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Hazard Lewis Farms collection

 Collection
Identifier: BUSC-2006-002

Scope and Contents

This collection comprises a small archival box, plus 5 oversized items housed in a map case. Contents include manuscript descriptions and historical background about the Hazard Lewis Farms, ephemeral materials relating to the farm's operations, and photographs of the farm. Several documents petaining to Binghamton in the 1940s are also included.

Dates

  • 1934 - 1942
  • Majority of material found within 1940 - 1942

Historical Note

The Hazard Lewis Farm was situated on Route 17, one mile west of the City of Binghamton. The farm was established in the year 1829 by Colonel Hazard Lewis. Colonel Lewis at one time with Christor Eldredge and John A. Collier owned practically the entire south side of Binghamton. He was an influential citizen of the county and a benefactor in the early growth and development of the community.

The farm was recognized as one of the outstanding dairy farms in the County. In later years under the management and eventual ownership of James N. Allen farming and dairying operations were greatly enlarged and the farm became known throughout New York State as one of the largest and most successful farms in operation.

James N. Allen was recognized as one of the most successful dairymen in New York State. He was supervisor for the Town of Vestal and Chairman of the Broome County Board of Supervisors in 1923. The farm produced certified milk for the Borden Company until a fire destroyed the barns and creamery. A new barn and creamery were built in 1928.

The farm was purchased from Mr. Allen’s widow in 1931 by Archibald MacArthur. For several years after the acquisition, MacArthur, in partnership with C.A. Crawford, produced Guernsey milk exclusively for Crowley and Cloverdale Milk Companies of Binghamton. The milk was produced and bottled on the farm and distributed in Binghamton, Johnson City and Endicott. For a time, a quantity of milk from the farm was shipped to communities along the Hudson River, in and around Newburgh, NY.

In the late fall of 1939, under pressure from State Health Department regulations advocating and insisting upon pasteurization of milk, the owners purchased a small retail pasteurized milk business and gradually began the production and sale of pasteurized milk and dairy products. In the spring of 1941, the Borden Milk Company of New York City contracted with the farm for milk to be shipped to their branch in Hackensack, NJ.

Through retail and wholesale routes, the farm sold buttermilk, cottage cheese, cream, butter, eggs and other products. The farm’s New York State milk license permitted them to sell milk in Binghamton, Johnson City, Endicott, Union, Vestal, Kirkwood, Conklin, Fenton, Dickinson, Colesville and Port Dickinson.

According to a document in the collection, in December 1942, an aged MacArthur and Crawford (both also involved in the department store business) offered the farm for sale at $150,000. Documents indicate possible interest in purchase by Jack Manoil of Waverly in late 1942/early 1943. The July 1944 document, “Milk Marketing in the Binghamton Area” (also in the collection), continues to list Hazard Lewis Farms as a milk distributor.

In 1952, the site was one of nine sites considered for the construction of a permanent site for Harpur College. On May 13, 1952, state university trustees announced officially that the college would be located on a site in the town of Vestal and directed state university president William S. Carlson to acquire the 300-acre site. Advantages cited included the site's location in relation to main transportation arteries, flat land that could be easily developed, and easily accessible utilities. Negotiations with the owners of the land—Hazard Lewis Farms, Inc., Arthur and Kenneth Kradjian, and Marcus Hopler—continued through the summer and fall of 1952 regarding the price and payment. The owners demanded payment be made on a deferred basis which would have resulted in savings in taxes. Condemnation proceedings then ensued, lasting throughout the winter and spring of 1953. The state university received title to the land on September 1, 1953 after a price ($453,754.50) was settled in the Court of Claims. An appeal in 1956 affirmed that the land was worth that amount at the time of taking.

Extent

.25 Linear Feet (plus 5 oversize items in a map case)

Language of Materials

English

Overview

This collection includes material relating to the history and operations of the Hazard Lewis Farms, once located on the current site of Binghamton University's main campus. Contents include manuscript descriptions and background material about the farm, ephemeral items relating to the farm's operations, and photographs of the farm site. Several documents relating to Binghamton in the 1940s are also included.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Found in a closet in Boscov's by an employee; given to Library employee Janice Whipple for the Library, May 2006. Items in Folder 11 were donated by Jeremy Dibbell, 2021.
Title
Guide to the Hazard Lewis Farms collection
Author
Jean L. Green
Date
2012-06-01
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Binghamton University Libraries Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Binghamton NY 13902 USA