The Other Farm

John Jacob Troutman (1895 – 1965) and his wife Edna M Moyer (1894 – 1966) actually owned two farms. Unlike Twin Meadows Farm, the second one didn’t have a name, or if it did, I never knew it. We always called it The Other Farm.

Satellite image of The Other Farm as it looks today. It appears to have sprouted a couple of extra buildings since my grandparents’ days.

Satellite image of The Other Farm as it looks today. It appears to have sprouted a couple of extra buildings since my grandparents’ days.

The Other Farm wasn’t as large as Twin Meadows Farm; it only had one barn and one chicken coop, for example, and I’m sure there wasn’t as much land associated with it. You can find it by taking Route 422 and turning north onto 419, also known as Mill Road; go about two or three miles and The Other Farm is the first farm on the right after Charming Forge Road. Though we usually went the back way. Remember that dirt road that is no longer there? We’d take that dirt road to get to the paved road, or Tulpehocken Forge Road, and hang a left. Then take another left onto Charming Forge Road, and finally a right onto 419, and The Other Farm is just over the hill on the right.

I’m not sure just who worked on The Other Farm. There was a family that lived in the house, “Hops” Behney and his wife Esther, but Hops had a full time job at the Sheridan furnace, so I’m not sure if he helped out on the farm or not. They had two school age sons, who were too young to do anything but light chores around the farm. I have a vague recollection of Hops as being something of a character, but I recall nothing more about him. My recent research, however, reveals that his given name was Horace, and he died in 2000.

Anyway the younger son, George, was about three years older than I was, and I think he would sometimes come to visit at Twin Meadows Farm where he and I would try not to get into too much trouble.

On at least one occasion I went to visit him at The Other Farm. I’m not sure just when it was, but I’m guessing I may have been about five, making George about eight years old. That’s the only time I remember being in the house at The Other Farm, and I guess I must have met his mother, but I have no recollection of her, or of the house. I have a vague recollection of there being a much younger sibling, and I see from my research that he does have a younger sister, Donna (same name as my sister), but I can’t find her age or birth year.

Well, on this occasion George and I left the house, and I guess we were on our way to the barn to see what kind of trouble we could get into there, but as we made our way through the yard, we were blocked by a big, nasty old turkey. This turkey, which was huge (recall that we were five and eight years old), kept attacking us whenever we tried to pass it. To escape from it, we took refuge in the dog house. Yes, it was a really big dog house.

This looks like the turkey that savagely attacked us

This looks like the turkey that savagely attacked us

But the dog house didn’t protect us for long, as shortly we heard a loud rapping sound on the roof. What animal was attacking us now?

Happily, it turned out to be Galen, George’s twelve-year-old brother. He had chased away the turkey and decided to give us another scare before releasing us.

The funny thing is, as I recall this event now, I regarded Galen as being much older, practically an adult, so I was surprised when I did my research and found out he was only four years older than George.

I only recall seeing George Behney one time in later years when he stopped in the Richland Hardware shortly after my parents bought it.

I see from my research that he is now George Behney Sr., and he’s living (or recently lived) in Richland. I wonder if he remembers the time we were attacked by the turkey?

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