Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
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Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
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Joyce's Search Tip - January 2008
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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:  tgrfarm0015 – Charles Brown

Last week’s Farm Picture Mystery was that of Charles Brown, located about five miles east of Troy, at West Burlington.

Information obtained by this newspaper indicates that the farm was owned at one time by Alvord P. Rockwell, grandfather of Mrs. George McKean of Troy, from 1850 to 1910 when he died.

His widow, Mrs. Mary U. Rockwell, held it until 1920 when it was sold to Irving Brown, grandfather of the present owner.  Charles Brown’s father, Irving Brown, owned the farm for a number of years. 

Those who identified the picture and named the owner of it were Harold Warner of Sylvania, Robert York of Austinville, Eugene Rockwell of Granville Summit and Helen Bourne of Bourne’s Mill. Russell Scott, Ray Decker, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Smith, Freddie Barrett, Helen Scott, Earl Rolison, Harry Wilston and Lee Cleveland of Troy.

Those identifying the Mattocks’ farm picture of last week are:

Harold French, Kenneth Gernert, A. L. Brown, Donald Bruce, Russell Van Noy, Bob Ward, Lee Cleveland and Mr. and Mrs. Smith of Troy.

Frederick Mattocks of Columbia Cross Roads, Harry Packard and Harold Warner of Sylvania.

The Mattocks farm, known as Valley View, has about 120 acres of land, 25 acres being in woodland.  A mixed herd of 38 Guernsey and Holstein cattle are raised on the land which is partly cultivated in oat, hay and corn silage crops, the rest being pasture land.  Some chickens are also raised on the farm, the chickens being of the Nichols “meat strain”, a special breed of chicken well known in New Hampshire.

The Mattocks have had the farm for the past 14 years, but the farm has been in the family for the past 24 years.  Mrs. Mattocks who was Iva Ayers, says her father, Joseph Ayers, owned the farm formerly having purchased it from Harry Fudge.  John Jones had owned that farm before it was sold to Fudge.

Mr. and Mrs. Mattocks were married on Aug. 19, 1924.  They have one daughter, Joyce Mattocks Harper who lives on the adjoining farm and three grandchildren, Earlene 8, Francis Alvin Jr., 6, and Clifford LaRue 5.  Mr. Mattocks belongs to the West Burlington Grange and both he and his wife are members of the Universalist Church of Towanda.

Mr. Mattocks has a hobby of carpentering.  His grandfather was noted for his skilled carpenter work and Mr. Mattocks is well known for his work, too.

A disastrous fire that razed the barn, home and sheds occurred in 1927 due to a defective chimney in the home.  “It was a windy day, that February 2nd,” says Mrs. Mattocks, “and the firemen could do nothing to save the buildings.”

Doing most of the carpentry work Mr. Mattocks rebuilt the barn, the home, the 2-story brick henhouse and sheds.  In 1943 they purchased a neighbor’s farm, adding to their farm holdings.  A farm pond was built in 1952.  Plans of the immediate future call for some ditches to conform with soil conservation practice.

Reminiscing, Mrs. Mattocks says that it was in 1942 when they sold their horse team that was used on the farm and purchased their first tractor.

The name of the farm was formerly Lone Pine, a name coming from the huge lone pine that should (**typo in original – should read “stood”?**) guard at the front of the house.  It was so badly damaged by the fire in 1927 that it had to be cut down.  The new name of the farm, Valley View, came as a result of comments by visitors to the farm of the wonderful view from it of the valley which cradles Sugar Creek.

As for former historical interest, Mrs. Mattocks says she believes that a lime kiln was located in the vicinity of the farm, but “it must have been abandoned long before Fudge and Jones owned the farm.”

Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA

Published On Tri-Counties Site On 20  AUG  2008
By Joyce M. Tice 
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