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Edwards Farm in Family Over 150 Years

Footnotes to Long Island History

Edwards Farm in Family Over 150 Years

by

Thomas R. Bayles


Edwards Farm in Family Over 150 Years 

The only farm left in the mid island area that still keeps horses for farm work is that of Edwin Edwards of Middle Island, located north of Middle Island about a mile on Church Lane to the settlement in early years called Swezeytown but there are no families left there by the name of Swezey now.

            The Edwards farm has been in the family for over 150 years, with several generations of Edwards living on and working the farm.  Edwin Edwards’ father, George N. Edwards, was born on the farm and worked it all his life until his death a few years ago at over 80 years of age.

The farm now is operated mainly as a dairy farm with crops of hay and corn grown for feed for the cows on the 50-acre farm.  In the years past it was a general farm and fine crops of sweet corn, strawberries, and other vegetables were grown here.  Mr. Edwards is the last farmer in this section to keep a team of horses and use them for cultivating and other farm work, although he had modern equipment also of tractors and other farm machines.  In the years past some of the finest strawberries grown in this part of the Island were raised on this farm and buyers of produce came here from the surrounding villages to purchase them and the other fine vegetables grown here.

A part of the farm known as “Chestnut Pound” is located a half mile away from the main farm and has a clay sub soil that holds the moisture so the ground never dries out and no irrigation is needed.  Chestnut Pound got its name from the forest of chestnut trees that grew in the woods in that area years ago before the blight killed all the chestnut trees on Long Island.  The tall chestnut trees here were in great demand for telephone poles and railroad ties and provided an important work for the farmers during the winter months and brought in considerable income at a time when money was scarce on the farm.   

Mr. Edwards is a great lover of animals so continues to keep a team of well cared for horses in addition to pigs, chickens, and dairy cows.

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