Clough Family Picnic on the Farm
by Embrace Country Life on 05/23/15
Cliff's mother, Laura Mae Clough was born and grew up on a dairy farm in Montrose, PA. Every year, John Clough (Laura Mae's youngest brother) has a picnic on Memorial Day weekend. John never left the farm. His wife, RoseAnn joined him on the farm 25 years ago. John's brother Howard lives on the adjacent property. John, Donald (now deceased), and Howard continued tending the farm after their parents' deaths. It has been known as The Clough Brothers Dairy Farm for years. Although it was a dairy farm originally, now John and Howard raise Angus beef cows for beef and Holstein heifers that they sell before they freshen. They also have chickens and sell their eggs.
Every time we go to the picnic, we learn a little bit more about the history of the farm and the Clough family. Today was no exception. John took us on the usual tour of the barns and pasture but then showed us the work he had done on the granary. I learned today that a granary is a storehouse for threshed grain or animal feed. The Cloughs used their granary to dry out their corn.
The granary's foundation was giving way since it was one of the original buildings on the farm. John had the building jacked up and repaired the foundation to preserve it for another 100+ years. While working inside the granary which had become a storage area over the years, he found many treasures.
One of the treasures he shared with us was a bucket full of maple tree taps. Cliff's great grandfather carved each tap out of chestnut wood. I can only imagine how long it took him to make a bucket full of them!
Another treasure discovered was an old milk can with the name "E.E. Roberts" on the side and Trenton, NJ on the top. Back then, milk was transported from the Montrose area to NYC and NJ via the train system. The Roberts name was on the milk can so it would be returned to them after the milk was delivered.
This milk can was made before 1925 and was left behind by the Roberts family when Tom Clough purchased the farm. When Cliff inquired to his Uncle John why the Roberts got out of farming, John told us the story. Back in the early 1900's farmers transported their milk using horses. One winter, Farmer Roberts took his milk to the creamery on a sleigh being pulled by his team of horses On his return trip, he had an accident with the sleigh and horses. He was turning a corner and fell off the sleigh and slipped down a 40 ft. ravine. Mr. Roberts landed in an icy stream where his legs got caught in the ice. Miraculously, the team of horses made it back to the farm. When they arrived without Mr. Roberts, the family went out to look for him. Unfortunately, it took over two hours to find him and by that time, it was too late to save his legs. He had to have both amputated due to frostbite. Needless to say, he could no longer farm the land and his children were too young to take it over. This is how Tom Clough was able to purchase the farm in 1925 and it has remained in the Clough family ever since.
It was such a different life back in those days...the days before cars and cell phones. I love listening to all the stories that farmers are so willing to tell. It is these stories and Cliff's experiences growing up with both sets of grandparents on dairy farms that make us want to support our local farmers. Please check out our directory of local farms on our homepage and help keep local farming traditions alive!