Sunday, March 24, 2013

Another spring at Tannery Hill Farm


Photo by Barry Wallace
The barns and buildings of Tannery Hill Farm are still standing, but barely.   Since its glory days of the late 60s, the 70s and early 80s, as one of Canada's foremost Guernsey dairy herd farms , this King Township landmark, at the north-east corner of Highway 400 and the King Road, has been dwindling and disappearing in a drawn-out denouement.
When I moved to King City, as a young teenager in the mid-1950s, Tannery Hill Farm was about to be purchased by Henry Borden, a prominent Toronto lawyer.   When Henry Borden wasn't practising law, he was also running Brazilian Light, Traction & Power in South American,  and serving as chairman of the board of governors of the University of Toronto, among other things.   He built, along with farm manager Jim Schwarzt and Jim's son Don, one of North America's finest herds of prize-winning Guernsey cattle.   The farm was finally sold and the barns have been still and silent since then.   The Tannery Hill Farms lands are still providing crops for some tenant, while the owner is a large industrial corporation.
Sadly, King Township's agrarian heritage is physically disappearing; one board, one beam. and one barn at a time.

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