Historic Resource Study
Slateford Farm
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Slateford Farm was owned, inhabited, farmed and quarried for more than 200 years. Provincial proprietors, absentee landlords and yeoman farmers all contributed to the farm's development and history. For some, the property was nothing more than a financial investment while for others a home. The farm's acreage was owned by both famous Pennsylvanians and by farmers who were known only to their families, friends and neighbors. Slateford Farm's history, made by the people associated with it, is unique, yet representative of American agriculture and industry.

The Sons of William and Hannah Penn

Thomas and Richard Penn were the sons of the founder of the province of Pennsylvania. After William Penn's death they inherited his lands in the New World and proceeded to change the face of the colony. After Thomas Penn authorized the Walking Purchase of 1737 the Delaware Indians were forced out of the Delaware Water Gap area and the region was thrown open for settlement. The Penns proceeded to establish Northampton County for political reasons and to sell land to favored individuals. One of these parcels of land later became the Slateford Farm.

Of the three Penn sons, only Thomas spent any amount of time in the province. He came to Pennsylvania in 1732 and managed proprietary affairs for nine years. Thomas returned to England in 1741 expecting to return to the New World but he was unable to do so. He conducted all subsequent dealings with Pennsylvania officials through correspondence. John Penn arrived with his brother in the province in 1732 but had to return to England after only a few months. It was during this period that the two brothers visited the future site of Easton. After John's death in 1746 Thomas became the principal proprietor and his attitude toward the province was that of an estate manager who wished large financial returns. He did not possess his father's paternalistic feelings or philanthropic spirit towards Pennsylvania. When Thomas and Richard left the Society of Friends to join the Church of England they alienated many provincial leaders. Richard himself lived in England and never came to Pennsylvania. [1]

On June 1, 1753, Thomas and Richard Penn, as "True and absolute Proprietaries and Governors in Chief of the Province of Pennsylvania" sold a "certain Tract of Land, situate on the North Branch of Delaware River in the County of Northampton" to Nicholas Scull, the province's surveyor general. (See appendix 1 for copy of the patent.) The description of the property was:

Beginning at as marked Chestnut Oak standing on the Bank of the said River thence by vacant Land the four Courses [?] Distances next following viz south fifty five Degrees West three hundred and fifty two Perches to a marked Chestnut Oak South seventy Degrees West seventy eight Perches to a Stone South East one hundred and ninety seven Perches to a Stone and North sixty degrees East three hundred and ten Perches to a marked Chestnut tree standing on the Bank of the said River thence up the same one the several Courses thereof two hundred and twenty seven perches to the place of Beginning Containing three hundred and ninety one Acres and one Quarter of an Acre and the usual Allowance of six Acres per Cont [?] for Roads and Highways. [2]

The Province Surveyor General

Nicholas Scull paid sixty pounds, twelve shillings and ten pence "lawful Money of Pennsylvania" for the property. He also had to pay yearly on March 1 to the Penns, their heirs or successors in Easton, one half penny sterling for every acre or "Value thereof in Coin Current according as the Exchange shall then be between our said Province and the City of London. . . ." In cases of nonpayment within 90 days after the due date of March 1, the Penns could "re-enter" the granted land to hold it until the "Quit-Rent and all Arrears" were paid. The property was surveyed on June 7 and Scull paid the costs involved. [3] (See illustration 12 for 1753 survey and historical base map 1 for 1753 boundary.)

Scull was a notable person in the province. He was born near Philadelphia in 1687 and served as an apprentice to Thomas Holmes, who was the colony's first surveyor general. Benjamin Franklin described Scull as one "who loves books and sometimes makes verse." Scull's work as surveyor carried him into the Pennsylvania wilderness where he utilized his knowledge of Indian dialects. In 1730 he visited the Delaware Water Gap area to adjust land titles in the Minisink Valley. Scull was also present at the 1737 Walking Purchase and participated by surveying the line. In 1741 Scull was sent to "look after the state of things in the Smithfields." The principal settlers had petitioned the governor to send them help against the Delaware Indian retaliations after the Walking Purchase. Scull was sent to talk with the Indians. He warned them that if they did not submit, their enemies, the Six Nations, would be called in to exterminate them. The Indians were "alarmed, and promised to do better." On June 14, 1748, Scull was appointed surveyor general of the province, an office he held until close to his death in 1761. It was in his capacity as surveyor general that Scull laid out the town of Easton. [4]

A Quaker Merchant

Nicholas Scull held onto the property for only 13 months and it is doubtful that he made any kind of improvement on it. He sold it on July 4, 1754, to Amos Strettell of Philadelphia, who was a wealthy landowner and merchant. Strettell was born in England, was a Quaker, and immigrated to Philadelphia with his parents, Robert and Philotesia, and his two sisters Ann and Frances. Another brother, John, stayed in England and became a merchant in London. Notice was given to the Quaker community November 11, 1736, that the Strettell family would be emigrating, and they did so in 1736 or 1737. [5]

Robert Strettell set himself up in trade, became involved in the Society of Friends community and was a mayor of the city of Philadelphia. Strettell also owned a country house in Germantown where he and his family spent their summers. A contemporary observer described Robert Strettell's son Amos: ". . . he [Robert] had only one son who Liv'd with him, about 19, and was in Partnership with him in Trade, he appear'd to be a very Promising Sober and well Inclin'd young Man, and much Attach'd to Business, even Uncommon for his years." [6]

Amos Strettell grew up to be an influential merchant in Philadelphia. In 1752 he was involved in the establishment of the first fire insurance company in America, being chosen a director along with Benjamin Franklin. During October 1764, when conflict arose in Pennsylvania between those in favor of retaining the proprietary form of government and those favoring a change to a royal province, Benjamin Franklin was defeated in Philadelphia County for another term in the House of Assembly after 14 years' service. However, he was subsequently appointed an agent of the province to assist in transacting provincial affairs in London. Amos Strettell was opposed to Franklin's appointment and later, as an assemblyman, he voted on the side of the Quaker churchmen opposed to the government. In 1769 during the heady days of defiance against the Townsend Acts, Amos Strettell became involved with the first violation of the Philadelphia merchants' non-importation agreements. Charming Polly arrived in port with a cargo of malt on July 17. Amos Strettell was the cargo's consignee but he denied any knowledge of the malt. After an investigation the Committee of Merchants decided that "the Cargoe was principally consigned to the Captain who had orders to value himself on Mr. Strettell." Philadelphia brewers vowed not to purchase any of the malt and stated that whoever did so "had not a just sense of liberty, and is an enemy of his country." Charming Polly sailed from Philadelphia without any sale of malt. Strettell was thus involved, both in private practice and public service, with the foremost issues of his day. [7]

At Strettell's death at his home in Front Street, Philadelphia, on January 13, 1780, at the age of 60, an obituary notice described him as an "eminent and intelligent" merchant. He had "obtained the approbation of his fellow citizens" and "in the more silent path of private life, [he was] deservedly beloved by his family and the poor, for affection and beneficience." He was buried in the family vault at Christ Church Burial Ground in Philadelphia. [8]

