Linden Hall Farm has been around for centuries, but the farm & orchard as its' known today started in the 1960s with Roy & Betty Byers.
The next 3 generations are proud to continue on this legacy:
Roy & Betty's daughter Christine Byers Forsythe, her husband, Mike Forsythe, and sister Joanna Byers Calimer.
Christine & Mike's son Brian Forsythe and his girlfriend Nicole, and daughter Tracey Forsythe Frey with her two kids, Taylor and Wyatt.
Not only do we have 7 acres of orchard & our farm store that is open during produce season, we are a working dairy farm, year-round!
Keep scrolling to learn more about our farm's history!
Our farm history starts WAY back. "Prior to the Revolutionary War, all of Maryland was the property of Lord Baltimore. Williamsport and the surrounding area was once part of the Conococheague Manor." Source
"Conococheague Manor is located around the Downsville area with a portion of the tract along the Potomac River. The manor was first surveyed in 1736 for Lord Baltimore and consisted of 10,594 acres. In 1768 the tract was resurveyed for John Morton Jordan with the new survey containing 10,688 acres. At this time the property was split into various size tracts with the lot system abandoned. Leases held by residents were lost. The only recourse was to buy the land from the new owner." Source
Linden Hall land was owned by David Funk from 1750-1760, then given to John M Jordan by Lord Baltimore. David Hammett took ownership of Linden Hall (488 acres at the time) in 1802 through his wife who was a Funk. Source: "The History of Linden Hall" by Joanna Byers Calimer
Over the centuries since being a part of Conococheague Manor, the farm known as Linden Hall has changed ownership & size many times. However, it has been in the Byers and related families since 1875, which earned Linden Hall the status of "Century Farm". The farm is currently 166 acres.
If only walls could talk...
Although the original records were lost, it's believed that the original (front) part of the house was built around 1790, with the addition built between 1830-1850.
Since being built, this house:
Was used as a lookout during the Civil War
Used as a schoolroom temporarily until the "Center Hill" schoolhouse was built
Used as feed storage
Was left in ruins & believed to be haunted
Used as a speakeasy during the depression
And OF COURSE has been a loving home full of memories (& a lot of hard work in restoration) for the Byers family.
How did Linden Hall get its name?
Ever notice the trees that line across our front fence? Those are Linden Trees!
After our relatives purchased the farm in 1875, they dug up 6 Linden trees from the woods behind the house and transplanted them around the house. Later on in 1918, the farm was given the name Linden Hall after the trees that had been planted years before.
After purchasing the farm in 1918 from relatives, Joseph & Laura Byers changed the produce of the farm from grain to dairy & orchard.
In 1950, grandson Roy Byers, assumed management of the farm. The apple orchard which was originally set out in 1922 was half gone, so it was then replanted.
In the 1960s, Roy's wife Betty started selling produce from the front porch of the house. In the 1980s, the apple building was built, which consists of cold storage and the store that is still used today. The orchard consisted of 26 acres and provided for the store's sales as well as selling to processing plants.
In the mid-1990s, processing plants started outsourcing produce and the price for local sources significantly dropped, so the orchard was reduced to 7 acres, which is just enough for the store's sales plus a limited quantity sent for processing.
After purchasing the farm in 1918 from their relatives, Joseph & Laura Byers changed the produce of the farm from grain to a dairy & orchard.
The farm at one time was called Linden Hall Dairy Farm because milk used to be bottled here, but was excluded from the official name once the bottling had stopped.
In previous times, the farm had Holstein & Guernsey cattle. Today we raise & milk Holstein & Jersey cattle.