Picture: John J. Brill originally owned this attractive brick home on Route 9. A Wilton native, Brill was a prominent gentleman in the early days of the town. He was born in 1827 and was the youngest son of John and Harriet Pearsall Brill. For many years, the property has been known as Pepper’s Turkey Farm.
This wonderful brick home is now surrounded by new development. Apartment buildings complete with sidewalks and street lights, line Route 9 in the southwest portion of Wilton near the Greenfield line at Daniels Road. The new Adirondack College campus with packed parking lots is nearby. The bustling Saratoga Bridges complex occupies former farm land. The old sturdy building, with the Palmertown Range as a background, stands alone in another time period.
The whole area was once owned by the Pearsall family. “Pearsall’s Corners”, as shown on the 1855 Wilton map is designated as the present junction of Smith Bridge Road and Route 9. The Pearsall’s arrived in Wilton in the early 1800’s from Dutchess County. Old George was a Quaker and owned portions of Greenfield and lived on the west side of the present Route 9. It is written in family history that he and his wife are buried in the field in front of the hillside and in back of his house. A picture of his house is included in the: History and Genealogy of the Pearsall Family” by Clarence E. Pearsall. There is no indication of the house or burial in our written Wilton history as recorded. There was evidence of many property transactions by George’s sons. The Vincek house, on the corner of Smith Bridge and Jones Road, is linked to the Pearsall family.
The Brill family came to the Wilton area in 1813. John J., the son of John Brill, married Harriet Pearsall in 1817. They had 7 children, only 4 lived to maturity. The Brill cemetery, in back of Saratoga Bridges, has 2 graves, Hanna and James. The house was built in this time frame. Beautiful orchards were planted and the family flourished on the surrounding farmland. The Brill property was sold to Chas A. Waller in 1900 and used as a dairy farm until 1945 when Don Pepper acquired the land to raise turkeys.
This old house could tell some wonderful tales. Let’s hope it survives another 100 years, or so?