In 1662, King Charles II granted the colony of Connecticut a charter. The charter included all the lands from Conn. to the Pacific Ocean. In 1786, Conn. gave to the newly established United States Government all it’s western charter lands except for the land bordering Lake Erie in the territory of what was later to become northern Ohio. This strip was known as the Western Reserve of Connecticut and covered 3,667,000 acres. In 1800, Connecticut and the United States Government agreed to attach the land to the Ohio territory. Ohio, (an Iroquois Indian word meaning “something great”), became the 17th state in the Union in 1803.
(Please click on the below “address” for a second more detailed map of the Reserve.)
http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~288~30103:Map-Of-The-Western-Reserve-Includin#The Museum has made every attempt to record the farm, township, county and families of the equipment, artifacts, furniture and tools donated to the Museum. We have “collected” 150+ farms in 13 counties in N. Ohio. We have tried to record at least a paragraph or two about each farm including who founded it, the families who lived there and what is the current “use” of that land – sadly far too often development. We also try to record a story or two about life on each farm. Every family hasÂ several stories thatÂ are fondly remembered and, even though sometimes seemingly small, helps to bind families together thru the generations. In saving these many stories, we haven’t wanted to tell the history of just one farm, but rather save a “blended” story of general farm life in the region. Sitting and talking with usually the last of the Elders in the family who lived on their land and cared for it has proven to be one of the most rewarding (and at times emotional) aspects of our efforts.
This has proven to be a massive endeavor and we certainly need help with interviewing, record keeping and typing. This collecting of oral histories is very time critical, as many of the last of the farmers from this area pass away. As time permits or volunteers help, we will post various of the collected stories on this page.
The Sharon Golf Club has a problem. The course was founded in 1965 by a group of young business men from the Akron area. They pooled their money and bought the Morris and Crane farms (for a total of 308 acres) just north of Sharon Center in Medina County. But the farmers wanted to keep their homes.
A week or so ago a friend stopped by. She said the Huntley barn and buildings were soon to be torn down.
The Huntley Farm was an exceedingly beautiful farm on Dunsha Rd., near the crossing of State Rd. in Medina Co. It’s a farm I had always admired. There was a very large barn with two tall silos, and a smaller barn connected at an angle.
The Kenski Farm was located just east of the intersection of Rt. 42 & Fenn Rd. in Medina. Not long ago it was fairly far out in the country several miles north of Medina Square. But in more recent years the rapid development along 42 has surrounded the farm with gas stations, a car dealership, a Chinese restaurant, a car wash, a dollar store and more.
We recently received a call from Roger Miller at Miller Orchards on Baumhart Rd. in Amherst, Lorain County. His family has owned and operated the family farm and orchard (now totaling 500 acres) since 1840. He now has one of the largest apple orchards and the largest cherry orchard in the state. (We visited Mar. 26th, and there was still a nice selection of apples and cider for sale in the family store, despite the 4″of snow and 28* weather.)
The Museum has a growing collection of buggies and wagons. 110+ years ago horses, harness and wooden wheels formed the backbone of American transportation. Folks also occasionally used bicycles, but the few bikes were little used beyond the paved streets of the cities. Dirt roads were just too rutted and rough. (The first mechanically driven velocipede is believed to have been invented in 1839, with bikes similar to the ones used today coming into use about 1880.)
At one time there were 12 one room school houses in Richfield Twp. For some presently unknown reason, there seems to be no school designated #11, but there was a school (according to a 1891 history) called the Special School located on (we think) the Huntley Farm on 303 in or near West Richfield Center. Of these 12 schools, it was thought that only two of them had survived to the most recent turn of the century, one at the corner of Boston Mill & Black Rds. and the other at 3091 Streetsboro Rd. (Rt. 303) near where I-271 now passes. But now another school has been “found”.
The last murder committed in Summit Co. for which the perpetrator was hung, was done in the Highjack House.
Frank was the last of the Highjack’s to live on the family farm located on Hawkins Rd., Richfield Twp. Somewhat later in his life, he could be seen walking thru the woods on his way to Pete & Al’s, a part grocery/part bar in the center of Richfield. Frank, who was nicknamed Funka, was said to have greatly enjoyed a beer.
The Highjack Farm was located on Hawkins Rd. in Richfield, Summit Co. The family lived in Cleveland. Son, Frank, was struck by a street car and had a steel plate put in his head. It caused him personality problems, so his dad bought the farm in Richfield to get him out of the city. The house was in front with a long driveway going back to an English post & beam barn, approx.
FRASE.FARM.-.TEARS.AT.THE.END.OF.FARM –The Frase Farm was one of the first farms I collected. It is one I'll never forget. Grangerburg is a small village in Medina County. There is a very nice white clapboard church, the Historical Society has a small and quite interesting museum and book collection and across the way is an old, old building that still has a blacksmith sign painted on the false front.
A.complete.and.reliable.establishment Peter Allen moved to West Richfield, Summit Co. from his family home in Hinckley, Medina Co. in 1843 when he was 17. He began to learn his trade with Jonathon Page. After perfecting himself in all the various branches of his chosen occupation, he engaged in business for himself. His stock consisted of saddles, harness and trunks, which he manufactured, and which he had on hand in large assortments of finished work. Peter was also a dealer in buffalo robes, blankets, whips, etc. together with a department devoted to repairing of all kinds.
For a number of years I had heard stories of a Fry family farm in Suffield. For my 69th birthday my wife, Laura, and I decided to try to find and visit it. A short history of the Fry’s on this particular farm, and our visit there, follows:
John Fry was born about 1790 in Pennsylvania. James Smith Fry wrote that his grandfather (John) served in the War of 1812 in the Army of the Center. (There is a record of a John Fry on a payroll submitted by Lt. Joseph Dreibelbies, in the Regiment of Lt. Col. George Weirick, for October, 1814.)
