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Goulbourn generations; Carleton County creatures.

2010 heralded 150 years of farming by the Hobbs family on the east half of Lot 12, Concession 6, Goulbourn Township, Carleton County. YES! The address sounds more authentic expressed this way than 7542 Mansfield Road, Stittsville, Ontario.

In one form or another it’s been "field and forest, cattle and horses" since 1860.

Originally crown land granted to James Cullen in 1825, the property subsequently reverted to the Crown. Roofless log walls with an elm tree growing from the cellar were all that stood when James Hobbs won the 1860 race to Perth to obtain legal title to the property.

Those same log walls on a sturdy stone foundation are still in place, covered with plaster on the inside and wrapped outside with wood siding. The family modernized the summer kitchen and its second floor in 1960. A sun room, family room, main floor bath and two car garage appeared in the late '80s.

The Hobbses operated 7542 from their homestead at 7339 until Joshua Hobbs and Maude Caldwell married in 1894, moved to 7542 in 1897 and raised the next generation.

The extended family always worked together as a co-op with intergenerational partnering continuing until the passing of Clarence Hobbs in 1985. As with many families, off-farm employment has modified farm operations but not the importance of the farm in the lives of each generation. Time moves on with three following generations.

Clarence's leadership brought modern agriculture and equipment to 7542. Improvements resulted in a prize winning Guernsey dairy herd, swine and cereal crop exhibits at fall fair competitions -- including the Ottawa Winter Fair and the Royal Winter Fair.

The present resident/owner Lillian Hobbs and her husband Clarence acquired a second farm in 1957 at 7356 conveniently across the road from 7339. Lillian is active on all fronts. She completed a Masters degree in mission studies following her retirement from 35 years as an elementary school teacher. A licensed lay preacher, she conducts weekly services at local retirement homes, seniors' centres and congregations. And she invests in the future of the farm from ongoing maintenance to tile drainage of the fields.

In 1997 Lillian hosted the community to a 50:50 social event marking the 50 years of Grandma Maude on the farm and her own half-century mark as its homemaker

The celebration, August 14--15, recognized not only the 150th anniversary of Hobbs family farming at this location but also the prior generations and farms of the family as it arrived in Canada from Tipperary, Ireland and migrated to 7542. Family and friends enjoyed the historic log barns, displays of period information / equipment, refreshments and musical entertainment.

A video documentary is in production: The Ballad of Hobbs Farm 1860.

Written by keith.c.hobbs@sympatico.ca