Working the Farm: 1829-1856
Most of what we know about life on the farm at Macculloch Hall comes from George and Louisa Macculloch’s writings, including a meticulously kept account ledger dating from 1810 to 1856 and a garden journal dating from 1829 to 1856, both kept by George.
George Macculloch began to keep an account ledger for his family farm’s workings soon after the completion of Macculloch Hall in 1810. One of the first entries dates to March 4, 1810, noting the sale of “1-quart spirits strawberry” to Francis Cook for 19 cents. The beginning of the account ledger contains an alphabetical index of names of people whom the Maccullochs exchanged goods and services. The ledger also reveals various tradespeople and workmen employed to keep the farm and prepare its goods for market. After George died in 1858, the ledger was kept, although in much less detail, through 1898.
George's garden journal lists varieties of the fruits and vegetables grown on the farm, planting and harvest times, crop yields, farm income, and notes on the growing season’s weather including weather highs/ lows and the dates of the first and last frosts. He also noted when crop disease struck, the methods used to combat it, and the farm’s husbandry of cows, sheep, and horses. In 1829, George recorded the planting and harvesting of tomatoes, or “tomatas”—which was the first recorded growth of the now famous Jersey Tomato.
Digitization of George Macculloch’s Account Book and Garden Journal was completed during spring 2018 by Leana Santana as part of her Structured Learning Experience in fulfillment of graduation requirements from the Morris County School of Technology (www.mcvts.org).