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Alfrecha Meadows Farm

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Catalog Information

Alfrecha Meadows Farm
Accession Number
Date Added
9/9/2020 12:09:17 PM
Farms and Barns
Gift of
Robert Underhill
Collection Title
Collection Description
Robert Underhill
Format Description
Search Engine Type
George T. Chaffee, a prominent businessman in Rutland bought what became the Alfrecha Meadows Farm in 1911 from the Webb family as noted in the May 30, 1911 Rutland Herald:

George T. Chaffee of Rutland has purchased the Carrie Moran place.  He will take the water from the spring to the Webb farm, which he has recently bought.

Carrie (Hayward) Moran (1858 - 1920) lived in North Clarendon, likely on an adjoining property to this farm.  The Webbs were George H. Webb (1861 - 1943) and Cassie Jane (Willis) Webb (1873 - 1949). 

The Chaffee family had a farm on Stratton Rd in Rutland and were not new to farming when they bought the Webb farm in North Clarendon.  George Chaffee being a wealthy businessmen living in Rutland fell into the "gentlemen farmer" class with hired men doing the day to day work.  There were numerous Rutland Herald articles noting the comings and going and life events for people working on or living on the farm.  The Chaffees did not live on the farm. 

George Chaffee and the Alfrecha Meadows Farm were noted numerous times in the Rutland Herald for purchases of purebred Jerseys, competitions they were entered in, and of the quality and volume of their output. 

In the Oct. 7, 1914 Rutland Herald it was noted that photos of the Alfrecha Farm and stock were part of an exhibit and performance in the Playhouse at the fairgrounds in Rutland.  That perhaps speaks to it having been a well kept farm.  The very next day there was an article indicating George Chaffee sold the farm to W.T. Brooks, formerly of England, and James H. Burckes of Waltham, MA.  Both purchasers had graduated from the Lyndon Agricultural School, Lyndonville, VT in 1913.  The article noted:

The farm consists of about 100 acres of land and with the most modern dairy equipment and apparatus, including large and well built stables and sheds, all built on the most modern and sanitary plans.  All of the buildings are lighted by electricity which is also used for power in operating the dairy equipment. 

The sale also includes 55 head of cattle, among which are a herd of pure bred Jersey cattle, considered by many to be the finest in the state.  The average test of milk produced shows over six and a half per cent of butter fat

It isn't clear what went wrong but less than a year later George Chaffee owned the farm again as noted in a Sept., 10, 1915 Rutland Herald article.  The Nov. 1 edition noted the purchase of a Ford truck from Earl C. Noyes for use on the milk delivery route. 

In addition to cows, the farm had pigs as noted in the Oct. 19, 1918 Rutland Herald:

An unusual pig story comes from Alfrecha Meadows, a well known farm south of Rutland owned by George T. Chaffee.  Five sow pigs were bought.  They had 49 young pigs in November 1917, 41 in May, 1918, and have just had 50 more this month, making 140 pigs within one year.  The pigs from the five sows sold for more than $800

The farm had an orchard too as noted in the April 16, 1920 Rutland Herald:

County Agent Morton F. Downing will go to Clarendon this morning where he will hold an orchard demonstration at 11 o'clock at Alfrecha Meadows.  At 2 o'clock this afternoon he will hold another one at Thomas Pierce's place in North Clarendon.  Prof. M. B. Cummings from the State college will assist at these demonstrations. 

A devastating fire struck the farm Sept. 1, 1921.  The Chaffees did not rebuild but rather sold off what survived and then sold the property itself.  See the Alfrecha Farm Fire entry in the Events collection for more information about the fire. 

See the Ridlon Farm entry in this collection for more information about the farm and the Cowslip's Breadwinner Boy entry in this collection for a genealogy chart and information on a bull the farm had in the nineteen teens. See also the Arnold House entry in the Homes collection for some of the earlier history of this site. 

Note that in the cover photo, the milkhouse to the right of the barn still exists.  It is part of a greatly expanded residence now.  The only visual reminder is the stone footing of that part of the home.