Marshall Historical Society

The Hanover Farm
Waterville Times -- November 29, 1875

The Hanover Farm, a little over a mile north of the village [of Waterville, NY], is owned by T. W. Conger & Co. of Waterville. They have the largest hop acreage of any hop farm visited and so far as we know the acreage exceeds that of any farm in the country. T. W. Conger & Co. hopes to pick fifty acres of hops. The yards at the time of our visit looked exceedingly well. They were clean and thoroughly cultivated. The growth of the vine is strong, bright and good. The growth of foliage is not weak as in many yards, but the branches are well filled with hops. Looking through between the rows, we could well understand why the proprietors should feel much pride in the appearance of their yard.

Conger & Co. have three well built kilns each 24 feet square. The cooling floors and store rooms connect with the kilns aggregate 216 feet in length and 24 feet wide. With their facilities they can easily cure 5,000 pounds in 24 hours. They have introduced steam to their kilns by which means they are able to secure a perfect color in drying, without the objectionable sulfur. Conger & Co. are among the first to introduce steam. They have only waited until assured of its perfect success. Ultimately steam will be introduced in all kilns. The hops thus cured are not only more marketable, but they are really superior for the brewers consumption. These points in favor of steam make its adoption by all growers only a question of time.

The entire Hanover Farm covers 200 acres. Last year Messrs Conger & Co. harvested 38,000 pounds of hops from 40 acres of yard. This year they expect to get 50,000 pounds from 50 acres. They employ 8 farm hands by the month besides some day hands almost constantly during the tying season and by the way hop tying is an item of expense neglected to mention before, they employ 20 persons tying hops and kept them busy about two weeks. They have had 140 hop pickers engaged in Syracuse, who will be on hand in about two weeks, and they are already putting up beds for the entire number in the roomy farm house. The question of pillow cases, sheets, towels, comfortables, etc., becomes just how a most interesting one to the lady members of the family. They will kill, during hop picking, nine beef creatures, and will boil potatoes by the bushel, and use flour by the barrel. Besides the 140 imported hands from Syracuse, Conger & Co. expect to secure the services of other pickers as fast as some smaller yards are finished. Hop picking will last about three weeks. Their system of handling the hops before and after drying, keeping accounts with the laborers. the division of labor, and all other details of the business, have been settled after careful consideration, in the manner which would compel admiration of any businessman.

The above report is correct, we believe, in everything except as regards the firm procuring their pickers from Syracuse. Such was their intention and they even went so far as to engage about a hundred pickers and pole pullers from that city at considerable expense. But upon ascertaining that there were from two to four hundred cases of small pox in that city, they relinquished the idea entirely and are making arrangements to secure their pickers from other localities, an action for which they deserve great credit.

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