The Lincoln Fisher farm at Open Meadows, increasingly successful throughout its 116-year history in the Fisher family, has expanded to more than three times its original acreage.
The 106-acre farm, site of the present homestead, was first purchased for $139.79 from the Holland Land Company on Dec. 11, 1835, by Spencer Fisher, who had brought his family with him from Lafayette.
This was not his first purchase. In 1829, he had bought and adjacent farm, now farmed by Mr. Fisher and occupied by his mother, Mrs. Anna C. Fisher, from Estyes Matteson for $900. This plot was originally bought by Mr. Matteson from the Holland Land Company two years earlier for $138.12.
This first farm was later bought by George Cowles in 1855. It was bought and sold several times in several sections, and later came back into the Fisher family. Several well-known names appeared on the deeds: Gleason, Mason, Hiller, Marcy, Loomis, Warner, Craven, Seagren, and Jones.
Morris Fisher, probably a cousin of Charles C. Fisher, bought part of it in 1882 for $1,000, and sold it again 12 years later for $2,500.
The present Lincoln Fisher place, however, remained in the family. Lewis Fisher, a son of Spencer Fisher and his wife Vesta, who had come here with his family in 1826 at the age of 20, purchased part of the farm in 1843 for $600.
The remaining portion was sold in 1857 to a Nehemiah Park, probably a relative, ofr $1,000. This section was sold in 1865 to Kingsman Fisher, a son of Lewis and his wife Sally Eddy, Clarendon, for $1,610.
The family is not particularly proud of Kingsman. Legend has it that while he was pruning apple trees one day, he sawed off the limb he was sitting on and broke a leg in the fall. He moved west after selling his portion to his brother, Charles C. Fisher, in 1872 for $1,800.
Charles Fisher, grandfather of Lincoln Fisher, had previously purchased his father's portion of the farm in 1871 for $2,000. After this, the farm remained in one section.
"Charlie" was born in 1841, and married Mary M. King of Lafayette, his father's birthplace, in 1862. He did a great deal of development on the farm, building the present house in 1876 and the barn about the same time.
The cupola a the peak of the pyramid roof on the house, a landmark of the area, was built by "Charlie", it is said, because it was one place he could go where it was quiet.
He was a pioneer Holstien breeder, replacing the old Durham herd with Holsteins in 1895. He is also credited with planting an apple orchard on the farm.
Probably the first house on the farm was placed at Open Meadows four corners, but it is gone now. The next house, however, across the main road, is still standing but is vacant.
This is the house where Charles was born, and at one time it housed the "Mentor" post office. The house is at least 110 years old.
The other house, where Mrs. Fisher lives, was probably built about 100 years ago, but it is not know who built it. Also on this farm is the Open Meadows Methodist Church on land first leased fro Spencer Fisher more than 100 years ago.
Archibald A. Fisher, son of Charles, bought his father's farm for $4,000 in 1908, receiving the title in 1921. He also brought the original Spencer Fisher farm back into the family in 1921, by purchasing 163 acres for $5,000. Charles Fisher died in 1923.
Archibald was born in 1876, and married Anna Eke, of Stow, in 1899. He died in 1937. Mr. and Mrs. Fisher had seven children, of whom five, two boys and three girls, survived.
There were only 14 cows on the farm when Archibald took it over, and he raised the number to 30. Lincoln Fisher has increased the number to 55.
Lincoln Fisher purchased both of the farm from his father in 1938 for $5,500, and purchased an additional 109 acres in the spring of last year to raise the total acreage to 376.
He was married in 1924 to Elizabeth Armslow, of Stoneledge, and they have five boys and three girls: James Fisher, who now operates the former McCormack farm nearby; Lincoln A. and Archie Fisher, both in the U.S. Army; George, 23, who operates the farms with his father and lives in the house on the recently-purchased farm; Mrs. Florence Boozel, Findley Lake; and Jeannette, 16, and David, 9, at home, student at Chautauqua Central School. They have three grandchildren.
Lincoln Fisher lived at the present Anna Fisher farm until the death of his father in 1937, when he traded houses with his mother. The barn on the Anna Fisher place burned in 1936, and has not been replaced.
Mr. Fisher built a new milk house on the farm three years ago, and has made improvements which have kept the house up-to-date.