Two Sisters and Two Brothers

Amos Strettell left his property in Northampton County at his death in 1780 to his two daughters Ann and Frances, who were born to him and his wife Hannah Hasell on January 12, 1755, and October 14, 1758. Strettell's will provided for his daughters' shares of his estate to be paid to them at age 21 unless they married before that age. In that case the daughters were to be paid one-half on the day of their marriages and the other half when they reached 21 years. Ann and Frances inherited not only the Northampton County property from their father but several tracts of land in west "new Jersey" and a furnace and forge in Cumberland County as well. [9]

Ann Strettell married Cadwalader Morris on April 8, 1779, at her parents' home "in Front Street." The marriage was entered in the Christ Church records. Ann was described as being a "very lovely and accomplished woman, having been sent to England, where she received every advantage. She was said to be the best educated woman in Philadelphia." She died January 15, 1792. [10]

Cadwalader Morris was born February 19, 1741, the son of Samuel Morris and Hannah Cadwalader. He was in partnership with his brother Samuel C. Morris in 1767 running a "variety of goods" business on "Chestnut Street from Front Street, Westerly, 5 doors from the corner of 2nd Street" in Philadelphia. Cadwalader superintended the firm's business affairs in the West Indies and during one voyage when he was around 23 years old he was shipwrecked for a week on an island 10 leagues (approximately 30 miles) from Cuba. He lived for a time in Kingston, Jamaica and other West Indies cities. During the Revolutionary War Cadwalader served in the Philadelphia Troop of Light Horse, which was commanded by his cousin Captain Samuel Morris. [11]

Cadwalader helped establish the Bank of Pennsylvania in 1780 and the Bank of North America in 1781. He served as a delegate to Congress in 1783 and during the French Revolution in 1793 he helped organize, along with David Rittenhouse, Benjamin Rush, and Caesar Rodney, the Philadelphia Democratic Society in sympathy with France. They resolved to call each other "Citizen" and to date their letters from July 4, 1776, in a zeal to follow the French example. [12]

Morris operated the Hay Creek Forge near Birdsborough, Robeson Township, Berks County, along with several other Philadelphia businessmen from 1788 to 1796. He also owned one-third interest of the Hopewell Furnace on French Creek, Union Township in Berks County from 1788 until 1790 when he sold his share of the 5,163 acres of furnace lands to his brother Benjamin Morris. Cadwalader Morris died January 25, 1795, in Philadelphia. [13] No mention was made in the brief Cadwalader Morris and Ann Strettell biographies of their ownership of property in Northampton County.

Frances Strettell married Benjamin Morris on June 19, 1788, at Cadwalader and Ann Morris' home on Walnut Street in Philadelphia. Frances' husband served in the Pennsylvania legislature and in 1789 the couple lived on Second Street, opposite the "new Market" in Philadelphia. Benjamin was an owner of the Hopewell Furnace after his brother Cadwalader sold one-third interest to him in 1790. In the next year the other owner of the furnace, James Old, sold his two-thirds interest to Benjamin. In 1793 Benjamin Morris resold the entire property to James Old, who was forced seven years later to yield his title through legal procedure to his creditor, Benjamin Morris, at a sheriff's sale. In August 1800 Morris sold the property for the final time. [14]

By 1794 the Morrises had settled in Reading where Benjamin served as an associate judge of Berks County. John Hugg Clunn, a member of the Jersey troops which marched across Pennsylvania in 1794 to put down the Pennsylvania Whiskey Insurrection, wrote a contemporary description of the Morrises in Reading:

Had an invitation to sup with Colo Morris. He is a very polite man and has a Handsome accomplished little wife. Was treated with great civility & requested me to call often on him during our stay here, and not to forget on my return. I am sure I shall not, for where Civility comes from the very heart it cannot pass unnoticed. [15]

Benjamin and Frances Morris finally settled near Phoenixville, Chester County, on property which Frances and her sister Ann had inherited from their mother, Hannah Hasell. Benjamin built a residence there known as the "Knoll." Frances died about 1835 and Benjamin died at the Knoll in 1841. [16] Again, no mention was made in the brief biographies of the Morrises ownership of property in Northampton County. No information is thus known about any farming or construction the Morris brothers and the Strettell sisters might have had done on the Upper Mount Bethel Township parcel of land.

"Yeoman" Samuel Pipher

On April 17, 1790, less than two years before Ann's death and five years before Cadwalader's death, the four Morrises sold "that parcel and tract of Land Situate lying in and being in Mount Bethell Township County of Northampton" to Samuel Piper "yeoman" of Northampton County for "seven hundred and Eighty two pounds ten Shillings lawful money of Pennsylvania." The tract contained 391-1/4 acres. [17]

When Samuel Piper bought the property he paid half the purchase price and took out a mortgage for £332.10. He was bound to Benjamin Morris for the sum of £665 for the payment of £332.10. The mortgage gave a description of the property, which was the same as in the 1753 deed. Samuel Piper was buying the land "Together with all and singular the Houses, Outhouses, Buildings, Barns, Stables, gardens, Orchards, Improvements, Ways, Woods, Waters, Water Courses, Rights, Liberties, privileges, Herditaments and appurtenances whatsoever thereunto belonging, or in anywise appertaining. [18] Even though the property was described as Benjamin Morris' "plantation & Tract of Land," there is still no proof as to what sort of improvements, if any, existed on the land. These stock legal phrases were used to cover all particulars in a land transaction. No evidence either at the site or in historical records has yet been found concerning what structures the Morrises might have placed on the property.

Samuel Pipher's [19] origins are unknown. Further genealogical research may discover where he was born, when or if he immigrated to Pennsylvania, and perhaps even the ethnic origin and spelling of the Pipher name. A Pipher descendent asserts that the family name is Holland Dutch, and a contemporary described Samuel Pipher as a "Dutchman." Evidence does exist, however, that Pipher may be a German name. Derivative spellings such as Peifer, Piper and Peiffer can be found in German immigrant lists of those people entering the port of Philadelphia from 1727 to 1775. Many of these Palatines sailed from Rotterdam, The Netherlands, on their journey to the New World. Additionally, Northampton County was very heavily settled with Germans; Dutch influence was scarce. No conclusive evidence has as yet determined Samuel Pipher's heritage or even the spelling of his name. He evidently could not write, for his mortgage agreement was marked with his X. In this text, then, German influences in agriculture and architecture as they relate to Slateford Farm and Northampton County history will be cited because they were so predominant. [20]

