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Looking Backward: The Hawley Home at Highland Farm

I close every column in the same way. "If you have questions about this story or suggestions for future ones, please contact me via e-mail." I received the following e-mail in November. "We live in the old Hawley farm house on Brickyard Road in Warners. We were wondering if you have researched or written about our house." Six days later, I met David and Pat Cooper at their home on Brickyard Road. It was a crisp, clear day, and the powder blue sky provided the perfect backdrop for the redbrick home. As we toured the grounds, Pat said that they moved from Minoa to the house in 1997. "They had subdivided the land by the time that we bought it. We have two acres now." Pat rang the school bell on the roof as I admired the old apple orchard. We came inside to compare our notes regarding the Hawleys and their house.

Four Hawley generations spanned the 202 years from 1800 through 2002. Few families influenced Baldwinsville's history so much. But they left their lasting legacy in Warners, a home known as "Highland Farm." In 1925, the Baldwinsville Gazette and Farmers' Journal reported that, "The farm consists of 85 acres with a modern house of 14 rooms and several barns and stables." In 1931, it called Highland Farm "one of the largest and finest houses in Warners, situated with a fine view across valley and hills." Hawley men inhabited it for more than 60 years. Four of them were named "George." George Hawley, IV, shared their story in Ancestors and Relations: Hawleys, Bisdees, Skinners, and Others.

According to Ancestors, George I, was born July 12, 1800, to Nathan and Elizabeth Sears Hawley. "Physically, he was neither tall nor robust .a reserved, self-contained boy not given to talking too much. He spent much time alone upstairs in a barn building models of buildings that interested him .He was depicted as disdainful of small talk and because of this was considered tactless by some who received his forthright and blunt answers .He had very little use for frivolity in social contact."

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