The Brown family celebrated their 200th Anniversary as a Family Farm now known as Orchard Dale Fruit Farms and Brown’s Berry Patch in 2004. The farm is located in Waterport, New York, halfway between Rochester and Buffalo near Lake Ontario. A 200th Anniversary Celebration was held on Saturday, June 26 with NYS Commissioner of Agriculture, Nathan Rudgers as a feature guest. (Check out the celebration program below.)
In 1804, Bathshua Brown settled her five sons and seven daughters along the Oak Orchard River that leads to Lake Ontario. Since then the family and farm history has included capturing a British officer during the War of 1812, and adapting to two centuries of agricultural changes.
The farm operation has included apples, quince, and cherries for wholesale. At one time, the Brown’s were said to have the largest quince orchard in the world. In 1984 the family started a farm market called Brown’s Berry Patch which has become an agritourism attraction. Visitors experience the farm by picking their own berries, apples, and pumpkins, shopping in the farm market and country gift shop, enjoying treats from their ice cream, deli and bakery, and watching the children play in the Barnyard Adventure.
Sandie Prokop, Director of the New York Farm Bureau Foundation for Agricultural Education, says “200 years, just imagine the evolution of farming and life seen through the eyes of this one family! For one family to continue in this industry for two centuries is a testament to their good business sense, outstanding work ethic, and pride in the agricultural industry. They are an example of what has made our country and state strong in every sense.”
Wayne Hale, Director of the Orleans County Planning and Tourism Department says, “The Brown family’s hospitality and attention to detail have made Brown’s Berry Patch a leading agritourism destination for families, seniors, boaters, and motorcoach tours from across our region.”
200th Anniversary Celebration Program – June 26, 2004
Opening 2:00 p.m.
– Orleans County Tourism Director, Wayne Hale, Jr.
Welcome and Family Introduction
– Bob Brown
Pioneer Times in Orleans County
– Orleans County Historian, C.W. Lattin
Pioneer Farm Women & Bathshua Brown’s Story
– Delia Robinson
History of the Farm and Crops Grown Today
– Bob and Eric Brown
– Orleans Country Tourism Director, Wayne Hale, Jr.
– Wayne Hale, Jr.
Orleans County Legislature Chairwoman, Marcia Tuohey
New York State Assemblyman, Charlie Nesbitt
New York State Senator, George Maziarz
Aid to U.S. Congresswoman, Louise Slaughter
– Lisa LaTrovato
– NYS Commissioner of Agriculture, Nathan Rudgers
Cookbook Presentation to WNY Alzheimer’s Association
– Claire Brown
A Final Thought
– Dr. George Conneman, Cornell University Department of Applied Economics and Management
– Rev. Gary Saunders