Samuel Pipher was an experienced farmer when he bought the 391-1/4 acres by the Delaware River. It is not known where he lived before he brought his family to the Delaware Water Gap area but bits of evidence suggest he lived somewhere in Upper Mount Bethel Township as early as the 1760s. Remaining colonial records reveal the name of Samuel Pipher (with spelling variations) but it cannot be ascertained in some cases whether this is the same man who owned the farm. No Samuel Pipher (or derivation thereof) was found in Northampton County tax records for the year 1761, but one Samueal Peiffer, farmer from Bethlehem, paid a proprietary tax of £2.6.8 in 1772. A Samuel Pfaeffer was listed as a resident of Mount Bethel Township in 1773. The county tax record for Mount Bethel Township in 1775 listed a Samuel Piper as owning 50 acres of which 10 acres were cleared and five acres sowed, one horse and one horned cow. A Samuel Pifer is listed in Mount Bethel Township tax records for 1779. The first United States Census in 1790 for Pennsylvania reveals a Samuel Pifer, with a household of three "free white males of 16 years and upward, including heads of families," three "free white males under 16 years," and five "free white females including heads of families." The census also said that Samuel Pifer's household contained no slaves. [21]

A Samuel Pfeiffer appears in Revolutionary War records as being in Captain Patrick Campbell's Sixth Company, Sixth Battalion of Northampton County Militia on May 14, 1778. Another Revolutionary War document possibly aids in pinpointing the future owner of Slateford Farm. During the war an act of the Pennsylvania General Assembly on June 13, 1777 decreed that all white male inhabitants over the age of 18 had to take an "Oath of Allegience" to the commonwealth. Penalties were severe for anyone who failed to comply with the act, including the loss of citizenship rights. If a man complied he received a certificate which he had to show on demand to prove his loyalty. Any man who left his city or county and failed to carry his certificate could be arrested as a spy. A Samuel Peyfer of Northampton County took the oath on May 11, 1778. Three other Peyfers also took the oath: Christian Peyfer on August 15, 1777, Jacob Peyfer on August 15, 1777, and Peter Peyfer on November 11, 1777. [22] While Samuel Pipher had three sons by the names of Christian, Jacob and Peter, they were not over the age of 16 in 1777. The similarity and yet simultaneously, the variation, of the names makes it difficult to determine whether the various Samuel Peyfer, Pfeiffer, Pifers cited in the records are the same man who owned Slateford Farm.

Church records do substantiate that Samuel Pfeiffer was in Northampton County in 1766 for he and his wife Christine baptized their first child Samuel (born March 5) on April 5 in the Reformed and Lutheran Congregations at the Dryland Church, Nazareth Township in Northampton County (now the Trinity, Lutheran and Dryland Reformed) in Hecktown, Pennsylvania (The child's sponsors were John Eiener and Maria Pfeiffer.) Samuel, who was born between 1736 and 1740, and Christine, born possibly in 1738, became the parents of ten children. Three more sons followed after Samuel: Jacob, born about 1769; Christian, born about 1772; and John, born December 25, 1784. The births of the rest of the children were listed in the church record of the Lutheran and Reformed Congregations in Upper Mount Bethel Township. The first services of these congregations were held in private houses in 1772 to 1773 where Williamsburg now stands. The two congregations then built a small log church at the same place about 1774. A stone structure was built in Centreville, Pennsylvania, where the congregation worshipped until 1831. The present building, which constitutes the Upper Mt. Bethel Church, was finished in 1832. It was with one or both of these congregations (since both groups used the same church record it is difficult to tell which congregation the Piphers belonged to—the children's baptisms were entered by both the Reformed and Lutheran ministers) that the Piphers shared the birth of their children. Communicant lists for the years 1774 to 1777 also list a Samuel Pfeiffer. [23]

The following list is the baptism record for the remaining Pipher children with spelling variations:

Samuel Pfiefer

Michael b. Sept. 30, 1775
bap. Oct. 22
[sponsors]Michael Hes
Samuel Pfiefer

Christineb. Aug. 26, 1778
bap. Sept. 27
[sponsors]Christian Bender
Samuel Pfiefer

Anna Elizabeth b. July 31, 1782
bap. Aug. 11
[sponsors]Elias Dieter
Elizabeth Gross
Samuel Pfiefer

Maria Catharine b. June 18, 1787
bap. July 29, 1787
[sponsors]Adam Many
Maria Catharine
Samuel Pfiefer

Frederick b. Aug. 20, 1789
bap. Sept. 20
[sponsors]Jacob Beck
Anna Maria
Samuel Pfiefer

Peter b. Nov. 20, 1791
bap. Feb. 19, 1792
[sponsors]Jacob Herman
Anna [24]

A tax assessment in 1782 for Northampton County, Mount Bethel Township, reveals that Samuel Pfeiffer was a farmer who paid tax on 52 acres of land valued at £52. He owned two horses valued at £12, three horned cattle valued at £9, and 12 sheep at £3. The entire valuation of Pfeiffer's possessions was £76 and he paid a tax of £2, 10 shillings. It is not known where Pfeiffer was living in the township. [25]

It is not known how many of the Pipher children moved with their parents to the Delaware Water Gap property. The oldest children were grown by 1790 when Samuel bought the tract and they were already establishing their own families. The eldest son Samuel moved to Wayne County (which in 1836 became Monroe County) sometime after 1800 as did his brothers Jacob and Michael. (See appendix 12 for tax lists.) Christian and Christine both moved at sometime to Cayuga County, New York. It is possible, therefore, that only the middle and youngest children lived on the farm for any amount of time. [26]

Even though it is not known how many, if any, structures were on the property when Samuel Pipher purchased it, what is known is that he built a tavern about one mile north of Slateford (not yet settled) and half a mile south of Cold Cave. The tavern was known as the "Gap Tavern" and was demolished sometime after 1812. A stone building was erected in its place, which, in 1877, was being occupied as a dwelling house. As Samuel began to develop the farm he also added acreage and helped a son buy property nearby. In 1793 he helped Jacob buy 80 acres, triangular in shape, immediately adjacent to his land on the north side and wedged between the Delaware River and the base of the Blue Mountain. Jacob later moved to Middle Smithfield Township in Wayne County and the land was transferred back to his father in 1812. The price for the parcel had been £45. This transaction had been performed by private deed and was recorded at the Easton Courthouse on January 15, 1833. This registration was made to clarify title for Samuel Pipher's heirs. A similar acquisition, this time of 31 acres and 150 perches, was made in 1797. Samuel Pipher never recorded this deed at the courthouse, but his heirs once again recorded it in 1833. The price was £100 in 1797. [27]

The Piphers may have traveled through the Delaware Water Gap on a road which originally was an Indian trail. It was used as early as 1730 when Nicholas Schull traveled through the gap, but it was not until 1800 that a wagon road was constructed through the subscriptions of people living above and below the mountain. [30] Not long after the Piphers bought Slateford Farm they would have had adequate access to neighbors and nearby towns.

In 1798 Samuel Pfeiffer, senior, paid a direct tax on a house which measured 30 feet by 22 feet. The two-story house was made of wood, and sat on a lot of 80 perches. The house was valued at $175. [31] The extant cabin at Slateford Farm measures 18'9" by 26'2". Despite the differences in measurements, it is possible that the cabin is the same dwelling referred to in the 1798 tax list. The cabin has been dated to c. 1800-1810, and was built by Samuel Pipher. It is not known where the family was living until this time; perhaps they were in the tavern near the river or in a homestead established on the property by Amos Strettell or the Morrises. All that is known is contained in Samuel Pipher's will, written on March 16, 1812. After Samuel's death in August his property was divided between three of his children with provisions made for the care of his widow Christina. [31] (See appendix 2 for copy of the will. See appendix 11 for the 1798 direct tax data.)

