Switzer Farm Canadian FlagSwitzer David Ottawa

Physical Descripion

The Switzer Farm is located in the former Township of Osgoode, Ontario. Osgoode Township is now part of the City of Ottawa. It takes approximately 30 minutes to travel to the farm from the Centre of the City of Ottawa (approximately 36 km trip). The farm originally comprised 100 acres (1000 sq. chains) and was 100 chains long by 10 chains wide (1.25 miles by 220 yards) going from the 9th Line Concession Road on the west to the 10th Line Concession Road (Yorks Corners Rd.) on the east. The North Branch of the Castor River meanders through the middle of the farm which leaves 37.5 acres east of the Castor. The farm house (now taken down) and the barns were situated on a hill which divides the farm in the middle laterally which means that the buildings are over a half a mile from each concession road. Lanes were constructed from the buildings to the concession roads. The east lane starts out dividing the farm longitudinally until it reaches the castor. It then crosses through a bush of approximately 17 acres diagonally coming out of the bush on the north side of the farm and then reaches the 10th Line on that side of the farm. The road on the west starts out going west down the middle of the farm and then moves diagonally to the south side of the farm. It continues down this side of the farm until it reaches the 9th Line Road.  In the early years of the farm, most of the farm traffic was on the eastern lane as the church, Knox United Church, the school, no 21, the cheese factory and the villages of Edwards (general store, Orange Lodge and train station for the New York Central) and Kenmore were the main destinations on the 10 line. Eventually with the usage of motor vehicles, the traffic pattern changed and the western lane became the most used road, with the village of Metcalfe the main destination. As the farm is no longer inhabited, the eastern lane is overgrown.

History

The farm was originally pioneered by Christopher Switzer (1847 to 1932), the land having been purchased in 1871. The land was cleared with the exception of 17 acres of bush east of the Castor. In 1914 Christopher subdivided the land longitudinally, giving the north part to his son Tom and retaining the south part. In 1920, Christopher's son Obadiah (1883 to 1962) purchased both parts of the farm (Obadiah moved away from the farm in 1903 to Lot number 2 in the 11th Concession of the Township of Osgoode). In 1942 his son Stewart  (1910 to 1992) added 25 acres on the south side of the farm increasing the acreage to 125 Eventually Obadiah sold the farm in two transactions (one in 1951 and the other in 1954) to Stewart. In 1992 the land west of the Castor was sold outside the family, with the eastern 37 acres sold to David Switzer, a great grandson of Christopher.

How the farm was Used

The farm was originally a multi-use farm. When Obadiah was the owner, he raised cattle, pigs, chickens, geese. He had an apple orchard, large family garden, bee hives and in the spring used the bush for producing maple syrup. However when Stewart took over the farm the concentration was on raising Ayrshire cattle for milk and the crops which would support the cattle. Since 1992, farm has not been inhabited but corn and soybeans are grown on the land with the exception of the bush.

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