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Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Opinions > Long Ago

Only a memory

Sep 28, 2020

By Anne Foland - columnist

A short time ago as I drove the Canning Road shortcut between Route 211 and Route 416 I looked forward to viewing the beautiful farm across the road.
For a few minutes I was stunned at the sight. What had been a peaceful meadow crowned with a farmhouse, a barn and other outbuildings was gone, vanished from the soil that had given it life for many years.
My first feeling was dismay. What had destroyed all traces of a profitable farm and farmhouse sheltered by tall trees.
Contacting several of my friends revealed that they, too, were surprised and curious.

Today when my son and daughter-in-law paid me a visit we discussed the change. Tom surmised that the property had been bought by a large distribution center. The area in and around Montgomery has become headquarters for many corporations. Availability to major highways and even an airport could have made the farm desirable.
Since my father and his siblings grew up on a small farm in Obernburg our family has always considered farms as special places.
On my mother's side her sister, Elsie Miller, and her husband, Harry, worked a large tenant farm in Piffard, N.Y.
In addition to crops the Millers operated a milking parlor of about 50 cows. I always felt the name “Parlor” was strange.
Our grandmother, Nellie Stevens, made her home with the Millers. She was a master baker and no breakfast was complete without her apple pie or her sugar and molasses cookies. She called the molasses cookies “Blue-bellied Yankee cookies.” I don't know if that was a reference to the Civil War. I know that same recipe is called “Joe Froggers” by New England sailors.
The United States will always rely on farms to supply crops and other products.
I hope the family that sold the farm on Route 416 took many happy memories with them. I can only visit that farm in my memory. Keep smiling.





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