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Old Perch River Dam Road/Cooke Road/Anthony Farm All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2010 OABONNY / Click thumbnails for full-size pics, BACK to return to this page.
The Anthony Farm, at one time the longest barn in Jefferson County

The late Tomas H. Anthony, paternal grandfather of Minnie Anthony Common  built this barn in a valley between two hills on the dead-end road that goes from Parish Road to Perch River Dam (called the Cooke Road at one time). Joseph Cooke purchased the property in 1897 until he sold it to the DEC. 
Tom Anthony also was known as the inventor of a low, solid-wood-wheeled wagon with a big platform which could be loaded with a railroad carload of baled hay, drawn by six or more horses.

 At the time that this barn was built and used it was the longest barn in Jefferson County.  Some accounts list the barn as much shorter then other accounts  and there seems to be a discrepancy, but after a thorough measurement using GPS with WAAS I found that the 250 foot long measurement is correct. 
  The barn was also 60 feet from the roof to the ground. Horses and wagons loaded with hay could enter either end near the roofline and the hay was dumped down into deep mows on either side, which saved a lot of time at a time when most farm work was done by hand.  The cows and horses were stabled in the bottom part of the barn, in the stone part.  In front of the barn was the farm-house, also long-gone. 
 The DEC took over the land and razed most of it, many years ago.  But I and my father, as well as another amateur historian - Eric H., have made many trips to investigate the ruins of this farm and the surrounding buildings as well as the area around the farm.  Eric has also been doing some metal detecting for artifacts.

  More info about this barn and old pictures of the intact structure at these Nan Dixon pages:  barn, barn1, barn2, barn3, & barn4.  Please note - the picture that is shown on Mrs. Dixon's pages of the house that went with this farm is not the correct house.
 

Present day aerial map of the location

I've created this map using satellite photos and my GPS, showing markers of locations for all ruins and remaining landmarks.  Click to see the map (large).
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Drawing

An artist's rendering of the Anthony Farm when in full use.  The artist took some liberties or drew it from memory because there are a few inaccuracies.
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Comments from visitors:
*Arthur B. Salisbury writes: "Some time after 1920 My Grandfather James F. Salisbury ran the Anthony Farm for the owner at that time, Joe Cook. Grandparents and family of 6 children lived and worked there. My dad told of a mule that bolked while hauling a load of hay up the ramp and died with a broken neck. Dad also told of an Indian Family living in a small house on the oposite side of the road headed tward the Perch Lake Road. I do think that my dad and brothers had put some cement in the old spring house and the kids put their prints in it. Later in the LATE 40S OR EARLY 50S going to Brownville School we went with the School Bus to the old house and picked up some kids for School [I THINK THE FAMILY WAS RENTING THE HOUSE FROM JOE COOK] I will soon be 72 years old ant the memory isn't as good as I would like."


Taken on 12/29/06
The remains of the western ramp.
This photo is of the limestone ramp at the north-west end.
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Taken on 12/29/06
Looking down from the end ramp of the barn.
On this end the stone foundation is fairly close to the ramp.
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Left ramp, old Anthony Barn
Taken on 09/22/07
Looking up at the opposite ramp of old Anthony barn.
I hiked over to the opposite ramp (the eastern one).  It took a lot of work, but I finally was able to get through the thick and almost impassable brush.  I looked around the base a bit and found a rusted out old hand saw as well as a moss-encrusted piece of wood, which I assume is part of the barn (both below).  There also seems to be  a better trail then the one I took.
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Old saw
Old wood, probably from Anthony Barn

Left ramp, old Anthony Barn
Taken on 09/22/07
From the top of the eastern ramp of the old Anthony barn.
The brush is extremely thick at the beginning of the ramp, but at the end there is no brush and there is a clearing on the top of the ramp where the stone most be the thickest.
Click the shot below - this is taken from the top of the ramp, looking directly toward the other side. If you look closely in the photo below; in the distance you can see the opposite end ramp. The barn covered the whole distance in between.
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Looking out over the valley where the barn was.
Cistern behind old long barn.
Taken on 09/21/07
Remains of the large cistern that was behind the large barn.
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Cistern behind old long barn.
Taken on 09/21/07
Another Shot

This is on a small raised hill that is behind the barn foundations, slightly to the right (looking from the front) of center. The cistern supposedly caught water off the large barn roof for the cows and the house.  Most of the cistern has been pushed in by demolishing many years ago or fell in one it's own.  There are some cave-like spaces under here though.  One account mentions a pipe supplied the house with water also (even though the springhouse would probably have been very close to the house).

