Hello! What a difference a week makes! Typical of New England weather, Sunday began a heat wave and lots of humidity that has turned into what might be described as fall! Temps are in the low 70's and a nice breeze is bringing relief from the hazy, hot, and humid days at the beginning of the week.
This week I would like to recognize the very brave men and women who are members of the "Greatest Generation." From 1941 (and even prior as war broke out in Europe in 1939) to 1945 and the Occupation Forces that followed, Americans fought alongside Allied forces to secure peace for the world. "Some gave all, all gave some" is a popular way to remember the sacrifices made by men and women who gave us hope of a better world in which to live. As we remember the surrender of Japan and the end of World War II, let's continue to work for peace and honor the sacrifices of all the veterans who served in World War II and those that followed serving in Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf. Let's also remember those who are serving today around the world who sacrifice to bring peace and hope to so many.
Today's photo from the Belcher album is from a more peaceful time in Easton. It features the farm of Henry Wilmarth Heath, located in the large area in the fork of Prospect and Howard Streets. The farm stood directly opposite 157 Prospect Street. That house dates to about 1829 and is on the 1855 map as being owned by John Ropps, who was a foundryman working for Shepard Leach. Shepard Leach owned large tracts of land throughout South Easton, and those properties provided bog iron and hardwoods for making charcoal. Ropps lived at the property until 1856 when it was sold to Daniel Heath. An additional purchase of land in 1857 brought Heath's holdings to 117 acres. His later purchase of a second farm on Purchase Street made him one of the wealthiest men in Easton. The farm pictured in the attachment was taken following his death when his son Henry Wilmarth Heath had taken ownership. Henry Heath (died 1930, aged 82) continued the work of his father, providing services to local farmers and selling smoked meats and provisions, primarily to South Easton residents. The farm had several buildings: a large barn, a workshop, a blacksmith shop, sheds, a corn house, an ice house, a butchery, but most important, a very large and successful smokehouse. The Heaths were able to offer a way for smaller farmers to smoke meats, saving them the expense of building, maintaining, and paying taxes on their own smokehouses. Following Henry's death, his son Alfred continued to run the business for many years. Following that, the land was eventually sold for development. The farm has passed into memory, but the house stands.
This photo is taken from the field behind the farm buildings looking northerly, and just to the left of the farm buildings, you can see the Heath farmhouse overlooking the farm.
Until next week,
Frank T. Meninno
Curator, Easton Historical Society and Museum 508-238-7774