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Horn Farm Center–Good Example of History and Future of York County Agriculture

Aerial view of Horn Farm, circa late 1950s (Leonard Leiphart)

Thanks to June Evans for sharing the history of the Horn Farm Center for Educational Agriculture with me, as well as these old photographs of the site. See the captions for more identification and attribution.

A portion of the eastern part of the present farm goes back to Christian Crowl in 1736 and part the western section to Joseph Sultzbach, 1747, so settlers wanted this valley land even before York County was established in 1749. Other names associated with the tracts over its history include Strickler, Ruby, Rudy, Kline and Loucks.

The farm was deeded to York County in 1981 by the family of David E. Horn, in his memory. The Horns had owned the land and kept it a working farm from the time they acquired it in 1946.

Several centuries of farming will be interpreted at the center, starting with the Native Americans in the 17th century. A European settler’s log house with kitchen garden and early crops will showcase the 18th century.

The present house and auxiliary buildings, with summer kitchen and working squirrel tail oven and garden already showcase 19th century progress. A planned orchard will feature the York Imperial apple, commercially developed by Jonathan Jessop, but allegedly first discovered on a Kline property near Hallam.

Part of the farm is now utilized as an incubator farm, for those starting out in agriculture. Some of the produce grown there will be on sale Wednesdays and Saturdays at the farm stand on the property, beginning May 19.

One of the most popular programs, and right on track with the current trend, is community gardening. There are 102 garden plots available, and all are taken for 2012. If you are at all interested in growing your own fresh vegetables, the farm manager is taking names for a waiting list for next year.

Having been born on a York County farm and being an advocate of local history and of farmland preservation, I am pleased to see the progress being realized by the Horn Farm board, manager and dedicated volunteers.

See more photos below:

Combine and Farmall tractor at the Horn Farm, undated (Leonard Leiphart)

Paul McCleary (Hallam Mayor, who lived at the worked and lived at the Horn Farm when he was younger) with Larry Gordon on his shoulders, Horn Farm in background, 1958, prior to Rte 30. (Paul McCleary)

Horn Farm, post 1972 (Marie Horn Altland)