Cultural Events

Family Member To Share The History Of Ferris Acres Farm

Published: April 09, 2016 at 12:00 am


Ferris Acres Farms, the historic dairy farm located on Sugar Street, has become a familiar landmark in the town not only for its handsome herd of black and white Holstein cows but also for its roadside ice creamery that opened in 2004.

Shirley Ferris, wife of lifelong Newtown resident and dairy farmer Charles Ferris III, will relate family stories and show photographs to illustrate a DVD presentation on the farm when she serves as guest speaker for The Newtown Horticulture Club on Thursday, April 14. Mrs Ferris will present a program beginning at 7 pm in the lower room at Newtown Meeting House, 31 Main Street. The event is open to the public, free of charge.

"A lot of hard work, sacrifice, and business savvy went into keeping [the farm] going," Mrs Ferris said. She created the DVD with the help of retired history teacher Bill Marcy.

"There were photos scattered all over the dining room table. Bill helped me organize them and I couldn't have done it without him. I wanted my children and grandchildren to know how it all happened," Mrs Ferris said of the farm and its history.

She will tell of the many changes in farming practices over the past 152 years, since her husband's great grandfather William David Baldwin Ferris bought the property in 1864.

Reminiscences from the time of his parents and grandparents, Charles, Jr and Charles, Sr, reveal a mix of humorous anecdote with sincere admiration for the family's work ethic.   The Ferris women have also contributed to augment the family's income, Mrs Ferris is quick to point out.

"Charlie's grandmother Ophelia had seven children to care for but also found time to raise turkeys for market, she said. "His mother Eva grew vegetables for sale and kept a large flock of chickens to sell the fresh eggs."

In addition to dairy farming and operating The Creamery, the Ferris family has undertaken projects to conserve soil and protect the watershed. Many of these have received statewide recognition.

Newtown Meeting House is at 31 Main Street, at the flagpole.

Reservations are not necessary for the program, but additional information is available by calling Horticultue Club President Joan Cominski at 203-364-1139.


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