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Farm History

The farm was first established in 1760 when the land was split off the 10,000 acre Mount Carmel tract.  In old documents, the homestead was known as "The Retreat".  The original part of the house features a large cooking hearth and narrow, winding staircase to a room upstairs.  With each addition, a room downstairs with a winding staircase to a room upstairs was added.  The large addition with the Victorian porch was added in  around 1840 to 1850 when a wealthy man was the owner.  The barn with the cupola was built around that time.  The original out-buildings have been painstakingly restored by the Petersons.

The main barn is of the 1850's English style with four bents and a large swing beam.  The large timbers were harvested from the farm.  The second floor was used for threshing grain, and the threshold is still evident in the south-facing door.  The distinctive cupola was probably added in the 1860's as farmers learned that ventilation could prevent the spontaneous combustion of stored hay.

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The Peterson Lane
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When it used to really snow....

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Esther Peterson with Ted Bauer & John Kuhl

Contour strip cropping was established in the 1930's shortly after the end of the peach heyday in the area.  Additional conservation measures have been installed since the Petersons have been here, such as diversions and waterways.  Esther and John A. Peterson, Sr. purchased the farm in 1955.  John, Jr. continued the local dairy tradition for eight years before converting to a hay and grain operation.  Christmas trees have been planted every year since 1985.  Sweet corn was added next.  A beef finishing operation was then established to make use of old pasture.  Finally, U-Pick strawberries started in 2004. 

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Conservation measures saving our soil throughout the 153 acre farm.

The matriarch, Esther Peterson, sold the development rights in 1992 to ensure that the farm remains in agriculture.  John, Jr. continues to farm the property with his partner and son, Matt.  The wives and kids are an integral part of the retail business.  4-H is big around here including the goat club and shooting sports.  All three generations enjoy target shooting.

Spring 2008
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Everyone helps plant berries

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Three generations of shooters

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JP making hay while the sun shines.

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Hope to see you all at the Peterson Farm!

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