The Holland Family Farm

The Holland Farm House

The house built in 1906. Left to right: Roy, Ross (child), Laura, Maggie and George

The Holland Barn

Ross with horses

My third great grandparents' families, George Holland and Olivia Kellam, arrived from England and settled in Vaughan, Ontario, in 1830. George and Olivia married and moved to Goderich for a short time, and then settled in Rainham to farm in 1849. Their son George (born 1839) married Mary Caughell and land records indicate they bought a farm in South Cayuga in 1885 - the farm where I grew up. My dad believes his great grandfather was also a carpenter. Our house has a stone indicating it was built in 1906, probably by my great great and great grandparents. In 1909, George A (born 1886) married Maggie Snider and bought the family farm from his parents. The farm is located in South Cayuga along regional road 20. George A sold the farm to his son, Roy Holland (my grandfather) in 1928. Roy married Laura Bowins and had 2 children, June and Ross (my dad). They had a mixed farm operation, milking Holstein cows, raising pigs and chickens, and growing crops needed for the farm. Dad recalls them clearing the land at what we called the "other place" just up the road from the farm. My grandfather Roy, unfortunately died very young of a brain tumor, leaving my dad to take over the farm at the young age of 13. He recalls neighbours saying, it would kill him. He smiles now at the age of 91 - he is still here and the rest have passed on.

My dad worked hard on the farm. With the horses, he periodically would move gas drilling rigs. I happily grew up helping with chores in the barn, feeding calves, raising a few rabbits, and helping my mother in her large vegetable garden. Milk from the cows was put into milk cans and kept cool in a cooler filled with water. Every other day, the cans were taken to the end of the lane to be picked up by the milk truck. This meant the lane had to be cleaned in the wintertime, by hand. It felt like a lot more snow then, as you shovelled. Dad was very active as well in the community, being on the school board for the 4, one room schools in South Cayuga, and a member of South Cayuga council. Dad encouraged us, as children, to farm, and earn some extra money by raising some sheep. The grain was harvested by a binder, and then threshed. Many neighbours would come to help gather the sheaves of grain and then put them through the thresher, gathering bags of grain, and making a straw stack by the barn. Mom would cook and feed this group of men at noon and supper time, as well as milking the cows and looking after the other animals.

Eventually as times changed, the horses were replaced with a tractor, a binder and thresher with a combine, and milk cans with a milk cooler. Loading bales of hay onto the hay wagon, using a pulley to pull the wagon up our barn hill into the barn, and unloading with bundles of hay being pulled up into the mows, and then mowing the bales into an organized fashion in the height of summer heat is another, now wonderful, memory. Unfortunately, in the early 1970's the government decided South Cayuga would become a site for a dump, and our farm was in the middle of that project. As a result, our farm was sold to the government. Dad remained part of the farming community, by doing various jobs of weighing sheep, and doing soil samples for many farmers. I then married a farmer, Tom Peart, and still enjoy every minute of our farming operation in Oneida.

Submitted by Diane (Holland) Peart who is Homecraft President of the 2014 Fair.

Holland Picture 3

The hand-cleared lane in winter

Holland Picture 4

When our grandparents gave us a pony

Holland Picture 5

Playing with our bunnies

Holland Picture 6

Ross in 1952, bringing in milk cans

See more Family Farms

Join us at the 142nd Caledonia Fair as we celebrate the family farm!