Last updated: 4/23/2011
1034 Miner Farm RD
Chazy, NY 12921
1034 Miner Farm RD
Chazy, NY 12921
Catherine S. Ballard, Director of Research
The Heart’s Delight Farm Heritage Exhibit is a permanent tribute to William and Alice Miner and the beautiful farm they developed on the Miner family homestead. The building of Heart’s Delight Farm began in 1903 and grew from a farmhouse and a couple of barns on 144 acres into a model farm of 300 structures situated on 15,000 acres. The farm utilized a scientific approach to agriculture on a vast scale, embracing hydroelectric power and technological advances to run an enterprise that employed 800 workers in its heyday. It shipped ham, sausages, eggs, and other produce to the best hotels and restaurants in New York City and Chicago.
The Exhibit not only portrays the development of Heart’s Delight Farm but also chronicles William Miner’s youth and his career in the railroad industry. It shows innovations, such as hydroelectric power production for farm use and fields brought under cultivation by extensive use of drain tiles. The Exhibit also illustrates the extensive philanthropy of William and Alice Miner.
The mission of Miner Institute continues the vision set forth by William H. Miner when he built Heart’s Delight Farm in 1903. Certainly, our core mission is expressed in the above quote, originally published in the 1915 Farm Book. Miner Institute has been guided by Mr. Miner’s vision in our research activities, as well as in our educational offerings. The primary objectives of the research program continue to be: relevance, cutting edge, direct applicability.
Heart’s Delight Farm was developed on William Henry Miner’s family homestead of 144 acres in Chazy, New York, beginning in 1903. By 1918 the farm had grown to 12,000 acres, including 4,000 acres of tillable land, 2,000 acres of pasture and 6,000 acres of woodland. Within the cropland, 450 acres were devoted to growing corn and 600 acres to small grains. There was a wide variety of animals on the farm including beef and dairy cattle, mules, draft horses, purebred horses, sheep, pigs, chickens, turkeys, pheasants and brook trout. The farm employed 800 workers at that time and had its own dairy, box factory, ice house, natatorium, greenhouses and grist mill. A 20 bedroom guesthouse and entertainment center named Harmony Hall also included an auditorium, complete with stage, that could accommodate 300 persons.
Development of this lovely working gentleman’s farm was made possible by the fortune Mr. Miner earned from his mechanical inventions for rail transportation. The farm continued to thrive during Mr. Miner’s lifetime as he divided his time between the farm and his company, Miner, Inc., based in Chicago.
William H. Miner’s will provided for the establishment of a school and farm devoted to teaching scientific and environmentally sound agricultural practices to the farmers and youth of northern New York.
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