Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
Historic Businesses of the Tri-Counties
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Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
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Joyce's Search Tip - January 2008
Do You Know that you can search just the Business pages of the site  by using the Business button in the Partitioned search engine at the bottom of the Current What's New Page? You will also find extensive business information in the Directory section.
In the early 1960s, Troy Gazette-Register ran a series of articles called Mystery Farms. Each week they presented a photo and asked readers to identify the farm. In the following week's issue, they identified the farm and wrote a brief article about it.  Marjorie JORALEMON Oldroyd, now of Austinville, saved them all in a scrapbook which we scanned recently. I will present them here, sorted by township where possible. In some cases the Post Office is the only identifier and it may or may not be accurate as to physical location.
Return to table of Contents for all farms listed.
File:  tgrfarm0003 – Dale Avery

Farm Mystery Picture No. 3 was that of Dale Avery, one mile north of Sylvania on the road to Austinville.  Those giving the correct name and location of that farm are:

Russell Van Noy, Marion Sweet, Howard Morgridge, Lloyd Bailey, Louis Batterson, Russell Scott, Duane Kittle, Earl Rolison, Gerald Warner, Robert Hess and Lee Cleveland of Troy.

Susan Ritz and Donald Besley of Columbia Cross Roads, Mary Smith, Harry Packard and Harold Warner, Sr. of Sylvania, Evalyn Sullivan, Troy RD 3, Maude Estep, Don Rockwell and Manley Wilson of Troy RD 2, Melvin Case, Troy RD 1.

Mary Sweeney of Chemung Co. San., N. Y., Elwood Heaney of Mt. Bethel, Pa.; Fred Hulslander of Mainsesburg, and Mrs. A. G. Cameron of Sylvania.

Dale Avery is he proprietor of the farm which he has owned for the past 10 years.  About a year ago he sold his Holstein milk herd and now devotes the 112 acres of land to the cultivation and harvesting of oat, corn and hay crops.

The farm has been in the Avery family for about 50 years for his grandfather, James W. Avery, had it before his death.  The area was settled and owned by the Kilgore family who held it for over 100 years.  The particular site has been known in the past as Kilgore’s Corners.

Dale married Dorothy French in September, 1943 and they, together with their three sons reside on the farm.  Gary is 8 and is in the second grade of the Troy school.  His brother, Garth is six and is in the first grade of the same school.  Greg, the third boy in the family, is four years old.

Dale Avery is a member of the Columbia Grange No. 83.  He also belongs to the Pennsylvania Farmers’ Association and the Pennsylvania State Poultry Federation.  He is presently secretary of the Lions Club of Sylvania which was organized last year.

Both he and his wife are members of the Sylvania Church of Christ.

Avery sold his dairy herd in January, 1954, but he expects to return to the dairying business in the near future.

His grandmother, Cora Avery, and his aunt, Nell Avery, are both residents on the farm.

Avery says that the farm has been pretty much the same for the past years, excepting the addition of the silo in 1952, as well as other improvement of minor nature.

File:  tgrfarm0004 – Harry Chamberlain

Harry Chamberlain, Columbia Cross Roads, is the owner of the farm shown last week.  He has had the farm for the past fifteen years, having purchased it at a public auction in 1940 from the Roy Besley estate.  Mr. Besley was a well known dealer in cattle.  The Chamberlains formerly lived at 190 Center Street, Troy.

There are about 50 head of cattle on this 170-acre farm today and Mr. Chamberlain carries on dairy farming, cultivating some of the acreage for hay and cattle feed crops.  He has a mixed herd of Holsteins, Jerseys and Guernseys.

Mrs. Chamberlain is the former Minerva Surdam before her marriage in 1934.  They have one daughter, Barbara, who is sixteen years old and a junior at Troy High school.

Mr. Chamberlain is a member of Troy Grange No. 182, a Mason of Trojan Lodge and of the Williamsport Consistory.  Mrs. Chamberlain is a member of the Eastern Star.  The Chamberlains are members of the Methodist Church of Columbia Cross Roads.

When hurricane “Hazel” visited the Troy area in October, 1954, a shed that had been built by Mr. Chamberlain to house some equipment, was blown down.  A number of barn doors were damaged by the same storm and they have been repaired, but he is considering a cement block construction to replace the destroyed shed.

A diversion ditch is being planned for the current year, as well as the clearing of some of the farm land of the thorn bushes and blackberry briars, preparatory to seeding the cleared land.

Mr. Chamberlain operates a bulldozer and a couple of dump trucks, the services of which he uses in private engagements.

The farm has been identified by Maurice McGee, Russell Van Noy, A. L. Brown, James Peckham, Lee Cleveland, June Gates, Earl S. Sturdevant and Susan Ritz of Troy; Harold Warner, Harry Packard and Robert Whitlock of Sylvania. Lou Judson, Mrs. Rush Gates and Wallace Grace of Columbia Cross Roads; Lynn Wolfe of Snedekerville; Wayne C. Harkness of Gillett and Fred Hulslander of Mainesburg.

