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history of the farm

Dr. Clay Hodgin recently traced our family back to Skipton, England where Robert Hodgin was born in 1621. In London Robert met George Fox and was converted to the Friends (Quaker) faith. He migrated to the new world and two of his descendants moved to Guilford County in the mid 1700's where they settled on the fertile farmland of upper Polecat Creek. In 1838 Macajah Hodgin purchased serveral tracts of land to form Hodgin Valley Farm. Joseph Phal Hodgin III is the sixth generation on the farm. Hazelhouse (named for Hazel Ferree Hodgin-wife of Joseph Phal Hodgin, Sr.) was constructed in 1931.

THE FARM TODAY

Animals on the Farm

In years past one or more milk cows were constantly present in order to place milk, butter, cheese, and meat on the table. There was a special "hog pasture" where pigs were raised for their fatback, ham, bacon, tenderloin, and sausage. the preparation of chicken, beef and pork was done entirely here on the farm. There were large draft work horses, riding and buggy horses, mules and oxen. Goats and sheep were kept to help maintain pastures as well as for meat and wool. Today, there is "Bo" large Percheron work horse, as well as beef cattle, several donkeys and a large herd of goats. Excess animals are marketed to help pay the considerable expense of maintaining the farm.

From early times to present farm birds such as bantams,turkeys, chickens, peafowl, geese, and guineas have been reared as a staple for the family table. In the 1950's Phal Hodgin, Sr. began placing bluebird nesting boxes in stratigic places in order to entice the beautiful but (at the time) rare bluebirds to nest and re-populate the farm. Today with approximately 28 bluebird nesting boxes on the farm, the brilliantly colored birds are seen daily year round. April thru August many of these boxes will contain a nest of three to five pale blue eggs or tiny hatchlings. Also on the farm are nesting boxes for bats, owls, mallard ducks, and wood ducks. Each spring Canada geese and Mallards nest and raise their young on Polecat Pond.

In my youth (the 30's and 40's) there were: rabbits, squirrels, opossum, raccoons, quail, doves, whippoorwills, and a few rare bobcats. Bears, wolves, beavers, deer, and foxes disappeared years earlier. Today rabbits are rarely seen on the farm and sadly the evening call of the bob white and whippoorwill are rarely heard-but the foxes, beaver, and coyotes are back.

Polecat Pond

Polecat Pond was built by Phal Hodgin, Sr. in 1947 and was stocked at that time with bass and bream. In 1991 it was drained and re-stocked with blue channel catfish. These fish grow as much as two pounds per year and are known for their tender and delicious meat. In 1993 Grass Carp were added to the lake to help control moss. Grass Carp are not meat fish and seldom will bite a hook but fish weighing 25-40 pounds are not unusual. In the early years, bull frogs populated the banks of Polecat Pond and their chorus filled Spring and Summer evenings with a joyous uproar. Sadly today the bellow of the bullfrog is heard only on rare occasions.