Marshall Historical Society

The Gridley Homestead, The MacAdam Stock Farm
by Dorothy McConnell, 2008

Gridley homestead

The Gridley Homestead

The Gridley Homestead is one of the Colonial period show places in Central New York. At one time it was the home of Philo Gridley, the judge who presided over one of the most important criminal trials which ever took place in the United States. Judge Gridley was the youngest son of Asahel Gridley, a respectable farmer of Paris born on September 16, 1796; (then part of Herkimer county) He was educated at Hamilton College, in 1816, studied law & admitted to bar in 1820. Soon after, he practiced law in Waterville. From there he moved to Hamilton and served as district attorney for Madison County. In 1838 he was appointed a circuit judge for the Fifth Judicial District & moved to Utica area where he resided until his death.

The MacAdam Stock Farm

An almost forgotten page of history should be described. On the Gridley-Paige Road which bisects Shanley Road was a farm known as the MacAdam Stock Farm. Located east of Shanley Road it was founded by Quentin MacAdam, the president and founder of the Utica Knitting Co. He was a native of the Town of Marshall and he inherited a farm at that location. He dreamed of developing a purebred herd of Holstein cattle and built large barns to accommodate them. During it's heyday probably 1904-1920, Hugh Bishopp had almost steady employment there as a carpenter together with three or four others. Beside the house and barn building and repair work, they sometimes helped with the haying in season. One project worthy of note was the moving of a house from halfway up the Forge Hollow Hill to a site among the farm group of homes. Another was the constructing of a nine-foot high wire fence to surround a pond and wooded park for a deer enclosure - an unsuccessful venture. No tractor power on the farm - all four foot horse power, making a horse barn necessary. The interior barn equipment was the latest and best. Quentin MacAdam kept all purebred cows and big barn, pond, a fenced in deer run, and lived in the big house. Raymond Kennard said his father, Keston Kennard, tested the milk. Bob Lloyd said his father, Seymour Lloyd worked there. Quentin employed Frank Page, Maude Page's father. Hugh Bishopp was the boss carpenter to build houses on MacAdam Road. Among Quentin's hundred cattle herd some 7 dau. milk & butterfat world records were made. The cattle were in wide demand by breeders around the country. He bought more land surrounding the farm probably extending from near Forge Hollow up the hill and over and including the Walter Hoehner farm (now Peter Schachtler's farm). A farm manager and staff of farm hands operated the farm. Added to the beautiful mansion, a superintendent's house and a boarding house was built.

The Charles Barrons owned the large brick homestead. They sold it and I do not know the new owners or who lives there now.

The MacAdam monument is located at the foot of the main drive of the Deansboro Cemetery. Quentin MacAdam. is buried in the family plot.

For some years the farm was a beautiful and successful estate during MacAdam's life. His helper, Oscar Gridley, did not share his interest and as his heir, gradually dissolved the farm operation. Much of the farm is owned by Fred Zweifel. Bob Rockwell, Richard Weaver, and the Stockbridges all are neighbors. The area makes up a very pleasant group of homes and a small neighborhood.

Gridley Homestead at Forge Hollow
by Paul Draheim
The Press Scrapbook. March 15, 1952

Gridley homestead

The more than 125-year-old Gridley Homestead, located about one-eighth of a mile off the Deansboro-Waterville road at Forge Hollow, is one of the Colonial period show places in Central New York.

The Gridley Homestead property, in the Gridley family for more than 150 years, became the possession of Fred Zweifel on December 1, 1951, when he purchased the buildings and lawn from Mrs. Marion Losee, who before her marriage was a Gridley. Zweifel already owns the adjoining farm land.

The Gridley Homestead mansion comprises 11 large rooms. It is located in the center of a large park-like area which has been beautified by numerous rock gardens and fishing ponds which in reality are small lakes.

It is of Colonial architecture, constructed of brick and covered with a tile roof.

One of its features is a large circular staircase which leads from the reception hall to the second floor. Originally there were two large fireplaces. The one remaining is that in the living room.

Attached to the main building is the servants quarters. This addition was erected several years after the mansion.

Two large fountains which continue to spout water after years of service, assist greatly in making the property one of the most beautiful in the area.


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