A 250 Year Love Affair with Local Food
Charles Carroll, one of America’s Founding Fathers and signer of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, owned our land in 1759. In a town in Pennsylvania – Glenville, just outside Hanover, John Woerner (as he spelled it then) was farming with his son George in 1776. John’s father farmed near Littlestown and had come from Germany. John was born there in 1737. George left home to serve under George Washington. In 1783, George came home. He and his dad decided to move to Westminster and bought 177.5 acres of land that had been part of Charles Carroll’s Molly Fancy tract. This was the birth of Evermore Farm.
Can you imagine the times? They had just fought the largest military force on earth and won their independence. A new nation! John and his son decided to start a new farm as well. They hand picked the land they bought. They lived in what we call the log house and began to build the main house. We know that John had completed the two story brick house and had a log barn on the property by 1790, as we have tax records where he commented that the taxes were too high (some things never change). It is likely to have been completed by about 1785 or so. John must have done OK at some point because it has nine foot ceilings on both floors, rare for the time and rare decorative brickwork.
We walk on hallowed ground here at Evermore. Not only did this family help us establish this country, serve in the Continental Army, but there can be no doubt that the Woerners would have discussed the merits of the US Constitution and what George’s old commander was up to as they formed our government.
…..and what did the Woerners do here? Why, produce food for the new towns of Uniontown and Westminster! The Woerners continued to do so until John’s death in 1827. John was a contemporary of Jefferson, Adams, and most of the founders. He dies the year after them, at 89. We have no images of him, but his family has visited several times and states they were generally tall people.
We have no records of what the Woerners produced here, but we have tried to bring animals to Evermore whose heritage would have been consistent with the time, like the Dexter beef breed – a triple purpose animal capable of supplying draft field power, milk and beef, and known to be in our area at the time. Certainly they had hogs as well, and we have Berkshires – also of the time and favored by many.
After John’s death, he is buried here at Evermore in a newly established cemetery whose exact location is lost to us. We do have his tombstone and one of what we think was a grand-daughter. We have tried to honor John Woerner and his family by establishing a memorial location where these stones are prominently featured on a hill overlooking the farm. Son George takes over and continues to farm this land until 1832. George is buried at Baust church. The founding Woerner. had this land for 50 years.
Afterward, this land passed through several hands and saw the Civil War. Afterwards, in 1875 it passes to Pastor Amos Caylor who farms here for 30 years before selling the land to the BF Shriver Company. BF Shriver had developed canned vegetables locally and our land was used for this purpose for over 70 years. Shrivers owned over 5,000 acres in Carroll County that were used for this purpose and our farm was known to them as the Caylor Farm. Peas, Green Beans, and all manner similar were grown on our farm during this period and used to feed our local communities.
This brings us to today when Shrivers divested their Carroll County lands and our piece of this tract was preserved by Robert Porter. Bob did a wonderful job preserving the Woerner house and the outbuildings. Much is owed to Bob for what you see today. We purchased the property in 2006 from Bob, who spent about 30 years improving everything you see.
Evermore’s owners, John & Ginger Myers, seek to continue the local food heritage of this wonderful piece of history. We have a lifetime of agricultural experience. Our goal is to share the heritage, help others learn more about where their food comes from, why it is important, and enjoy the food we produce.
Our History – Continued
While there were many transfers and several previous owners of this land, it was John Warner who built the house on the farm, creating a fully functioning farm. Up until that point, the parcel is simply large sections of land. Therefore, the establishment date for the farm is 1783 when the land passes into the hands of John Warner.
According to the information found at the Carroll County Historical Society this parcel was once part of a larger tract consisting of 1521 acres, known as “Molly’s Fancy.” A partial history of the parcel follows:
|Date of Sale
|December 18, 1758
|January 11, 1759
|Charles Carroll, Esq. – 1521 acres
|Benedict Swope – 177 1/2 acres
|September 13, 1783
|John Warner – 177 1/2 acres
|Unknown month, 1827*
|George Warner – 169 7/8 acres
|May 1, 1832
|Michael Morelock, Sr. – 169 7/8 acres
|May 2, 1836
|March 6, 1875
|Amos Caylor – 161 acres
|March 7, 1904
|B.F. Shriver Co.
|January 2, 1976
|John D. Hannon
|September 3, 1976
|Robert and Barbara Porter – 20.651 acres
|July 31, 2006
|John and Ginger Myers – 20.651 acres
* Note: The 1827 transfer from John Warner to George Warner resulted from the probate of John Warner’s will. According to this will, filed at the Frederick Co. Court, Frederick, MD, George was to receive the 169+ acres of land and the building contained thereon. The will did contain a condition whereby John’s widow would be permitted to live on the farm and she was to have the use of the bedroom and room beneath nearest the garden. She was also to have use of half of the kitchen, summer kitchen and spring house until her death. John Warner and Rebecca Warner (possibly a granddaughter or granddaughter-in-law) are buried on the farm.
An expert on old houses, recommended by the Carroll County Historical Society, estimated that the house located on this farm was built circa 1810. However, an old adobe brick found built into the house appears to have a name and the number 1787 inscribed into it, leading us to believe the house is older than the 1810 date. From the will of John Warner, it is known that a two-story house, summer kitchen and spring house existed on the farm in 1827.