Growing Hops in Reynoldston, NY late 19th Century

Growing Hops in Upstate New York in the late 19th Century. Description of growing hops.

Growing Hops In Reynoldston


Growing hops was a good source of cash for the earlr farmers/ settlers of Reynoldston.  Both Allen Bordeaux and
Joseph Campbell grew hops and sold them during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Their children and grandchildren recall growing and picking hops as part of their life in the community. 
 In the fall women and children earned extra money picking hops either on the few acres growing in Reynoldston or in larger yards on nearby farms. Before hop picking long wooden hop boxes were set in the field, with a forked stick stuck in the ground at one end. A tall hop pole, covered with vines, was pulled over to rest in the crotch of the stick so the fruit hung over the box, ready to be plucked and dropped in. It was a day’s work for one person to fill a hop box with the ripened yellow fruit, and for every box she filled a woman or girl got one dollar. Once picked, the hop fruit was spread on a canvas that covered the fifteen by thirty foot slatted floor of Joseph Campbell’s dry kiln. On the ground beneath the slats a fire burned and dried the berries’ outer skin. Before the grower could send his crop to market he pressed the dried fruit in a hop  press, and wrapped the huge bales in burlap. If he grew less than an acre he merely stuffed the hops into burlap bags and sent them off like so many bushels of potatoes.

Tom  & Jennie Campbell

Allen Bordeaux hops)  He sold them. He’d take them up to Malone….He had a hop kiln on that side of the road there as you go towards.  Pick hops in the fall of the year.   (Jennie)  He didn’t have a very big hop yard,  Seven or eight (women picking hops)…women and some men and kids….I picked down to Bangor, I picked hops…Out to Malone…my father used to drive hops out there.

Tom & Jennie Campbell tape 2 p.5

Eugene Bordeaux

He probably had two acres. (of hops)  First thing he’d dry them.  He had a kiln down here at the back of his place.  With slats and canvas. And down below, he had a fire in a big stove to heat the hops and dry  them.  And after they are all dried, he’d press them like bales of hay.  They had burlap around them see. (hire neighbors to pick hops)  Oh yes, you got so much a pound.  Big boxes and he’d give you a  dollar a box. … he sold them.  Most of the hops here were sent to Germany.

Eugene Bordeaux  tape 11 p. 44-45


Article on Hops

by Frederick
Seaver*
 

In 1887 the county produced its record crop — estimated, with probable accuracy, at over 17,000 bales. Since that year there has been an almost continuous decrease both in the number and extent of the yards, and of course in the quantity of hops harvested. Formerly yards of twenty to thirty acres each were common in Bangor, Constable and Malone, and many were a good deal larger. Bobert Schroeder, a New York city hop merchant, set out yards in Duane of two or three hundred acres.

*Page  45

“Historical Sketches  of Franklin County And Its Several Towns |Seaver,Frederick J | |1918 |J.B Lyons
Company |Albany, NY |Chapter VIII Brandon

 

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