Also, there is the remains of a limestone drain which went under the barn.  I think this must have been used to allow the inevitable stream to drain, which must have flowed through the valley during the wet seasons.
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Small panorama of the ruins of the barn.
Taken on 09/22/07
A small panorama of the ruins of the Anthony Barn.
These are the ruins from the foundation of the left (eastern) side of the Anthony barn.  On this side the edges of the walls stopped quite some distance from the base of the ramp - unlike the other side where the stone foundation were much closer to the base of ramp.

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Taken on 9/16/04
The spring house (and probably used as cold storage).
Part of the right top side of this small building has now collapsed.
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Taken on 9/16/04
Inside of the spring house from previous pic

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Comments from visitors:
On 5/3/13 Bill Boyer writes about state conservation work done 62 years ago.; "I worked for the state of New York conservation planting trees and fruit-bearing shrubs all over this farm while the dam was being built. Our crew was stationed at Perch Lake but worked where-ever it was needed. A fella named Rolly Parker was the boss and great to be with--lived in Cape Vincent, I believe. Had you gone to the main barn, behind the house and slightly to the left, you would have found a 'hidden room' area in the lowest portion, that leads straight back, away from the direction of the house. This was used during the prohibition years to make whiskey. Also was said, by Mr Parker that it was a hiding area for slaves heading north before they were freed. It was quite a large underground room---surely must be still visible.It's been 62yrs since I was there planting but knew the spring house as soon as I saw the pictures! Drank out of the spring many, many times. Water was so cold it made your cheeks ache. There was a tin cup with a finger handle always at the spring and everyone, for many years, drank out of the same container. Was no worry of germs back then! We planted berry shrubs all over the farm, many on the land around the barn and a lot behind it. Planted several thousand scotch pine seedlings. Used a Farmall M with three heavy cleats fastened to the outside of each rear wheel that would make a hole and hinge it open as it turned. We would put a seedling in each hole and hinge the sod back in place and step on it to 'firm' the root."

Taken on 9/16/04
Inside of the spring house, underground stream and collection area

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Taken on 9/16/04
Cellar and remains of a house near previous mentioned farm

This house was a short distance away from the farm but was not the house that went with the farm, apparently.  The most interesting thing about these ruins is that no one seems to know anything about the house that stood here, and even those who were familiar with the Anthony farm don't remember the house ever being standing.  An 1864 Pamelia map shows the farm buildings and farmhouse but not this particular house. 
Update 9/27/11 An elderly person mentioned living in this house when they were very young.  They say that the living space was in the bottom part, where a cellar would normally be and that the top floor was a large open space.  I would assume the living space was in the bottom because of the way it was built - the high hill covers the back like a house with a cellar would, but the front was at a lower level and even with the ground.
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Taken on 9/16/04
The rear section of the house
This was built into a steep hill, the foundations at the back of the cellar are of raw limestone.
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A rounded section of the wall from the old stone foundations down the road.
Taken on 10/25/07
A rounded section of the wall from the old stone foundations down the road.
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Natural limestone gatepost at ruins.
Taken on 10/25/07
Natural limestone gatepost at ruins of old stone house down the road.
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Our general consensus is that these stones were from a sugar chimney.
Taken in October/2007 by Eric H.
Our general consensus is that these stones were from a sugar chimney.  Eric H. found these while exploring.
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Another angle.
Taken in October/2007 by Eric H.
Another angle.

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The valley, present
Taken on 10/25/07
The valley where the barn was, as it looks now.  There is little trace that can be seen from the road.

Note: There is also supposed to be a machinery building somewhere on the other side of the road and slightly down the road from the farm (possibly at one time part of the stone-foundationed house down the road?) but we have found no trace of it so far.
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Further toward the Parish Road was another house, also no trace has been found so far.


 


Are there any old abandoned structures that you'd like to see here, then send me directions!  Or take a couple shots and send them to me.  Is there any additional info you can provide on any of these buildings?  Also send me any questions, comments, or corrections by clicking here.

 

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