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The agricultural fields of the Morgan Log House were located behind the house, to the west. These fields were later sold and developed for mid-century (1970s) housing, mostly along Stonybrook Lane. The fields extended to Troxel Road and included a variety of crops including hay, corn, and soy beans in the early twentieth century.

Page 5 of the 1850 Pennsylvania Agricultural Census of Farms in Towamencin Township.

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Page 6 of the 1850 Pennsylvania Agricultural Census of Farms in Towamencin Township.

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The Morgan Log House was a farm for over 200 years and its fields were located west of the house. These fields were later sold and developed in the 1960s with mid-century (1970s) housing mostly seen along Stonybrook Lane from the museum. The last 17 acres were sold in 1965 to developer William Nash, including the house at this time, which was vacant and derelict.

We do not know what was grown within the fields by the Morgans, Evan David, John Yeakle, or Yellis Cassel, since there are no records that have survived. However, we do know what later farmers cultivated. The Pennsylvania Agricultural Census, taken in 1850, 1880, and 1927, documented farms across the state. We can see what Henry Cassel, the grandson of Yellis, and Frederick Bower, later owner were cultivating and had on their farm.

The 62-acre Morgan Log House farm was owned by Henry Cassel in 1850, the third generation of the family to do so. Henry was recorded as having a farm of 50 improved acres and 12 unimproved acres with a total value of $2,600 and $200 worth of farming implements. On his farm, he had 2 horses, 8 milk cows, 1 “other cattle” possibly a bull, 3 swine or pigs, which totaled to a value of $200. He had slaughtered livestock worth $75. Crop production included wheat (20 bushels), rye (75 bushels), Indian corn (75 bushels), oats (30 bushels), Irish potatoes (50 bushels), and hay (20 tons). The farm produced 650 pounds of butter from his dairy cows. 

Henry Cassel’s neighbors had similar livestock and crops on their farms. Sheep and mules were noted in the census, but Henry Cassel was not recorded as owning any, nor growing rice, peas or beans, sweet potatoes, barley, buckwheat, orchard fruit, grapes, or tobacco. Wool, cotton, and cheese were also not common products made in the township. 

Henry Cassel’s farm was a little above average in acreage and production. The township was recorded having 136 farm owners or agents within its boundaries. The majority of these farms were owner-operated and produced a variety of crops and livestock. The average farm in Towamencin Township in 1850 contained 46 acres with 12.3 unimproved acres, a farm value of $2,661.69, and farm implements worth $174.70. The livestock averages for the township were 2.3 horses, 5.8 milk cows, 2.4 other cattle, 1.5 sheep, 3.5 swine with an average of livestock total value of $245.97. The farm was lower than the township average for the following: wheat (42.8 bushels), Indian corn (104.4 bushels), Oats (98.9 bushels), Irish potatoes (27.4 bushels), and butter (678.4 pounds). The farm was above-average for rye (67.2 bushels), buckwheat (8.2 bushels), and hay (17 tons).

Cane sugar, cotton, hemp, hops, maple sugar, molasses, rice, silk cocoons, sweet potato, and tobacco were not cultivated on area farms, but were recorded in the national census. However, a few area farms produced barley, cheese, clover seed other seed grass, flax and flax seed, honey and wax, orchard produce, peas and beans, wine, and wool.

The Morgan Log House property, by 1902 or so, became a tenant farm that was rented out by owners living in Philadelphia to tenants living and farming the property. Tenants farmed the property, but little is known of them except for the Forsythe family, who rented the farm between 1933 and 1936. According to "Sis" Forsythe Robinson, the fields were used to grow hay, corn, and soy beans.

History of the Property and House. Morgan Log House.

Draft Agricultural History of the Morgan Log House (2019). Morgan Log House files.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Pennsylvania Agricultural History Project:

Pennsylvania Agricultural History Project: