Knopp Farm Milk House

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I remember years ago visiting the Knopp Farm, on Columbia Rd. Richfield Twp., Summit Co. Of the two homes on the farm, there was “Uncle” Frank’s house. Every winter he closed up the rest of the house and lived in the kitchen. It was the only room he could keep warm with his wood stove. He had a narrow bed in the corner, a single chair by the kitchen table, and a cook stove. I don’t recall that he did much during the winter. Went outside to cut the day’s firewood, and to do such chores as needed doing. And he must of thought (a lot), just waiting for spring.

There was also Mel and Ruth’s house (Mel was my church youth group leader). Mel had lived “in town” next to the Hotz Blacksmith Shop when it was on 303, then moved out to the farm when he started a family.

And there was the horse shed, two story corn crib, the bank barn and this milk house.

It’s interesting to have so many pieces from this Columbia Rd. farm, including the milk house, the stairs and stalls from the horse barn, the horse drawn cultivator, kitchen chairs and a very early “bell” washing machine. I also find it interesting that one of our Fry family ancestors, Revolutionary War hero General Anthony Wayne, was among of the first “Europeans” to travel through the area when he led his soldiers in the building of what later became Columbia and Boston Rds. The Gen’l established this very early wagon trail thru the wilderness as a supply line to the then small town of Pittsburg. (As a note to this story, I have heard over the many years that a group of soldiers had traveled that area and had buried a quantity of gold somewhere along that same ridge when threatened with attack by some of the “friendly” local natives. The gold has never been found, and now I wonder if my ancestor had had a hand on it at one time.)

As for the milk house, it’s a fine little building that had originally stood by the old bank barn. The milk hse. had a cement floor with a cement trough in one end in which well water was run for cooling the fresh milk. The ever reliable and patient Ward Cox helped me move the building to the museum one lovely autumn day. We jacked the building up onto a number of cement blocks, backed his trailor under it, let’r down and brought it on home. The Knopp Milk House now stands beside the main museum drive, and serves as the first greeting for all who visit the museum.

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