Friday, July 29, 2005

The History of Cold Saturday Farm

This evening I met a woman named Alice. As it turns out, she has some personal history with Cold Saturday Farm, the property across the road. In 1932 her mother and father and their three children were living in Baltimore, where they had moved from New York City. Alice's mother always wanted to live on a farm, and on weekends she had her husband drive them into the country to look for farms. Apparently they drove down Rt. 91 through Finksburg, and she noticed a grove of evergreens off the road. She rightly guessed that there was a house back there. They drove in, found the house, and inquired whether it might be for sale.

They ended up buying the farm - all 330 acres - for $33,000. This was during the depression, in 1932. At the time, the farm was called Clover Hill Farm. The beautiful old stone house was built in 1765. There was also a smaller stone house, a barn, and several out buildings. Alice's mother went to Annapolis to research the property, and found that the original name had been Cold Saturday Farm, so named because when it was originally surveyed, it was noted that it had been a cold Saturday in January. She reverted the name of the farm back to Cold Saturday Farm, and so it has been ever since.

They raised cattle and had horses. In 1939, a terrible arson fire destroyed the barn and all twelve of their riding horses, draft work horses, and the children's ponies. The herdsman, who lived in the smaller stone house, saw that the barn was on fire and was able to open the gates and let out the cattle, but none of the horses were able to be rescued. Tragically, they all perished inside their stalls.

The farm remained in the family until 1976, when her mother sold all but 75 acres - saving 25 acres for each of her children. Sadly, the new owners neglected the property. It became very run down until it was sold again in 1985 to a Mr. Bean. Mr. Bean restored Cold Saturday Farm and still owns the property today. In order to afford the restorations, Mr. Bean sold off large portions of the farm to developers, including the land where our house sits today.

After she was married, Alice and her family moved several times while her husband served in the military, until finally settling near Washington, D.C. Alice had her own career as an anesthesiologist. She ended up in medicine after she took a required science course in biology and found that she loved it. Prior to settling on medicine she had started out in college with a major in English, then art history.

About 6 months ago, Alice moved back to Finksburg where she and her daughter now live on the remaining 75 acres of the original farm. As it turned out, her siblings settled in different areas, so Alice bought their 25-acre shares from them. I recently posted a blog describing the walk Jim and I took through that property, and posted some of the photos I took that day. I would like Alice to come over to see them. We'll have tea, I think. I'm sure she would enjoy seeing how lovely the property is today. I'm so delighted to live within walking distance of this beautiful place.

Lovely Stone House
Old Stone Farmhouse, built in 1765.

Old Stone House
Smaller stone house where the herdsman lived.

Horse looking out of the barn.

Looking for Company
One of the horses boarded at the farm.

Fencing overlooking stream and bridge.

Log Cabin on Pond
Log house used for bath house in summer, skating house in winter.

Log House
Another view of the log house. It was moved from another place and completely reassembled on site, board by board.

Old Barn
One of the old barns.

Farm Pond
Farm pond.

Pastoral Scene
Geese swimming on a stream. Beautiful bridge over the stream.


Blogger RP said...

Outstanding post and an excellent story! Hope you have fun with Alice at tea.

Beautiful pictures, too.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 12:47:00 PM  
Anonymous said...

I'm in the middle of writing a novel set on the Cold Saturday property and I was so pleased to find your history of the farm. Thank you.

Strangest thing, one of my characters burns down a barn as a teenager (murdering a prized giant palomino named "Moby Dick") and redeems himself later in the book by--among other acts-- helping a woman come to terms with her cancer. I was surprised to read that there was an actual barn fire in the 30s...I'm wondering if I am trance chaneling?

My initial attraction to the name was what led me to name my book "Cold Saturday." I've since found the history of a family in Tennessee that describes a record "cold Saturday" on January 31, 1835 when a thermometer measured minus 30 degrees. I wonder if the weather in Finksburg was as cold on that day and led to the name of the property...

I understand there's also a restaurant in Sykesville called Cold Saturday. Haven't been there yet, but am planning to go soon.

Anyway, it's great to find people who are enjoying the place and the history.

By the way, if I should need a cover photo for my book, are you interested? Your work is quite impressive.

Saturday, April 22, 2006 11:52:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

  • Who Links Here