While Heritage Hill Acres, LLC, formerly known as Green Acres, has a new name, its new owner ties it into a five-generation family business. A grand opening was held from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 3.
The horse boarding house features 63 acres, a 40-stall barn, indoor arena, outdoor arena, large pastures and trail access. The facility is located at 2915 South Hill Road in Otis.
Owners Kerry Ann Sweitz-Fendt and Seth Fendt took over the lease three months ago and recently completed it.
“My great-great-grandparents bought it in 1939, namely Howard and Beulah McMillen. It was then 90 acres of freehold.
The couple turned it into a dairy farm and sold the milk to Tillamook Creamery. They ran the dairy farm with their children until Sweitz-Fendt’s grandfather took over the operation in the 1960s after serving in the United States Marine Corps.
Laura Sweitz, Sweitz-Fendt’s mother, said it was Otis’ first dairy farm.
“In 1964 Arnold was directing it when he met my mother-in-law, Mary Lou Sweitz,” Sweitz said. “He married her with five boys and a girl.”
The couple continued to run the dairy farm and lived in the original farm built by Howard McMillen. In 1970, Arnold McMillen and Mary Lou McMillen Sweitz purchased the property from Arnold’s parents, Howard and Buella McMillen.
Arnold McMillen was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1978. The family decided to start selling part of the land in 1982, but got part of it back in 1988, which is still in the family.
“The part of the land that they didn’t reclaim was passed on to three different owners from 1982 to 2022,” Sweitz-Fendt said. “Meanwhile, the second owners stripped the original farmhouse down to its studs, raised the house, poured a foundation, added and completely remodeled the house to save it.”
At the same time, they also demolish the old dairy and decide to build a large equestrian center with several boxes and an indoor arena. The company was called Green Acres.
Sweitz-Fendt and her husband purchased 63 acres of land. Heritage Hill Acres, LLC is the new name. It is named after the family heirloom and is on Hill Road.
“Overall, 40 years later, the rest of the property is back in the McMillen/Sweitz family,” Sweitz-Fendt said. “I, Kerry Ann Sweitz-Fendt, would be the fourth generation and my almost two-year-old son would be the fifth generation living on the original farm. My father was only two years old when he moved to the dairy farm and now my two year old lives in the same room my dad grew up in.
Heritage Hill Acres, LLC remains a boarding school. Classes will likely start in July, along with horseback riding and other events.
“Five generations – three owners in between,” Sweitz said. “We have 80 acres of the 90 acres returned, 85 of which goes to the family.”
Sweitz-Fendt said she owned 34 horsepower herself. She had done guided hikes on Mount Hood and was looking forward to starting them here on the coast.
The family is happy to have the business back in the community. It had been closed for a few months before they took over the lease. The family paid over a million dollars for the property.
“It’s pretty exciting to have five generations on a property and to be able to reclaim it,” Sweitz said.