Jordan Street, Skaneateles, NY 13152

Telephone: (315) 727-0204

Email: [email protected]


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