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Archive for May, 2014

The log walls are revealed after the brick was removed.

The log walls are revealed after the brick was removed.

Recently, the former owner of the property, Glen Sarvis, shared with us some photos of renovations to the main house back in the 1980s.  Underneath the brick on the southwestern wall of the house, a two-story log structure was discovered.  This building appears to be very similar to the Frankenberger Tavern in downtown Mechanicsburg. Research at the Cumberland Valley Historical Society revealed that a two-story log house was on the property during the 1790 census, predating the purchase of the farm by Daniel Baker in the early 1800s.  More research is necessary to ascertain an approximate date for the initial settlement on the property, but it is very likely between 1775 and 1790.  Regardless, it is fascinating to imagine how the farm looked when George Washington was president!

According to the 1810 Census:

Name: Daniel Baker
Home in 1810 (City, County, State): Allen, Cumberland, Pennsylvania
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 3
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15: 1
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25: 1
Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over: 1
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 3
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 45 and over : 1
Number of Household Members Under 16: 8
Number of Household Members Over 25: 2
Number of Household Members: 11

 

According to the 1820 Census:

Name: John Baker
Home in 1820 (City, County, State): Allen, Cumberland, Pennsylvania
Enumeration Date: August 7, 1820
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 2
Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44: 1
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44: 1
Number of Persons – Engaged in Agriculture: 1
Free White Persons – Under 16: 4
Free White Persons – Over 25: 2
Total Free White Persons: 6
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 6

According to the 1850 Census:

Name Age
Christian Baker 35
John Baker 6
Susannah Baker 4
John S Baker 60
Susan Baker 58
Mary Baker 27

 

Close up of the log - mortar still evident

Close up of the log – mortar still evident

 

 

 

 

 

According to the 1870 Census:

Name Age
Christian Baker 54
John Baker 25
Susan Baker 23
Isaac Eichelberger 23
Leah Kline 23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The post office called at 6 am — didn’t even know they were up that early!   We were informed of the arrival of our box of chicks, and to pick them up ‘around back.’ After retrieving the day-old baby birds, we went to work setting up their initial brooder:

Chicks under the heat lamp.

Chicks under the heat lamp.

(1) five foot baby pool — bright pink!

(1) bag of red cedar bedding

(1) bag of starter/grower feed

(1) water dispenser

(1) feeder

(1) heat lamp

In a matter of minutes the little ladies were dashing about and exploring their new confines.  It was only a matter of minutes until they discovered the food and water.

We had ordered 25 birds from the Hoffman Hatchery, but only received 20:

Delaware on the left, Americauna behind, Naked Neck on the right

Delaware on the left, Americauna behind, Naked Neck Turken on the right

(5) Black Australorps

(5) Naked Neck Turkens

(5) Delawares

(5) Ameraucanas

courtesy of Hoffman Hatchery

courtesy of Hoffman Hatchery

  • BLACK AUSTRALORPS — Black with greenish sheen. Excellent layer of brown eggs. Very good layer even in hot weather. Dual-purpose bird.
  • AMERICANAS — Multi-colored birds that are excellent layers of blue and green eggs. They have beards, muffs, and tailheads but not tufts.
  • DELAWARES — Docile white bird which is more decorative than solid white birds. Good layers of brown eggs.
  • NAKED NECK TURKENS — Very good layer of multi-colored eggs. No feathers on the neck and only half as many on the body.

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Finally, the long cold nasty winter is over for good.  It held on well into April, with the temperature dropping into the 30s on some nights, while fighting to get into the 50s during the day.  Everything is now blooming, and the old Christian Baker Farm looks lovely.

It has been awhile since I have recounted the additions and substractions among the animals.  2012 was a difficult year, as we were getting started and learning “the ropes.” If you’ve been following the blog, you know we went from 25 leghorn chickens to zero in a relatively short time.  Most of this was by design — the rest by varmints!

Hermione and Ginnie

Hermione and Ginnie

This May 14th, we will receive, from the Hoffman Hatchery in Gratz, PA, a shipment of 25 fancy chickens.  I don’t remember all of the varieties — but there are 5 different.  When they arrive, we will track their growth with you on this blog.

Regarding the sheep, we lost the big old ram “Rambo,” who succumbed to pneumonia after some unseasonably warm weather last February (2013).  He did manage to sire a number of lambs.  Our flock grew to 7, thanks to his exploits.  It would have been 9, but two of the lambs were to weak to survive.  They were all born last spring (2013).

Not long after the birth of the lambs, we adopted a young black ram lamb named Coal.  He is thriving, taking the place of Rambo, as he grows to full size.  Thus, the flock is now at 8 — all healthy and recently sheared.

As you know, we said goodbye to the old goats, Nellie and Twinx, who were in their late teens and suffering terribly from arthritis.  A few weeks ago, we added a doe goat, Myrtle, and her two baby daughters, Hermione and Ginnie.

Meanwhile, Gertie, our dog, is now full grown and a handful!

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