HAMPTON FALLS, N.H. (AP) - An anonymous buyer is purchasing a property on Applecrest Farm Orchards so an 85-year-old woman, who has lived there for decades, can spend the rest of her years there, according to her family.
Gertrude “Gert” Eaton, 85, and her family said they were approached by a man a couple weeks ago about purchasing the Nason Road property, where Eaton claims farm owners promised decades ago she could live the rest of her life.
They say the buyer closed Oct. 24 on the property, which Applecrest owners have said they are being forced by their bank to sell to address financial concerns.
The Eaton family announced the sale was happening in a post over the weekend on a GoFundMe page set up by Eaton’s daughter Trudy and neighbor Wendy Harrington. The page had been seeking $275,000 in donations so Eaton could buy the property. The family said the buyer knows their identity will be made public once the sale is reflected in town records but for now wishes to remain anonymous for privacy reasons.
Applecrest ownership did not respond to an inquiry on whether a sale took place. The Rockingham County Registry of Deeds shows a warranty deed dated Oct. 24, last Wednesday, that states Applecrest is granting John J. Beaton, trustee of the Beaton Living Trust, with a 2-acre lot located within a subdivision of land in Hampton Falls. Beaton is listed to have a Nason Road address.
Eaton, who said she was devastated when approached by Applecrest owners about the property being sold earlier this year, said she is relieved she will get to stay in her home. She said she was born in the cottage, her family being employees of Applecrest, and she eventually moved back into the home with her husband when she got married, still working there until about nine years ago.
The family went public with their criticism of Applecrest for selling the property earlier this month. Applecrest owners responded, saying the sale is necessary to keep the business afloat.
“I feel very happy to know that there’s people out there that care,” said Eaton Monday.
Eaton’s son Everett, who also worked on the farm for years, said he was approached a few weeks ago by the anonymous buyer, who told him he was aware of his mother’s concern about being forced to leave her home.
“I thought he meant with the GoFundMe page,” said Everett Eaton. “He said, ‘No. I want to help.’”
Trudy Eaton said the purchase is a “beautiful gesture” that caught her family by surprise. She said it is yet to be determined what will be done with the $4,880 in donations collected through the GoFundMe page as of Monday, but donors are being encouraged to let her or Harrington know if they want donations refunded.
“I’m blown away,” said Trudy Eaton. “I’m just overwhelmed with joy that someone would do this for someone that they don’t even know.”
Information from: Portsmouth Herald, http://www.seacoastonline.com
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