File:  tgrfarm0006 – Harry Gernert

Last week’s Mystery Picture was a view of the former Harry Gernert farm of Columbia Cross Roads, now occupied by Uri Williams.

Those identifying the picture are Harold Warner and Harry Packard of Sylvania.  Paul Berry, George McKean, Russell Van Noy, Russell Scott, Harold Case, Mrs. Leon Ballard and Evelyn Sullivan of Troy.  Fred Seymour, Lou Judson, Kenneth Leonard, Mrs. Nina Seymour, Mark L. Watkins, Wendell Judson, Wayne Gates and Mrs. Edna Guthrie of Columbia Cross Roads.  Wayne C. Harkness of Gillett and Henry Pierce of Burlington.

Mrs. Helen Johnson, 122 Buttonwood St., Jessup, Pa., Azor Putnam, Troy RD, Lee Cleveland, Gerald Warner, Bob Hess and Susan Ritz of Troy.

The owner of the farm shown in this newspaper on Feb. 10 was Uri Williams who has about 235 acres of land, nearly three-quarters of a mile north of Columbia Cross Roads, on the road to Berrytown

Mr. Williams purchased the farm from Mrs. Harry Gernert in April, 1954.  The Gernerts had the farm at least 47 years, Mr. Williams believes.  Mr. Gernert died about four years ago.  The farm has been in the Gernert clan for several generations, according to the new owner.

There are 17 head of dairy cattle on the farm, divided between thoroughbreds of Holstein and Jersey strains.  About fifty acres of the land is under cultivation at present, devoted to corn, oats and wheat.  As far as the present owner knows there has not been any soil conservation construction recently, and he is planning to have some ditch work done soon, as well as terracing the terrain.  Other improvements include additions to their home in which he and his wife, Jessie Cleveland Williams and eight-year old daughter, Arlene live.

The Williams were married on June 15, 1944.  He has been a farmer all of his life, working on farms in Springfield, West Burlington, Troy Township and Burlington.

File:  tgrfarm0011 – Mark Schucker

The picture shown last week was that of the farm of Mark Schucker of Sylvania.  Those identifying it correctly are:

Charlie Schucker, Ray Decker, Ted York, Earl Rolison, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Smith, Mrs. Bessie Sinclair, Jerry Chapman, Lee Cleveland, Bessie Secules of Troy. Harold Warner, Harry Packard, Grace Woodward of Sylvania.  Edward Priest and Roy Sherman of Mansfield, RD 3. Louis Judson of Columbia Cross Roads, Wayne C. Harkness of Gillett, Mrs. John Kobbe ofTroy RD 3, Mrs. Eleanor Oldroyd of Snedekerville, Evalyn Sullivan of East Troy, Fred Hilfiger of Mainesburg and Lee and Edna Cummings of Kissimmee, Fla.

File:  tgrfarm0012 – Donald Rockwell

The picture shown last week was that of Donald O. Rockwell of Columbia Twp.  The 100-acre farm adjoins the property of another farm of Mr. Rockwell’s on Porter Road.  On January 13 in this newspaper the Mystery Farm Picture of Mr. Rockwell’s other farm was shown.

The 200-acre farm and the 100-acre farm shown last week are used by Mr. Rockwell for grazing and pasturing dairy herds that both he and his father, O. W. Rockwell of Troy buy and sell.

The principal activity of the farm is centered around a fine herd of Holstein cattle.

Mr. Rockwell obtained the farm from his father about five years ago as part of the dairying venture.  O. W. Rockwell obtained it at a public auction in 1949 from the former owner, Emerson W. Havens of Troy township.

The records available show that the ownership of the farm dates back at least before 1893 when Charles S. McKean of Troy sold it to Chester Campbell of Rutland, Tioga County, Pa.  Emeline Campbell, widow of Mr. Campbell sold the farm to Guy P. Williams of Columbia township in 1916.

Adele Williams, widow of Mr. Williams then sold it to Charles J. Tomlinson of Columbia Township in 1919 who held it until 1945 when Mr. Havens purchased the land.

Those identifying the Mystery Farm Picture last week were Harold Warner, Harry Packard of Sylvania; Lou Judson, Mrs. Lynn Eiffert of Columbia Cross Roads. Ray Decker, Earl Ripley, Grant Palmer, Earl Rolison, Lee Cleveland, Harry Keyes, Dorothy Turner, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Smith, John Campbell and Lewis Hurlburt of Troy. Fred Hulslander of Mainesburg, Eleanor Oldroyd of Snedekerville.

Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA

Published On Tri-Counties Site On 18 AUG  2008
By Joyce M. Tice 
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