Thursday, October 28, 2010

Brown/Bender Farm

Brown-Bender Barn
While we were working in our Southernmost field(Bender South) this season I noticed the park pouring thousands of dollars into the restoration of the barn across Akron-Peninsula. It is a large 3 story barn that was built by the son of legendary counterfeiter Jim Brown. Jim Brown owned a tavern in Boston Twp.(still standing across from Boston Mills) and was arrested multiple times for his scams and counterfeiting. There is a legend that he robbed the San Fransisco Mint and buried the gold somewhere in the Valley and died before telling anyone the location(he died from a fall on a canal boat).
I wanted to get a good photo from the other side of the barn to show its large size but I would have needed my wide angle lens to fit it.

Lawn JockeyBender/Brown House
Sun Porch!
The farm was later owned by Earva Bender who's farm seems to have been very similar to what Szalay's is today(a produce stand and market produce wholesaler). At Szalay's we farm much of the former Bender Farm on lease from the National Park. A few years back someone planned to turn the barn into a bead and breakfast but ran out of money after some foundation work. I was able to get into the barn a couple seasons back and it is amazing - it has a grain silo on the inside. Earva took great care of the building - I'm told he painted it every year with a bicycle/pulley contraption he made. I'm curious as to whether the Park was restoring the barn for a specific purpose or just for its historical significance - they haven't touched the 1844 house that Jim and Earva lived in....


Tom said...

Interesting, I always wondered about that barn. I remember when they had the tarp over the side of it.

TimJayFitz said...

Yeah - I remember the blue tarp. Thats was after it was supposed to be turned into a bed and breakfast - thats when I snuck in to get a peek.