Carol's people -- the Tosh family -- have been on the land there since shortly after the Revolutionary War. Their family and the old Tosh farm played a role in the Whiskey Rebellion -- an early test of federal power -- which resulted from the US Congress whiskey tax of 1791 (blame Alexander Hamilton for this). The Scot-Irish farmers of
In 1794, the feds (i.e. President Washington) sent a force of about 13,000 soldiers to put down the rebellion. About 150 rebels were arrested, farmers began paying the tax (many were probably forced out of business), and federal power became a cornerstone of the new nation.
Despite this intensive use over the past 200+ years, the ecosystem appears healthy. There are still a few corn fields under cultivation, but much of the land is a fantastically diverse hardwood forests. On a walk around the place, I spotted many native trees, including oaks (white and red or black, I wasn't sure), sugar maple, hickory (shagbark and pignut), white pine, hemlock, birch (yellow and black), butternut, walnut, basswood, poplar, black cherry, beech, ironwood, and tulip poplar (or cucumber tree, I wasn't sure). No wonder that turkey, deer, and other game abound. Oh yeah, and there seem to be a few snakes around, as indicated by this nice black snake shed skin the dog found:
My nephew Sam (the oldest of the three brothers) is interested in hunting and recently won a nice 20 gage shotgun from a Wild Turkey Federation banquet. Here's Sam busting a few clays, with his dad Bill on the Armstrong Thrower:
Speaking of throwing, my arm is still sore. Bill's oldest two boys, Sam and Alex, constantly have a baseball or football in the air. No wonder Bill says his elbow is shot. Sam and Bill are also avid golfers, and Sam has converted the spacious front yard into a driving range and several greens. He's currently negotiating with Dad on excavating & hauling sand for the bunkers. Good Dad. Oh yeah, there's a pool for those hot summer afternoons. Both Alex:
To cap off the visit, Bill & Sam built a big fire and we all sat late into the cool night toasting marshmallows, roasting hot dogs, and swapping stories. I'd forgotten how well hardwood burns and how sweet it smells.