30 March 2018

The Philbrick Farm Today

I woke up today to find that my Aunt Carolyn shared the above photo to my Facebook page. I have a Facebook presence only for maintaining contact with family and local friends. I don't like much of what Facebook does, but I stay for things like the picture above.

I need to mention that the photo was taken by Paul Cyr. Click his name to see his Facebook page, and his amazing photos from northern Maine.

That farm in the picture is on Forrest Avenue Road in Fort Fairfield, Maine, near the town of Easton border. My grandparents, Percy and Gertrude Philbrick, lived there. My grandfather was a potato farmer his whole life. Not a prosperous one, but he managed to keep the farm and support his family, which was no small thing. 

I don't think Percy ever travelled outside the state of Maine, except to Canada, which was only a few miles from his farm. Perhaps my own penchant to stay put is inherited from him.

My mother, Mary, born in 1936, was the youngest in a family of... maybe nine. Or was it eleven? I just can't remember offhand.

The Philbrick farm was bought by an Amish family years ago. It was the first Amish family to settle in that area. They have put a large addition on the house, and greatly expanded the outbuildings. The only outbuilding that was there back in the day was the red-roofed barn.

I mentioned this farm in my old Deliberate Agrarian blog a few times. I think it was Lynn Bartlett who commented back then that her grandparent's farm had been replaced with a casino. Ugh! 

But isn't that an apt metaphor for the decline of America... From small, hard-working family farms to big casinos, with all their artificiality, and the allure of easy money, not to mention increasing spiritual poverty.

Well, I'm thankful that I was able to know my grandparents and that place. Such good memories are there. I think back on some of those memories in a couple chapters in this book...

That is my grandfather and me, circa 1960. The book is available as a paperback or inexpensive e-book at Amazon.


  1. I have that book. It's a great read.

  2. A friend's dad sold their farm down the road from us to a relative in order to keep it in the family. That relative eventually sold it to the state and now the land will never be privately owned again. There's a lot of state owned land in ND, and it's only used for wildlife habitat.