Monday, August 1, 2011

Bovina Resorts

It's summertime - time for many people to find ways to escape the heat.  Folks from the New York City area were particularly anxious to get away for the temperature and noise of the city.  One place that over the decades has been and continues to be a popular destination for this urban climate refugees is Bovina.  During my childhood, there were several places that offered farm vacations.  Here's a brief summary of some of them:

  • Red Pine Farm was run by George and Wanda Lingg up on Bovina road (what is now the Schumann farm).  In 1964, the rate, according to their ad in the New York Times, was $45 a week, with children under 12 costing $30.  They boasted an 80 head dairy farm, a 50 x 50 pool, and farm animals, including ponies and donkeys.  Emma Rosenthal and Andy Griggs have shared pictures and memories of their stays at Red Pine Farm at http://inbedwithfridakahlo.wordpress.com/2006/08/11/my-travels-with-charley-boston-or-bust-part-v/.  Also note that a number of other people shared their memories in the comments field. Linggs sold the property in the late 1960s to TV star Bob Denver. 
  • Crescent Valley Farm was a 275 acre dairy farm run by George and Anna Trimbell and their sons.  Located on Crescent Valley Road, their rates were $55 to $35 per week.  Their New York Times ad from 1966 offered "good home cooking and baking" with historical places nearby.  The ad also noted that "We have three sons." 
  • Elms Farm was on Coulter Brook (where Isabell Irvine Russell spent her childhood).  Cliff and Gert Hall ran this as a vacation farm in the 60s and 70s.  Joan Townsend recalled working there and that Gert's sister Millie Reinertsen did a lot of the cooking.  
  • Suits-Us Farm on Pink Street was owned and run as a resort by the family of Alex and Elisabeth Sellhorn Rabeler from 1956 until 2005.  In their New York Times ad from 1966, they noted that the farm had a heated filtered pool, tennis court, horseback riding and "cookouts followed by moonlit hayrides."  Their ad also said "Families only."  Felicia (Bunny) Campbell has a blog which includes photos and memories of Suits-Us Farm over the year.  Go to http://www.bunnybrowse.com/memories-suits-us.htm to see her pictures.  And thanks to Bunny for sharing.  And if you're on Facebook, there is a Suits Us Farm group that you can join.
  • Ferris and Wilhemina Sellhorn Todd ran a vacation farm on Pink Street called Buena Vista for 11 years in the 1960s and early 1970s.  Joan Archibald Townsend recalled working there in her teens and remembered what a great cook Mrs. Todd was.  Mrs. Todd's sister was the Elisabeth Rabeler who, with her husband Alex, ran Suits-Us Farm.
  • Burn-Lou Century farm was run by Harold Lounsbury and his first wife, Mary Burns Lounsbury and later for a time with his second wife, Anna Boggs Hobbie Lounsbury.  The farm had been in the Burns family for over 100 years. 
I have further research to do on these resorts and on some others, including one run by Mr. and Mrs. Lorenz Bloemeke and another on Russell Hill.  And I'm always looking for pictures and ephemera from these resorts.

Here's a brochure from Suits-Us:


      7 comments:

      1. So interesting! I really enjoy your blog. Love the pictures from Suits Us.

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      2. Do you know if Elms Farm is still around? I would love to visit. I went as a child in the 1970s. I remember loving it. I have such fond memories of the farm.

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        1. I use to go to the Elms as a kid in the early 60s we 3 years in a row .I went back three years ago and it's not the farm anymore but I did walk down to the old pump house on the river use to fish there and it's still up .I loved that place remember going to the dairy with Clifford hall early in am have a ton of good remembies it the farm

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      3. The property still is there, though it is no longer a resort but a private residence. Mr. Hall passed away some time ago, but Gert still is with us. She lives in Bovina Center now.

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        1. Thanks so much for your reply. I truly appreciate it : )

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      4. I visited the Burn-Lou Century Farm with my family every Summer for many years. Such happy memories of milking the cows, going on moonlit hay rides, and catching frogs in the pond. Harold, (affectionately known as Uncle Harold) and Mary and Anna were so wonderful, and treated us like family. Does anyone know if the farm still exists and who owns it?

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      5. The farm still does exist, owned by Michael and Heidi Gogins. It is a private residence and no longer a resort, but if you are interested in visiting, let me know and I'll get you in contact. I think they'd be happy to show you around. They've done a good job maintaining the house.

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