Howell Farm is currently closed to the public, and all scheduled programs are canceled until further notice. Hiking, biking, or horseback riding through the farm, its lanes, or on Hunter Road is prohibited.
Because we are a working farm, essential full-time staff will remain on site to ensure that animals, grounds, and crops are cared for without interruption. Our horses, sheep, chickens, barn cat, and farm dog Lucy are all being fed and let in and out on their regular schedule.
Please check our website and Facebook page for updates and announcements, as well as mercercountyparks.org for information about other park closures due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Cromwell Family (1920-1948)
In 1920 the farm was purchased by Xenophon Cromwell. Xenophon and his son, Hart, operated the farm as a dairy farm. In the 1940s, Hart further enlarged the barn by moving two bays of an older barn to attach to the west end of the barn. Because this barn was narrower, a one story shed was added on the barnyard side. These two expansions were made to accommodate the increasing size of the Cromwell herd.
In 1920 Xenophon Cromwell purchased the farm and owned it until his death in 1939. Cromwell had been living in Pleasant Valley for a number of years renting the adjoining farm on Pleasant Valley Road to the east - the property now known as the Birum farm. In the 1920s Xenophon enlarged the barn, to accommodate a larger dairy herd, by filling in the north east corner area where the original two sections of the barn formed the "L".
In 1940 ownership went to his son, Hart, who owned the farm until 1948. The Cromwell's continued to work a dairy herd and also developed a milk delivery route in Hopewell Borough and Lambertville. During World War II the Henry Phillips Barn was greatly extended and remodeled to accommodate an enlarged dairy herd. Two bays of an early barn from a nearby farm had been moved in the early 20th century and set up a little northwest of the Henry Phillips Barn. In the early 1940s Hart Cromwell moved this old barn again to extend the original working barn to the west. He also added the shed on the south side of this addition and rearranged and extended the stalls for the cows. Despite these improvements he did not continue to farm the land himself after World War II.
Suydam Family (1948-1962)
In 1945 Thomas and Lucy Tyler of Ontario, Canada rented and moved to the Cromwell farm to raise a herd of dairy goats. In 1948 Hart Cromwell sold the farm to John Sicak and the Tylers continued to rent it from him. A year later the farm was sold to Walter Suydam who continued to rent it to the Tylers until they left in 1953. The Tylers reconverted the barn for their dairy goat operation and made changes necessary to meet state requirements. A small room at the south end of the horse barn was used as a milking parlor for the goats and a milk house was built at the southwest corner. This milk house was demolished in 1980.
In 1953 the Tylers left the farm and owner Walter Suydam took out many of the facilities added for the goats and put in stanchions for a standard dairy herd. This may also be the time when the concrete floor was put in. Walter Suydam became the last owner/operator of the farm.