After four generations the Thayer farm on Kennedy Road, Frewsburg, still is producing milk and other products for Chautauqua County. Once covering about 1,000 acres on land purchased from the Holland Land Company, the farm now consists of about 160 acres under management of Frank Thayer for his mother, Mrs. Minnie J. Thayer.
The region was little more than a wilderness early in the 19th Century when Isaac Eames came from New England to what was then Carroll to make a new home for his family. The frontier was nothing new to the family since Isaac Eames, his mother, and others of his family had been carried of by Indians during a raid on their farm near Ware, Mass. Isaac, however, escaped and later married Betsy Woodward, Orange Mass.
Two homes, one a cabin, were built on the Eames land before the present homestead was built in 1840. Here most of the Thayers children of succeeding generations were born.
Mr. Thayer still has in his possession some of the implements used by his grand father but his farming methods are as modern as any other farmer’s in the county. He uses a tractor – he calls it his “iron horse” – but he is about the only farmer in the section who still has a team of horses. He admits he may be influenced somewhat by sentiment but he emphatically feels the horse still has a place on the farm.
He is proud, too, of the dairy herd which normally runs about 40 head of cattle but today he has reduced it to some 18 registered Holstein milkers as well as some calves and heifers. He also has a bull but generally prefers to depend on artificial insemination for breeding.
The farm also includes a sugar bush where in the past he has hung about 450 buckets but Mr. Thayer says he will not work it this year.
Thayer farm may be more than a century old but modern farming methods keep it young and productive.