Birch Farm

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Brick House at Birch Farm on Northfield Road


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(L to R) Mabel, Ira, Hattie, Marjorie, Ray, Elnathan, and Ida Black


Deed to Birch Farm


Elnathan Black and one of his prized cows

In 1888, my great-grandfather Elnathan Black (1858-1929) bought 40 acres, with a brick house, barn, silo, and other buildings, along with hills, rocky fields and a stream he later dammed into a pond, on Northfield Road in Watertown, Connecticut from Samuel Hopkins and his family.  It was called Birch Farm. Elnathan was born in nearby Washington, and had lived in Watertown since he was about 12. The following year, on Nov. 27, 1889, he married Hattie Woodruff (1868-1956)  the oldest daughter of local farmer John Frederick Woodruff. They would have five children including my grandmother Mabel Black Gould.  Elnathan, known as Nate, raised cattle and oxen, along with chickens, pigs, corn and other crops. His son Raymond Black later took over and won many prizes for his cattle. The brick house still stands today with a new owner. Behind the house, the cottage is home to a small family with a young boy. Virginia Dietz, Raymond’s daughter, and her daughter Lois live in adjacent houses on the edge of the old farm.

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