To his daughter Maria Catharine, or Mary, who was married to Peter Kocher, Samuel left:

. . . the new Stone house in the Water Gap the Tavern house Along the River Dullaware untill on the hill on the Level between the Tavern house and the old buildings Starts through the place and My daughter Mary is to have one other Tract of Land of Thirty Two Acres [?] near Abraham Labars and Joining Said Labars Land. [32]

Samuel left the western portion of his estate to his son Frederick:

. . . my Son Frederick Piffer is to have Such part of Real Estate [adjoining] Abraham Labar and to the Line between him and his Brother Peter Piffer True [through?] the hole place to the [?] Creek and he is also to pay for his place four hundred pounds and to the Remainder of My Children that is to Say Twenty five pounds yearly after my Decease. [33]

The central portion of the estate, where the Slateford Farm homestead now stands, was given to Samuel's son Peter.

. . . my Son Peter Piffer is to pay for his share of his Sum the old place with all the buildings between him and his Brother Frederick Piffer and Peter Kocher one Thousand Pounds . . . and my Son Peter Piffer is to have Twenty five acres of Timber Land ten acres of the Land Called Robert Hall's [?] Land and ten acres of the old Tract and also recommend if my Son Frederick Pipper should Move of from my place wild to him by me he is not to Sull his place the hole of the place is to Come to Peter Piffer. . . . [34]

Samuel Pipher made his wife Christina, son Peter and son-in-law Peter Kocher the executors of his estate. He gave Christina "the house on the old place is Called the new house during her life," and Peter was to provide her with firewood and with a good cow.

Peter was also to provide his mother with 100 pounds of pork, 10 bushels of wheat, 10 bushels of "rey" (rye) and 10 bushels of buckwheat yearly. All of these provisions were to be delivered to Christina at her house mentioned in the will. Christina was also to take her bedstead, a bureau and chest, and all her clothes and utensils she may need. Additionally, all the money and cash in Samuel's house after his death was to go to Christine. [35] (See appendixes 3 and 4 for Samuel Peiffer's inventory and estate settlement.)

Pipher Land Divided—Mary, Frederick, Peter

The general intent of Samuel Pipher's will was to single out his three youngest children for special consideration, to give them a start in life. At the time of Samuel Pipher's death in 1812 Mary was 25, Frederick 23 and Peter 21. Mary, Frederick and Peter were given the entirety of Samuel's land in Upper Mount Bethel Township, but he gave it with several conditions attached, so that his other children would not feel neglected. Mary and her husband Peter Kocher, for example, were obliged to pay a total of £600, or £50 per annum to the estate for division by his other children. Samuel Pipher thought this a fair settlement with Mary because he had also forgiven her and her spouse of a monetary debt. Frederick and Peter were given similar obligations by their father; the former had to pay the estate £400 in annual payments of £25; the latter received the heaviest debt of £1,000 with annual payments of £50. Peter Kocher and Frederick were given equal shares of all the "appel trees for five years of the Appels and After that Time the hole of the orchard To be the Sole use of my Son Peter Piffer for Ever. . . ." [36]

Samuel gave his wife Christina the power to take as much acreage as she might choose. She could also sell the property and divide the proceeds among the six children living away from the farm—£100 each until the funds were depleted. Sons Peter and Frederick were put under a ban that if they should sell any of the land, the monetary proceeds were to be equally divided among Samuel Pipher's surviving children—Samuel, Jacob, Christian, Michael, John, Mary and Christine. [37] Samuel apparently thought it likely that Frederick would sell out and leave the hillside property because he added the proviso in his will that if Frederick should move, he would then only be the beneficiary of such proceeds from the estate as went to the other children. The will indicated that nine of the ten children still survived at Samuel's death. Anne Elizabeth Pipher probably preceded her father in death for she was not named in the will. Samuel Pipher's widow Christina lived to be about a hundred years old, dwelling in the "new house" on the "old place" until about 1838. [38]

Samuel signed his will with his "X" mark and the witnesses present were Luke Brodhead, John Gragg and Henry Miller. The will was probated on August 3, 1812. On the same date Samuel's son, Jacob Pipher, filed a caveat against probation of the will. He wanted the probate stopped "till I have an opportunity to be hared, as I apprehend there are Several legal objections to Said Paper." Sometime later, presumably, the same day Jacob revoked the caveat and desired that Samuel's will be admitted for probate. It is not known what the objections were or how and by whom they were solved. [39]

An inventory of Samuel Pipher's property was taken on August 11, 1812 by his son Frederick and Aaron Depuis. The estate was settled more than a year later, on September 14, 1813. The value of goods and chattel not bequeathed was $847.09. Christine received goods and chattel worth $194.16 and $336.75 in cash. After the surplus goods were sold, Samuel's personal debts were paid, and funeral and other expenses were paid (including a "demand" by Peter Peifer for working harvest and hauling grain, and a "demand" by Peter Kocher for liquor and hauling), the balance remaining to be divided, less advancements made previous to Samuel's death to the children, totaled $1,692.97.

Samuel's will mentioned a book wherein he kept an account of the advances he had made to his children. After these cash advances were deleted and Mary and Peter Kocher's debt of $289.33 was forgiven, the remaining amount of $926.16 was divided into six equal shares among the oldest children. Peter Kocher, Frederick and Peter were to make real estate payments to the other children as specified in the will. [40]

The basic division of the Samuel Pipher property (the 1790 purchase of 391-1/4 acres, the 1793 purchase of 80 acres, and the 1797 purchase of 31 acres, l50 perches) into three major portions was reconfirmed by releases in 1816, 1817 and 1820. From the will, Mary and her husband Peter Kocher had been given 123 acres 175 perches of land on the eastern side of the estate along the Delaware River. Frederick received 200 acres on the western end and Peter got the 182 acres in the middle where the Slateford Farm complex now stands. By the six releases recorded at the Easton courthouse in 1820, the surviving other children and their spouses in Monroe County and New York gave up all claim to these land parcels by acknowledging receipt of full payment for their share of Samuel Pipher's estate. [41] (See historical base map 2 for 1753 & 1812 boundaries.)

