Sunday, June 28, 2009

"Kinnelon" Estate of Francis S. Kinney Part III

I've been remiss in not continuing sooner with Part III of the "Kinnelon" Estate of Francis S. Kinney -- in what is now Smoke Rise in Kinnelon, NJ -- as described in Cornie Hubner's Didja Know? series. So, here 'tis!

The series about Kinney's Estate starts with Didja Know? Francis S. Kinney's "Cottage" Life which includes a reference map and continues with Didja Know? "Kinnelon" Estate of Francis S. Kinney - Part I and Part II. There are 5 parts in total.


The occupation of the 84 room "Cottage" in 1892 marked the beginning of intensive activity that provided work for up to fifty nearby workers. If walking several miles or driving a one horse buggy can be called commuting, the towns of Butler and Bloomingdale, as well as Rockaway Valley furnished the first commuters, abandoning their farms for "cash on the barrel head" wages. Planned fields, gardens and orchards were started and an assortment of pedigree livestock was provided with the bucolic setting for the champions that were raised. The 1891 census provides proof of Mr. Kinney's wisdom in his selection of the stock that fathered the animals that received National and Worldwide recognition.

The barn yard population consisted of:

Registered #40805 - "Lady Vernonelle"
Registered #27283 - "Village Lassie"
Registered #39076 -"Lesson"
[several unregistered cows and heifers]

Registered #19387 - "Pequonoc Chief"
[one no name]

Two sows "Ann" and "Queen"
A full blooded boar "Duke"
Twenty-five piglets

Four teams of work horses
Two matched teams of road horses
"Tippecanoe" and "Tally Ho" ponies
"Bob" and "Star" saddle horses

CHICKENS: 125 young and 48 old

Several prize fox terriers kept in the house were later joined by "coon" dogs as the boys started to hunt. The sheep herd was also started later by the addition of pedigree stock.

The care and rearing of an ever increasing farm population directed by experts required field hands, laborers, hostlers, carpenters, masons and a blacksmith. The vegetable and flower gardens used seasonal help and additional teams and workers were needed to cut and bring in the hay. Gravel roads were maintained and extended to the top of Kitty Ann Mountain and other extremities. Woodsmen began the selective harvesting of trees for telegraph poles and the voracious fireplaces. Several game wardens acted as guards and kept "bow houses" [small hemlocks bent to provide protection for partridge, quail and pheasant] supplied with feed grain.

Several acres of farm land in the area of Pepperidge Tree Lane, known as the "Rye Field," were planted with feed grain to attract the dwindling quail population. A later day note reported "the second season with no sign of quail." At the same time it was noted that the warden delivered six wood cocks to the kitchen. In 1894 a perplexing note referred to a Pigeon Shoot. Mrs. Kinney had 11 of out of 25 while Mr. Kinney got 7 of the 25 and the mystery clears up when it added that Beatrice and Joel "shot the wounded ones that perched in the trees - with their twenty-twos." This was at the time when there were flocks of pigeons [mourning doves] easily trapped and released for the contests as needed. They too disappeared as a subsequent entry "enjoyed trap shooting" indicated - or perhaps the influence of the A.S.P.C.A. may have been felt?

The two youngest children, Warren born in 1888, and Morris in 1890, were never mentioned in the "Log" though they must have required services of the nurse/nannies. The oldest brother, Joel, frequently mentioned, died as a young man and sister Beatrice spent much of her time in France. It must have been her influence that changed the 1891 listing of "J. Rowe Chef at $150" "J. Rowe Grand Chef de Cuisine" at the same $150 in 1894. Local lore has her happily married to a French nobleman and spending little time in Kinnelon.

The family continued summers at Naragansett and the winters in New York for a number of years. The spring and autumn sojourn at the "Cottage" offered the pastoral life marked by continued improvements and interests drawing Mr. Kinney closer to making it his all year residence. A major improvement was the construction of the dam that more than doubled the size of Stickle Pond. While providing the deeper, larger lake we now know, it inundated the road around the pond where the youngsters rose on their ponies and the older members guided their surrey or pony cart. A matched team drawn glistening carriage supplied an aristocratic Victorian flavor for house guests when driven by the formally accoutred coachman for a pre-dinner viewing of the enchanting preserve. [The northern border road of Stickle Pond can still be seen from a plane - about four feet under water as an extension of the Crossway.]

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