Monday, August 26, 2019

Pete and Anna Ford, Gorge Road, Trumansburg, New York

Holiday card from the Fords send to Merritt and Maude Agard

This weekend the great-granddaughter of Pete and Anna Ford wrote to thank me for one of my earlier posts (December 1, 2013) and showing a photo of Pete and Anna's house that was located on Gorge Road, Trumansburg, New York. Since Pete and Anna's great-granddaughter lives across the country from Trumansburg, I sent her the oral history I'd transcribed of her grandmother June Ford Yager, and June's sister, Flossie Ford Heathwaite. It also prompted me to find the other holiday cards my grandparents, Merritt and Maude Agard (the Ford's next door neighbors by a half mile), received from Pete and Anna.

Holiday card featuring one of Pete's boats anchored at Taughannock Falls State Park

From their oral history. The change in fonts indicates who's speaking:

About 1920 we moved down here, just above Taughannock Farms.[1]

[We lived] on south Gorge Road, just up from Route 89 about a quarter of mile. Dad always wanted to be a farmer, I guess.[2]  It was all fruit farms and orchards.  The five acres on the other side of the road, they were mostly Alberta’s and Dad never thought much of them anyway, but the state bought that portion way back. So it was only 25 acres. 

Also, Dad liked the water. When they were looking for farms they looked for places near the water. So, that is where they settled.

Peaches were the main crop, and apples.  Peaches we sold. We would send out cards every year to certain customers that would want to know when the peaches would be ripe. And they would come and be lined up all the way up the road. And they weren’t the varieties they have now. The kind they came for mostly were the Rochester and they didn’t keep well at all.  We used to send Tompkins County apples. We had this one customer who always wanted to send a barrel of apples – Tompkins County.

[The Kings were prominent fruit growers in the area. They had a] cherry orchard – we picked cherries at Kings.
When we first moved there we had horses.

We had one that ran away.  As a team they were all right, because the other horse was slow. She probably couldn’t have run anyway.

            It was a wonder she didn’t kill somebody. She spooked every once in a while and ran. The first time we had the team, we were going to go to church; we went up to Jacksonville to church, and dad hooked up the buggy to the cart, and two or three of us – I don’t know how many of us were going, and we got up about where Stover’s lived and met a car. There weren’t many cars then, and that scared her. Mom pulled on the reins to try to stop her, and the people that lived just up above Stover’s called up the road to Clyde Wintermute, and told him there was a run away horse coming up and he came out and stopped her and lead her back.  Dad came up to meet us because they had called him and he lead her almost all the way back. So he got in the buggy and she started running again. He drove her into the farm and that slowed her down.

[1] This interview was conducted by Ed and Ruth Farrell on November 4, 1991.
[2]  The Ford family consisted of Elwyn (Pete), wife Anna, and children: Verna, June, Caryl, Frances, Leon, Merle, Frank, Virginia, and Louise.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Book arrived

Jacksonville Church History through 1946. Binding by Bridgeport National Bindery
 The Jacksonville (NY) United Methodist Church history is done and delivered. I think Great-grandmother Jessie (Tucker) Agard would approve. Below is the acknowledgement page, because every work is a team effort.

Acknowledgement and Notes

Putting this manuscript together was a team effort. I thank Nan (Agard) Colvin and Joyce (Vann) Basilius for supplying photos, Judy Barkee, Beth Hickman, Nancy Dean, Pastor Geri Judd and the church trustees for their help and support of the project.

Indexing this manuscript was a challenge. That is especially true when figuring out women’s names. Sometimes listed as “Mrs. [husband’s name], other times with their given name, or just initial, and figuring out which wife goes with which man. Men were listed with first name, just initials, and sometimes just last name. That’s when the U.S Federal Census was helpful.

I took license with the indexing. There are several church members who served as trustees in a variety of capacities for many years. For those folks, in the interest of space, I put the page range instead of listing every page in which they appear. For instance, Philo B. Smith served in some capacity or other for years so his index entry reads: p. 40-89. Arthur Agard’s entry is p. 56-113. These men don’t appear on every single page of the range, but close.

What I learned from this project is that the Jacksonville Community United Methodist Church has survived because of the community’s faith and perseverance. The church faced many tough financial times, but over and over they figured out how to survive, overcame the odds, and today is a thriving and growing community of faith.

Truly, “. . . it is claimed to be the handsomest church in Central New York.”   The Free Press and Sentinel, 10 December 1898