The remaining history of Pipher stewardship of Slateford Farm concerns Peter Pipher and his son Samuel, for the farm complex is located on property they in turn inherited. Both Mary Pipher Kocher and Frederick, however, inherited parts of their parents' estate. A brief history of these parcels follows because they were once part of the original Penn grant. Very little further information is known about the Kocher property. In March 1819 Peter and Mary sold Mary's brother Peter two small tracts, one totaling eight acres 110 perches, and the other one acre and 76 perches. An 1830 map shows the name "Kocher" located next to the river. An 1874 map of Upper Mount Bethel Township shows the name "Brown" at the same location. The Pipher genealogy does not indicate that the Kochers had any children to whom they might have left the property. As stated, the Gap Tavern was torn down at some point and replaced with a dwelling house. [42]

Frederick's Western Portion

Little is known about the Kocher property but there is information concerning the western portion of the Pipher estate left to Frederick. In 1819 Frederick and his wife Sarah sold two tracts, 20 acres and 149 perches and one acre and a quarter, respectively, to Frederick's brother Peter. In 1824 the couple sold another tract, four acres, 56 perches, to Peter for $79.20 including "buildings and improvements." [43] These transactions may have been a faint hint that Frederick was not faring well either in the state of his health or the success of his farming. He died suddenly in 1830, at age 41, leaving no will. Several neighbors, Isaac LaBar and Peter and William Frutchey were made his executors, and John Frutchey became guardian of Frederick's minor daughter, Christina. No mention was made of Frederick's other three daughters. Because Frederick died intestate the Orphan's Court ordered his land sold. There were two parcels totaling 149 acres and 80 perches, so Frederick had sold about 50 acres of his original grant during his lifetime. James Madison Porter bought Frederick's property for $579.54 plus interest to Frederick's widow Sarah. (For more information on this sale and its importance see Chapter Four, Porter and Frederick Pipher.) [44]

The inventory of Frederick Pipher's earthly goods shows that he was not a wealthy man. Aside from the land, the items on the inventory totaled only $192.51. His prize possessions were a black mare worth $41, a bay mare worth $15, and a red cow with white spots worth $16. In livestock, besides these animals, he had several other cows and a dozen sheep. The list included several plows, a sled, a dung fork and hay forks, harness equipment for the horses, his hunting gear, a hand saw, a curry comb, a grindstone, some knives, augers, axes, hatchets, scythes, cradling scythes, and other tools. The furniture listed was very modest, two beds and bedsteads, a chest, quite a few chairs, a table, a dresser and so on. Other household items were equally meager: a clock, several spinning wheels, an iron kettle, a fire shovel and several tubs. The inventory told little about his farming, only that he was still raising some flax, and of course, hay to feed his livestock. The land was shown to be still wooded by the inclusion of an item of 366 fence posts at a penny each. John A. Labar and George Streepy did the inventory. [45] (See appendix 5 for Frederick Pipher's inventory.)

Frederick Pipher's property was in the hands of James Madison Porter and, subsequently, Samuel Taylor of the Pennsylvania Slate Company until 1848. When Taylor was forced to sell the property, Aaron Pipher, a son of Peter and nephew of Frederick, purchased it and four other parcels owned by the slate company. The old Frederick Pipher property now measured 140 acres and was referred to in the documents as a "farm plantation." Seventy-five acres were cleared and the property was well-lined, manured, and "in a good state of cultivation." It had a good dwelling house, log barn, other outbuildings, and a good slate quarry. [46]

It is not known if Aaron Pipher quarried slate or if he developed the industrial potential of his newly acquired properties. He must have been modestly prosperous, since he was only 29 years old when he paid for these properties in one lump sum ($2,600). Agricultural census data reveals that Aaron Phifer owned 75 acres of improved and 25 acres of unimproved land in 1850. The cast value of his farm was $3,000 and his farming implements and machinery were valued at $160. He owned four horses, four milch cows, seven other cattle, seven sheep, 14 swine—all of which were worth $400. Aaron Phifer raised 30 bushels of wheat, 150 bushels of rye, 150 bushels of Indian corn, 75 bushels of oats, 75 bushels of Irish potatoes, and 50 bushels of buckwheat. He produced 18 pounds of wool, 400 pounds of butter, and 15 tons of hay. The value of his homemade manufactures was $5 and the value of the animals he slaughtered was $50. [47]

Parcel five was different, being farming property, consisting of 60 acres total, of which at least 20 acres was good rich bottom land along the river. The latter was in a good state of cultivation.

Parcel six was separated off from the others at the sheriff's sale of Taylor's property and was sold to George Streepy. It was only a small lot on the river with 40 feet of river frontage, and extended back 215 feet from the river.

In 1860 Aaron owned the same amount of acreage, but its value increased to $4,000. His farm implements were worth $250. He owned three horses, six milch cows, six other cattle and six swine. These animals were worth $600. Aaron raised 40 bushels of wheat, 225 bushels of rye, 400 bushels of Indian corn, 250 bushels of oats, 200 bushels of Irish potatoes and 100 bushels of buckwheat. The value of his orchard products was $25. He also raised 25 tons of hay and three bushels of clover seed, and produced 500 pounds of butter, four pounds of beeswax and 40 pounds of honey. The value of his homemade manufactures was $15 and the value of animals slaughtered was $200. [48]

Aaron did not live long, dying at age 51 in 1871, the same year his father Peter passed away. (See appendixes 7 and 8 for Aaron Pipher's inventory and estate settlement.) Both of Aaron's sons continued to farm the Frederick Pipher property for a few years. Emory [Emery] and Peter soon split their combined efforts, for Emory kept the farm and Peter took possession of a grist mill in Monroe County. In 1877 the former Frederick Pipher estate totaled 137 acres, 143 perches. Emory and his second wife Emma Francis Ziegenfuss sold a portion of the property, including the old homestead, in 1899 for $2,000 to his two daughters from his first marriage—Maria and Mary. These daughters and their husbands, Phillip Paul Sigafoos and Frank Bartow, respectively, continued to farm the property from 1900 to 1906. Emory apparently lived on his share of the land until his death in 1912. Two of the Bartow children, Beulah and Mildred, were the last Pipher descendants to be born, in 1900 and 1906 respectively, on the original Samuel Pipher land. [49]

After Maria Ziegenfuss' death, her husband Philip Paul Ziegenfuss sold the property in 1923, out of Pipher family hands. The property remained in private hands until 1968 when it was obtained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Tract 102, belonging to Joseph Bugoni, contained the central farmstead. The residential structure, garage, corn crib and outhouse were removed. No photographs or history of these structures were found in the park's land records because the land was obtained in a Declaration of Taking. [50]

Peter's Central Section

Christina and Samuel Pipher's youngest child, Peter, inherited the central section of the farm in 1812. Peter bore the responsibility of providing for his elderly mother who lived in the "new house" on the "old place," most likely the still extant cabin, until her death. After Peter married, he and his wife Elizabeth began to raise a family; their first child, Samuel, was born in 1813. It is not known where Peter, Elizabeth and their growing family lived between 1812 and the early 1830s. They may have lived with Christina or in an older farmstead on the property, one dating from the Strettell-Morris era. In 1827 Peter built a still existing spring house next to the cabin. He placed his initials and the year on a date stone in the north gable wall where they can be seen today. The growing Pipher family probably needed larger accommodations and in 1833 Peter built the main house still standing on the farm. Once again he signed his work; he gouged his initials and the date — P18 . . . 33P — in the cornice of the flat pedimented frontispiece over the front door. [51]

