New Garden home receives special designation
01/17/2017 11:19AM ● Published by Richard Gaw
New Garden Township residents Ellen and William Marsden, owners of an historic farmstead home and property off of Newark Road, received the prestigious Century Farm designation from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, on Jan. 13.
The Department of Agriculture recognizes Pennsylvania families who have been farming the same land for 100 and 200 years, through the Century and Bicentennial farm programs. A Century Farm in Pennsylvania must be owned by the same family for at least 100 years, and must include at least 10 acres, or gross more than $10,000 annually in agriculture sales.
The farmstead's history can be traced back to 1714, when Irish Quaker John Miller received a patent for 1,013 acres from William Penn, Jr. This land stretched approximately from present day Newark Road at New Garden to the White Clay Creek in London Grove Township. In his will, Miller directed that the land be divided among his three sons, Joseph, William and James. To James went the southeastern third, on the corner of which was land set aside for New Garden Friends Meeting House.
In 1810, Ellis Allen bought 90 acres from James Miller, Jr.’s estate, and in1824, Allen sold 29 acres of land to Lydia Eldridge. This almost rectangular tract was south of the Gap-Newport Pike (Rt. 41) and extended from Allen’s western boundary, east to the land of Thomas Lamborn, which is now New Garden Park. In that same year, 1824, Allen built a four-room stone house and added a brick addition in 1840.
After being owned by several owners for the next 75 years, the 56-acre farm, plus the one-acre tract, was sold for $9,000 to Charles G. Jones, great-grandfather of Ellen Jones Marsden, in 1914. For the next 18 years, Charles and Maluan Pownall Jones and their two sons, Gordon and Roy, farmed the land they called Crestfield Farm. In 1921, Charles and Maluan purchased an 18 acre farmstead adjoining the south and east boundaries of the original farm enlarging it to approximately 75 acres. Charles Jones died in 1932, and shortly after, in 1933, Maluan sold four acres and the house with frontage on Gap Newport Pike. These four acres had been part of the 18-acre tract they had purchased in 1921. In 1934, she deeded 5.7 acres in the northeast corner of the original parcel with frontage on New Garden Road to their son, Roy Jones.
The remaining 65-acre farm was left to their son and his wife, Gordon P. and Katherine Yocum Jones. By two separate deeds in 1988, the couple gave their granddaughter, Ellen Jones Marsden and her husband, William J. Marsden, Jr. the house and three-and-a-half acres around it. The remaining 60 acres were willed to their son G. Pownall Jones, who acquired the farm in 1988.
Between 1998 and 2003, in a series of gifts, G. Pownall Jones and his wife, Margaret, passed the ownership of all the remaining farm land to the Marsdens. The remaining 65-acre farm was (willed) to their son and his wife, Gordon P. and Katherine Y. Jones. They in turn, willed the house and surrounding three-and-a -half acres to their granddaughter, Ellen Jones Marsden and her husband, William J. Marsden, Jr.
The Marsden children, Benjamin, Margaret, and Emma, are the fifth consecutive generation of their mother’s family to own and live on Crestfield farm. They are also the nine times great-grandchildren of John Miller who held the 1714 Penn Patent for this land.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.