Whom Did We Interview?
The following people were oral history interviewees in 2011. We thank each of them for their time and assistance in helping the national park share the complex history of farming in the
Richard Bigelow shared stories about his father's and grandfather's farms, on what is now the former Coliseum property. He also provided memories of growing up in the valley, his father's Chevrolet dealership in
Carl Boodey grew up in the valley and worked on the Stanford, Conger, and Bender farms during the 1940s and 50s. He shared memories of farm work and how the valley has changed over time.
Hazel Broughton talked about growing up in Everett during the 1930s and 40s. She described attending school, church, and local dances.
David Darst and his daughter Lee Darst rented property on the Bender Farm for about 30 years, starting in the 1950s. David and Lee shared memories of working for Earva and Kathryn Bender, and selling produce from the Bender's farm stand. The Bender Farm is located on
Josephine Davis recounted her life growing up in the historic Szcudlo House on
Laura DeYoung is a Countryside Initiative farmer, operating The Spicy Lamb Farm in
George Dittoe provided information about his father Howard Dittoe and described several farms in
Daniel Emmett shared stories about running a dairy farm in
Rena Fiedler shared memories of growing up on her grandparents' farm, the Stanford House, as well as community life in
George Fisher, Jr. grew up in
Earle Foote discussed operations on his family's farm in Valley View, which has been in the Foote family since the 1890s.
Henry Fortlage shared information about his grandparents' large dairy farm in
Daniel Greenfield manages Greenfield Berry Farm as a Countryside Initiative farmer. He shared knowledge and stories about how he runs a successful pick-you-own operation.
Robert Grether recollected working for over 30 years on the Bender Farm on
Alan Halko, in 2001, became the first farmer awarded a farm in the Countryside Initiative program. Halko shared stories about starting and running his farm, the Spring Hill Farm and Market, on
Carol Haramis and her husband own and operate Heritage Farms in
Wade Johnson talked about running Carriage Trade Farm on
Martin Johnston manages his farm on
Darwin Kelsey, executive director of Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy, talked about the history and mission of his organization.
Beth Knorr, market manager for Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy, shared details about the Countryside Farmers' Markets and CVCC's goals for sustainable farming in
Irene Kusnyer is the oldest living member of the Szalay family, and the aunt of the current owners of Szalay's Sweet Corn Farm. Irene shared memories about growing up in
Myron Marfut and his sister Dorothy Vani grew up on
Willis Meyers and his son Ronnie Meyers own a Belgian horse farm near
Marjorie Osborne Morgan is a descendant of the Swann family, who were early
Patricia Morse shared many stories about her childhood growing up on
AJ and Pamela Neitenbach shared stories about running the Nietenbach Farm in
Ernest Ogrinc discussed his hay farming operation in Valley View and how he works with neighboring farmers.
Gerald and Marilyn Polcen sell sweet corn on
Warren Roller's family once owned 110 acres that are now part of the former Coliseum property.
Daniel Schneider grew up on the Schneider Farm, now the Coonrad Ranger Station, on
Terry Smith talked about beginning and operating Goatfeathers Point Farm in
Elizabeth Thalman and her husband worked on a property that was later purchased by Richfield Coliseum developers.
Jan Thomas shared memories of growing up on the Carter Farm in
Don Torma talked about owning and operating Country Maid Ice Cream and Orchard in
Helyn Toth shared memories the Point Farm (now Goatfeathers Point Farm), started by her great-grandparents, and the nearby Fielder Farm (now
Philip Urbank shared stories about growing up on
Kathleen Varga operates Crooked River Herb Farm in
Heather and Eric Walters talked about starting and managing their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program on
Ott Wilson's family leased land to work on Hale Farm for C.O. Hale and, later, Clara Bell Ritchie. Ott shared memories of growing up in the valley, working on the Hale Farm, and community life in
Thomas Wilson, Jr.'s family owns and operates Wilson Feed Mill on
David Wingenfeld and his son Noah Wingenfeld talked about growing and selling a wide range of fruits and vegetables. They run Canal Corners Farm and Market in Valley View, part of the Countryside Initiative.