Very little is known of Peter and Elizabeth's life on the farm. In 1833 Peter did buy a large tract, 181 acres and 121 perches, along the river from Jacob Utt. He paid $9,087.81 for the property located in the southern portion of Slateford village. Peter also sold a tract located along the river, earlier acquired from neighbor George LaBar, to the Pennsylvania Slate Company in 1836. Only a few years later the same company purchased Peter's uncle Frederick's property to the west. Peter's son Aaron, as stated, bought this property in 1848, bringing it back into Pipher hands. [52]

When Peter was 50 years old in 1841 he sold six separate tracts totaling 199 acres, 109 perches to his eldest son Samuel for $7,500. The largest tract was 162 acres 158 perches which undoubtedly was the core of the present-day Slateford Farm. The legal description in the deed read as follows:

Tract No. 1 Beginning at a stone, a corner at Lands of the Pennsylvania Slate Company thence South fifty seven degrees West, ninety five perches to a stone thence by Lands of James M. Porter Esqr. North thirty one degrees West, two hundred and twenty perches to a stone at the Blue Mounten. Thence along said Mounten North fifty nine degrees East one hundred and fifty eight perches and eight tenths to a stone and Lands of Isaac Labar, South fourteen and a half degrees East, two hundred and twenty six perches to the place of Beginning.

Containing one hundred and sixty two acres and one hundred and fifty eight perches be the same more or less. It being part of the Real Estate which Samuel Pipher late of Upper Mount Bethel Township . . . did give . . . to Frederick Pipher, Peter Pipher and Peter Kocher. [53]

The second lot contained 20 acres 149 perches, and adjoined the first lot. Both the second and third lot, which contained one acre and a quarter, were the same lots which Frederick and Sarah Pipher conveyed to Peter on March 15, 1819. The fourth lot Peter sold Samuel was the lot Frederick and Sarah sold Peter on May 16, 1824, containing four acres and 56 perches. Lots five and six, totaling eight acres and 110 perches and one acre and 76 perches, respectively, were the same two lots Peter Kocher and his wife Mary Pipher Kocher sold to Mary's brother Peter on March 15, 1819. [54]

It is not known where Samuel, his wife Elizabeth and their children were living at the time of this sale in 1841. Both father and son, Peter and Samuel, were raising children in the 1830s, so it is possible that Peter and Elizabeth stayed on the farm with Samuel until its sale out of the Pipher family in 1868. Peter probably lived on a nearby farm at least for a few years because his name appears in census data for 1850. His name does not appear in the 1860 census; he might have moved to Slateford by that time.

Both father and son appeared in the 1850 federal census. Peter Phifer owned 158 acres of improved and 25 acres of unimproved land. His farm was worth $9,000 and his farming machinery was worth $400. He owned six horses, seven milch cows, four other cattle, six sheep and 26 swine—all valued at $600. Peter raised 200 bushels of wheat, 300 bushels of rye, 400 bushels of Indian corn, 200 bushels of oats, 75 bushels of Irish potatoes, and 400 bushels of buckwheat. He raised 18 pounds of wool, 700 pounds of butter and 25 tons of hay. The value of his homemade manufactures was $10 and the value of his slaughtered animals was $200. [55]

Samuel Phifer owned 140 acres of improved and 35 acres of unimproved land, valued at $6,000. His farm machinery was worth $360. He owned seven horses, six milch cows, nine other cattle, 16 sheep and 15 swine—valued at $600. Samuel raised 100 bushels of wheat, 500 bushels of rye, 600 bushels of Indian corn, 100 bushels of oats, 100 bushels of Irish potatoes and 100 bushels of buckwheat. He also produced 45 pounds of wool, 700 pounds of butter and 30 tons of hay. His homemade manufactures were worth $10 and his slaughtered animals were valued at $100. [56]

The Piphers' lives were probably affected by the completion of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad in 1855 and 1856 through the Delaware Water Gap. The Piphers could then ship their goods to wider markets. [57]

A daybook entitled Slateford, kept in 1858-1859 for quarry operations contains the names of Samuel, Aaron and Peter Pipher. The Piphers supplied foodstuffs to the quarry company store in exchange for mercantile goods. The name of Peter may refer to the owner of Slateford Farm, or it may refer to his son and Samuel and Aaron's brother - Peter W. The daybook entries in most instances cite Peter, but an account number which appears before each name remains the same for Peter W. A Company named Pipher & Wallick supplied meat to the quarry company store on several occasions throughout the year-long records. [58] No further information about this company is known. Whether the Peter in the daybook refers to the Slateford Farm owner, or to his son Peter W., is of small consequence when considering that the daybook documents the Pipher family's interaction with the nearby quarry operations. (See appendix 19 for the Pipher citations in the Slateford daybook.)

Peter died at the age of 80 on April 23, 1871. In his will, dated May 27, 1868, Peter stated he wished to be interred in the Presbyterian churchyard in Williamsburg, and that his executors place "an iron fence around the same as Isaac Labars and inclose in my Mothers [Christina] grave if it is possible. . . ." Peter also wanted his executors to use $100 to repair and make fences around the "said Church if they think proper to do so, as I mean it for the benifit of said Church." Elizabeth Pipher received from her husband the "use of my House and Lot of Land" for the rest of her life. She additionally received all Peter's real estate, furniture and $2,000 in cash. Peter's estate was to be divided into seven shares and divided among six children—Samuel, John, Aaron, Sarah, Elizabeth, Peter W.—and the estate (to five grandchildren) of a seventh child, Charles, already deceased. Each of these children and Charles' estate had received cash advances from their father previous to his death. Peter W. not only received a share of the estate but also was to be given, after the death of his mother Elizabeth (in 1872), the real estate in Slateford plus $2,000 "for services rendered by him and his Wife to us in our lifetime. . . ." Peter W. was also to have for his use and benefit "any and all grain etc growing on my Real Estate at my Decease." At Peter's death his personal property and real estate were valued at $25,897. [59] (See appendix 6 for Peter Pipher's inventory.)

Peter and Elizabeth's son Samuel and his wife Elizabeth owned the central portion of his grandparents' original land for 27 years, from 1841 until 1868. They raised their children on the property, most likely in the house that Samuel's father had built with his own hands. The agricultural census of 1860 reveals data concerning the Samuel Pipher family's farming. Samuel is listed as owning 160 improved and 26 unimproved acres. His farm worth $9,000 and his farming implements were valued at $500. The Piphers owned five horses, seven milch cows, 12 sheep and 12 swine—all worth $800. Samuel raised 60 bushels of wheat, 300 bushels of rye, 400 bushels of Indian corn, 200 bushels of oats, 40 pounds of wool, one bushel of beans and peas, 300 bushels of Irish potatoes, and 200 bushels of buckwheat. The value of Samuel's orchard products was $20. He and his family produced 700 pounds of butter, 25 tons of hay and four bushels of clover seed. His homemade manufactures were worth $20 and the value of his slaughtered animals was $300. [60]

It is not known why Samuel and Elizabeth decided to sell the property which had been in Pipher hands since 1790. Perhaps they succumbed to the instant wealth offered by the prospective buyers. The land itself could have been steadily deteriorating in its ability to sustain crops. Being near Blue Mountain the farm was not as fertile as the limestone lands to begin with and it had been tilled for at least 78 years if not longer. Samuel and Elizabeth's five children were all grown by 1868 so it is also possible that the parents wanted to retire to a simpler life while in their early-to-mid 50s. (See historical base map 3 for 1865 Slateford Farm conditions).

