By Wayne Franklin
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Extra info for A Rural Carpenter's World: The Craft in a Nineteenth-Century New York Township (American Land and Life Series)
Only one owned more milch cows, and not even he reported making as much butter. The next highest figure was 2,500 pounds, which had been the high figure as recently as 1865 but which Joseph Holmes now surpassed by fully 20 percent. In fact, only 35 of Westford's 256 farmers reported making 1,000 or more pounds in 1869-1870. The resulting picture is clear. Unlike his father, Calvin, or his brother James, Joseph Marvin Holmes had specialized. He also had responded increasingly to the trends of a modernized market agriculture, for butter and hops were two prime market crops in the region at that time.
Cherry Valley itself was progressively subdivided over the years, until it was merely one of Otsego's twenty-four townships by the time Holmes kept his diary. The area that was to become Westford remained part of Cherry Valley until 1797, when the large southeastern segment of the latter became Worcester township. That township in turn was divided in 1808 into four parts-Westford and Decatur on the northwest and northeast, and Maryland and Worcester, respectively, below them. Page 14 Westford, embracing some twenty thousand acres, lies athwart the bed of Elk Creek.
Hubbard, who was not a craftsman himself and must have been helping Holmes to work off part of the bill for his own new house. Or perhaps, since the pay due him for the work was small (Holmes showed it as $15 in the same summary of costs), he was trying to ease Holmes's demanding schedule so that his own job would proceed apace. German Baldwin, on the other hand, might still have performed much of the heavy labor connected with Holmes's new house even if Holmes had not been going to undertake a major job for Baldwin later in the year.
A Rural Carpenter's World: The Craft in a Nineteenth-Century New York Township (American Land and Life Series) by Wayne Franklin