We sell pumpkins here at Stone Garden Farm every October. One Saturday an older gentleman stopped by with his family for some cider and apples. Standing in the Gen’l Store, he saw a table full of indian corn. Among the many colored varieties of corn were a few shiny dark red ears. He paused and seemed to almost travel back in time. He started talking about how, long ago in his youth, his uncle had a farm in a nearby town. He told his several assembled grandchildren, gathered in a circle around him, a story about when he was just their age. His whole family would go spend every fall on the farm to help with the harvest.
The Hoyle Farm, in Berlin Twp., Mahoning County, has been in the Hoyle family since 1833. Richard is the fifth generation of his family to own the farm, which may someday pass to his grandson, Jared, who also presently lives on the homestead with his parents, William and Shawna. The farm has 72 acres. with 52 tillable, 8 wooded and 12 pasture. Turkey Broth Creek passes thru the pasture. The barn, called a Yankee Barn, was about 80 ft. x 40 ft.
Elton and Fern Ripley moved to the farm in 1917. (It had been built in 1903 along East Ave. in Tallmadge, Sum. Co. by Mr Ophfer.) Their son, Bob, who still lives on the farm, was born in the house in 1923. The family milked up to 150 Holstein cows at a time from 1915-1975. They sold the milk to Akron Milk Producers, who delivered it to various milk plants. The Ripley’s generally had one or two hired men.
by Elinor Porter Swiger
The Louie C. Porter dairy farm, a 106 acre property, was a little over a mile north of the Village of Richfield, on Rt. 176. The original home and barn remain more or less intact, but over the years after Louie sold the farm in 1945 most of the land was sold off, except for about 8 acres adjacent to the farm buildings.
Louis Charles Porter, born in 1892, grew up on a farm in North Royalton.
Charles & Steffani Povolny and, later, their daughter Helen and her husband Victor farmed 42 acres on Wyatt Rd. Broadview Hts., Cuyahoga Co. from 1912 to 1958. Victor’s brother-in-law, Milo Pavone, farmed 52 acres next door.
Every July 4th, it was family tradition to make hay on both farms and store it in the Pliska barn. They used a dump rake to make rows of hay then put it in aÂ pile and used pitch forks to throw hay on wagon.
James and Mallie Wilson moved to the Richfield area in early 1900’s from Virginia. They rented several dairy farms including the Garman Farm at 2835 Southern Rd. Richfield Twp. in 1910. They moved to a Hawkins Rd. farm in 1911. Then moved to “Osborn” farm, which had a big red barn, north of the cemetary on Hametown Rd. in 1912.p>The family bought their own 84 acre dairy and fruit farm on Parker Rd. in Hinckley Twp. Medina Co. in April 1914.
Glenn’s parents bought the 160 acre farm, located on Avon Lake Road in Litchfield, Medina County, in 1932. Glenn took over in 1954, shortly after he married Emily. They remained married for 48 1/2 years until her passing in 1992 of a heart attack. On the farm, they started out having 49 Jersey & Guernsey milk cows and later raised up to 500 mixed breed pigs at a time. They went broke in 1982 and sold off all but 42 acres of the farm.
The 150 acre Gardner farm was deep in the hills, a mile and a half off the road. In the ’30s, the family barely knew the Great Depression was happening. They had no electricity, no radio and only the occasional newspaper. They put up their own food, had livestock, chickens and milk cows and were so far in the woods they never had tramps looking for work. The only time they heard much about about the “troubles” was when their “poor” city cousins would stop by to visit.
A rather distingished looking gentleman stopped by the museum one Sunday. After looking around for awhile he paused to talk while his family continued their tour. He introduced himself, saying he was Jack Wilt and had been a Portage County area veterinarian when he was younger. Many years ago a veterinarian friend of his had called to tell him about a recent emergency veterinary call he had gotten. The friend was just sitting down to dinner when the phone ran.
Sam and Asma Nemer lived on their farm on Everett Road in Bath, Summit County, from 1915 to 1945. At the time they were among the only farmers in America from the Middle East. The farm had very rich soil, good flat fields and plenty of water from the North Fork Creek, which traversed it. The picture above was taken about 1938. Sam (1888-1981), in hat and overalls, daughter Louise, (b. 1927), and son Abid, (a.k.a. Doy), (b.1917), are loading straw onto a truck. In the background the trees that still grow along the creek can be seen, and the milk cows.
as told by Josephine Davis
Stanley and Sophie Szudlo moved from Cleveland to the farm on Snowville Road in Brecksville, Cuyahoga County, in the 1920s. They moved, in part, because the two older boys were playing hooky from school. They raised their 8 children on the 32 acre farm overlooking the Cuyahoga River Valley. Josephine was born in the house. They kept 2 to 4 Jersey dairy cows, two Quarter horses to pull their wagons and 100 or so Rhode Island Red chickens. They ate chicken every Sunday and sold some eggs.
A HOME AT THE CENTER OF RICHFIELD,.…………….–AND THE FAMILIES THAT LIVED THERE.
By: Jim Fry...
The gray colored house standing at the north side of the Richfield Commons is most recently & commonly known as the Knopp house. But the house much predates the Knopp Family ownership. The house tells an interesting history of Richfield and the families that lived there. An examination of its structure also reveals the many changes and remodels that effected the house, family to family and generation by generation.
Copyright © 2023 Western Reserve Museum & Village - All Rights Reserved.
Powered by GoDaddy Website Builder