For whatever reason, Samuel and Elizabeth sold the Pipher homestead on December 18, 1868 to a group of businessmen for $25,000. The businessmen, Uzal Cory of Englewood, New Jersey; Julius S. Howell and Theodore D. Howell from Jersey City, New Jersey; and New Yorkers Samuel R. Elton, Richard H. Stearns and Richard D. Wilson formed the New York and Delaware River Slate Company. They were interested in the Pipher land not for its agricultural value, but for its slate potential. It was a well known fact that the farm was on top of a soft slate belt and that successful slate quarries had been operating in the area for years.

The legal description of the property read:

Beginning at a Stone a corner of Land of Aaron Pipher thence by said Aaron Pipher's Land north thirty one degrees west two hundred and thirty perches to a Stone, thence by land in the name of John Chalmer and the other land along the Blue Mountain north fifty nine degrees East fifty five perches to a post north fifty two degrees East fifty eight perches to a Black Oak, North seventy five degrees East fifty eight perches to a Stone thence by land formerly of Peter Kocher South fourteen and a half degrees East two hundred and thirty perches to a stone thence by land of John Williams South Sixty degrees west ninety five perches to the place of Beginning Containing one hundred and eighty one acres and one hundred and twelve perches. Being composed of three contiguous pieces or tracts of land which (while alive) were conveyed . . . unto said Samuel Pipher . . . by Peter Pipher and wife by deed dated April 17, 1841 . . . the land hereby conveyed is designated as three lots . . . numbered one, two and Six. [61]

In the deed, Samuel excepted from the sale "all the grain in the ground with the right to harvest, store and thresh the same upon the premises using the Barn and Granary for those purposes. . . ." All the straw, however, belonged to the purchasers. Samuel and his family also reserved the use and occupancy of the buildings on the property until April 1, 1869. They could use firewood on the premises until April 1, but Samuel was not to cut any more wood, except for firewood, nor was he to sell or remove any wood. All the wood left after April 1 belonged to the buyers. Samuel was also not allowed to remove any manure, as it was "expressly agreed that the manure now made and that may accumulate between now and said first day of April is covered by this conveyance to the granters." Two hundred posts and 3,000 rails already cut and in pieces on the property belonged to Samuel. [62]

The mortgage executed between Samuel and the partners of the slate company arranged for the payment of $12,500 with interest at a rate of six percent per year, "from the date [December 18] thereof in manner following viz; $4,164.00 in one year, $4,167.00 in two years, and $4,167.00 in three years. . . ." The interest payments were to be made every year on December 18 until the whole principal sum of $25,000 with interest was paid. [63]

Samuel and Elizabeth Pipher moved near Slateford on property once settled by the earliest LaBar brothers, where they lived until their deaths in 1896 and 1889. The couple continued to farm, however, for Samuel's name appears in both the 1870 and 1880 agricultural censuses. At Samuel's death a Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, newspaper, The Jeffersonian, printed a short obituary on March 19, 1896: "Samuel Pipher, an old resident of Slateford, Northampton county, Pa., died on Friday morning last, of rheumatism of the heart, aged 82 years. He leaves five grown-up children." In his will, dated September 17, 1892 and amended January 16, 1896, Samuel left his household goods, utensils and furniture to his daughter Marietta. He also left a piece of property with a two-story brick house on the south side of Walnut Street in Stroudsburg to Marietta and a lot with a two-story frame house on the west side of Delaware Avenue in Portland, Pennsylvania, to Marietta's son Frank S. Knerr. All the rest of Samuel's property was to be shared among his five children—Jeremiah, Peter F., Sarah Jane, Elmira and Marietta. All of these children had received money advances from their father. [64]

A little more than a month after Samuel's death the town of Portland was "thrown into a state of great excitement" when a large amount of money was found on Samuel's property. Just a few days before Samuel's real and personal property was to be sold at an executors sale, a carpenter making repairs to a barn lifted a paint can and opened a bag, expecting to find nails. Instead he found "a mass of bright, glittering gold pieces" worth $2,330. A newspaper account stated that Samuel was a large stock holder in the Stroudsburg National Bank, but gave no theories as to the origin of the $10 and $20 gold pieces. [65]

An inventory of Samuel Pipher's estate taken March 19, 1896, appraised his goods and chattel at $3,491.40. The gold discovered in a "can" in a "wagon shed" was subsequently added to the appraisement on July 10, 1896. At the estate sale on April 26, 1896, many agricultural and household goods were sold in addition to bank shares. The sale amounted to $2,070.29. [66] (See appendixes 9 and 10 for Samuel Pipher's vendue list and inventory.)

A simple land sale in 1868 ended 78 years of a family's ownership of a piece of farmland which had given strength, offered a livelihood, produced sweat and perhaps even blasphemous oaths. Pipher descendants did live on the western tract of Samuel and Christina's property until the first years of the twentieth century, but the section now known as Slateford Farm changed its character in 1868. It changed from providing food to providing slate.

Slaters and Tenants

The New York and Delaware River Slate Company owned Slateford Farm from 1868 until 1873. The venture evidently was not managed well and the company's principal stockholders began quarreling among themselves. Possibly as a result of this in-fighting, rather than any unproductivity of the quarry, the sheriff of Northampton County, Enos Werkheiser, seized the farm. One of the original founders of the company, Julius S. Howell, a dealer in silk goods in Jersey City, had filed a suit in equity in March 1872 in Easton against the president of the company, Charles W. Remington of Brooklyn, New York. Howell's suit also named founders Uzal Cory (Corry) of Englewood, New Jersey, and Richard H. Stearns of New York City, in addition to stockholders Thomas G. Groves and William J. Williams, both of New York City. The other founders, Theodore Howell, Samuel R. Elton, and Richard D. Wilson, were not named in the suit. The results of the suit are not known, but by November 1873 the sheriff was ordered by the County Court of Common Pleas in Northampton County in a writ of levari facias, to take the 181 acres and 112 perches of land and to levy against the defendants a debt of $4,645.82 owed to Samuel Pipher. At a public sale on December 27, 1873, the sheriff sold the property to John A. Morison of New York City for $20,000, he being the highest bidder. [67] (For more information on this company's quarrying at Slateford see Chapter Four, Slate Quarrying on Slateford Farm.)

