The VanVechten Farm

This article started from my curiosity, as I've passed by it, to find out the history of the old VanVechten farmlands in the Town of Herkimer. I was fortunate to interview the current residents and several neighbors in April and again in September 2000.

Betsy Voorhees
September 2000

The VanVechten family farm is located on Route 28 on the west side of West Canada Creek. One member of the VanVechten family told me they thought the name of the people owning the farm previous to their family was Countryman. An 1868 map of the area shows the Countryman Est. and other lands which appear to be the same VanVechten farm. Mr. Arthur VanVechten Sr. stated earlier this year that his parents George and Izetta (Mahardy) VanVechten were married in Norway on February 25, 1901 by Rev. G. W. Silas at the home of Mrs. Gladding Waterman. VanVechten family members state that George and Izetta VanVechten operated their farm on the Middleville Road (Route 28) in the town of Herkimer since about 1914. They also operated a creamery on the dairy farm. The farming operations were continued by son Arthur VanVechten, Sr. for many years until his retirement in the 1990's. Arthur VanVechten was born on this farm and passed away later in the year 2000. His wife passed away in 1999.

The VanVechten family were good farmers and took excellent care of their farm property as can be seen in the picture above displaying the original barns and house. The picture was taken in April 2000, which is several years after the VanVechtens retired from farming. In order to take the front view of the house and farm buildings together, it was necessary to go up on a hill across the highway, at which time this editor learned there is quite an abundance of spring water on the property.

Another family member relayed how years ago a separate house was located across the highway. Later this home was moved across the highway and attached to the front of the VanVechten home. In June 1980 this same section of the home was moved down the road about a half mile for a family member as their residence. Some surrounding neighbors recall the geese running up the driveway to greet the school bus when the children were dropped off. One old-timer recalled a Mr. VanVechten who was a teacher at the one room Myers School House on Osborne Hill Road.

I was also told by the family that Arthur VanVechten, Sr. purchased additional property down the road about twenty five years ago and discovered tombstones abandoned in a barn. Mr. VanVechten furnished the inscriptions to, and they can be found at, the Herkimer County Historical Society.

The current owners are Kenneth and Rhonda Hamilton and their two young sons.

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Created 10/2/00
Copyright © 2000 Betsy Voorhees
Picture Copyright © 2000 Betsy Voorhees
All Rights Reserved.