John A. Morison was a wealthy New Yorker who apparently ran the farm in absentia for its quarrying, and possibly tenancy, income. Morison paid taxes on the quarry from 1874 to 1879, after which time active quarrying probably ceased. Trow's New York City Directory lists a John Morison for the years 1874-1877 as being in the shipping business. However, this Morison appears as John C. in the 1879 directory. John A. Morison is listed only for the years 1889-1890, and 1890-1891. No business or business address was listed, but his home was at 173 West 45th. Morison owned the property until his death in 1897 at age 71 and his heirs held on to it until 1913. [68] (See Chapter Four, Slate Quarrying on Slateford Farm for more information on quarrying under Morison's ownership.)

Tenants did work the farm for at least a few years during Morison family ownership. Emory Pipher's brother Peter H. married Effie Ann Bartron, whose brother Ananias lived on the Samuel Pipher farm for a few years after 1900. This was at the same time that the last of the Pipher children were being born on the Frederick Pipher estate to the west. Ananias and his wife Matilda Brewer Bartron lived on Slateford Farm as tenants and the property was "very well kept." In 1970 Matilda Bartron's niece Mary Pittenger stated that the Bartrons farmed the entire acreage, more than 181 acres, of the property. She also remembered her aunt boarding quarry workers from the quarry "down below the summer house [cabin?] that was across from the old farm house" around 1900 to 1910. The Bartrons also might have made money selling milk, butter and eggs. Mary Pittenger remembered a woodshed and chicken house being behind the farmhouse and a garden which was placed between the house and the barn. Slate walks led to the spring house, summer house and barn, and a fence ran around the yard between the house and summer house. [69]

In his will, dated September 4, 1885, John Morison left his personal belongings and $5,000 yearly income from his estate to his sister Jane M. Coffin. He also left $15,000 to be invested and the profit thereof to be used by a grandnephew. Morison's executors, his sister Jane, nephew Robert S. Morison and friend William G. DeWitt, had the power to sell and dispose of his real estate "upon such terms as they shall deem proper." In April 1899 Morison's estate was appraised and the "Farm situated in Upper Mount Bethel Township consisting of about 180 acres upon which a Slate Quarry is located" was valued at $3,500. As executor, Robert S. Morison sold the property to Edwin G. Reynolds on September 26, 1913. [70]

Reynolds bought the 181 acres and 112 perches from Morison at a private sale "for the sum of One Dollar and other good and valuable considerations. . . ." He and his wife Icie were renting farmers in 1900 in Franklin Township, Somerset County, New Jersey. That year's census revealed that Edwin was born in October 1851, Icie in January 1856, and they had been married 20 years. They had two daughters and a son—Maude M., born March 1882 in Maryland; Eve H., born January 1886 in Maryland; and Ned, born May 1891 in New Jersey. Both Edwin and Icie were born in New York, as were their parents. In the 1905 census the Reynolds were listed as owning a farm which was mortgaged. In the 1920 census Edwin was listed as a farmer who owned his own farm. This seems to indicate that the Reynolds were absentee owners who may have purchased the property for speculative or rental income purposes, although it is not known what sort of deal was made with Robert S. Morison on a purchase price. Furthermore, nothing is known of any renters on the property after the Bartrons and it is thought the Slateford Farm homestead stood empty through the 1910s. [71]

Edwin and Icie Reynolds sold their property in Northampton County to Charles M. Munsch on May 5, 1924, for $3,000. The description of the property remained the same as it had since the sheriff's sale in 1873. Munsch made many changes on the property. He built tennis courts, stuccoed the main farmhouse with cement, made changes to the cabin, built the Louis Cyr house, built an ice house, and built a concrete slab which spans the old barn foundations. In the fall of 1929 Munsch, who was from Alsace£orraine, met Louis Cyr, a French-Canadian from Quebec, in a church in the Bronx. The two spoke French and Munsch hired Cyr to be his caretaker at Slateford Farm. [72]

Louis Cyr had migrated from Quebec to Maine to Hartford, Connecticut, working various jobs. In New York City, Cyr was working in the cement business when he met Munsch. Cyr and his family lived on the Cyr farmstead and took care of Slateford Farm from 1929 until government purchase of the property in 1967. Charles Munsch visited and spent time at the farm, as did his son Frank and daughter Alice. He would often visit on weekends and spend two to three months at the farm during the summers. It is not known if Charles Munsch paid Louis Cyr wages for his work, but Cyr supported himself and his family off the land. He raised calves and worked construction jobs for additional income. Louis Cyr's wife Lottie taught school.

Charles Munsch became very involved with the local community. He bought land in Portland, Pennsylvania, donated land to help build a Catholic church, and opened a local coffin factory.

Munsch was 6'2" and had a moustache and dark hair. Marie Munsch was a very petite blond. Alice was an amateur photographer and was well-educated and well-spoken. Frank took over his father's New York City drug store business after his father's death, but he soon sold it. He worked as a salesman.

Right after World War II Frank Munsch contacted Alcoholics Anonymous and arranged to have rehabilitating alcoholics work at Slateford Farm. They would arrive two at a time, and Louis Cyr would put them to work for seven to eight weeks. About 15 to 16 men worked at Slateford Farm over the years.

On May 5, 1936, Charles Munsch and his wife Marie sold the farm to Alice for $1,800. Munsch died the next year in the Cyr house. Alice continued to visit on occasional weekends and would spend the month of August on the farm. She spent the rest of the year working in New York City. Louis and Lottie Cyr continued to farm the land under Alice's ownership as they had her parents'. (See illustrations 14-24 for farm photographs 1930s to 1950s, taken by Alice Munsch.) This arrangement continued until the farm property was purchased as part of the acquisition process for the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Louis Cyr and his family continued to live on the farm and Louis worked for the National Park Service until his death in 1971. Since that year the Cyr's daughter Charlotte Cyr Jewell and her family have remained at the Cyr farmstead and farm the property under a special use permit. [73]

Alice M. Munsch sold 169.38 acres to the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers on September 16, 1966. This was 12.32 acres less than she had acquired from her parents in 1936. One of the parcels she sold was 4.52 acres to Fred W. Keifaber, who subsequently built a house on the property. This land was also purchased by the corps in 1966. [74] Since the National Park Service's acquisition, Slateford Farm has been used in the park's interpretive program. (See historical base map 4 for 1985 Slateford Farm existing conditions.)

Interpretation focuses not only on agriculture in the Delaware Valley-Delaware Water Gap region, but also on the integral story of slate quarrying in Northampton County. Around 1970 a slaters shanty was purchased in Bangor, Pennsylvania, by park staff and placed next to the wood shed. Interpretation at the site occurs both in the farmhouse and in the shanty as seasonal rangers interpret both agricultural methods and slate splitting techniques. At one time in the 1970s consideration was given to developing the site into a "living historical farm," but this idea, even nationally, has generally lost favor. The existing buildings at the site—Samuel Pipher's cabin, Peter Pipher's farmhouse and spring house, the woodshed (circa late 1800s) and slate shanty—along with the farm fields and water-filled quarry pit, are interpreted for the story they reveal about human activity at Slateford Farm. From the Penns to the Munsches and Cyrs, Slateford Farm's history is bound not only to its geography and geology but to its human inhabitants as well.

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Last Updated: 31-Dec-2009