NEW YORK FOLKLORE QUARTERLY
Vol. XXII, No. 3, September 1966
THE WEDDERSPOON FARM
THIS paper is an attempt to leave a folk architectural study
— in this case the study of one central New York farm —
in context. A strictly architectural study would deal only
with the form and construction of the various buildings. In this
study, the architectural information is limited to a photograph
and a few sentences for each building plus a floor-plan for the
more complex buildings. The bulk of the text is devoted to non-
architectural material; that is, the function of the building as a part of the farm and as a part of the life of those who work or have worked the farm. Therefore, it consists of more than folk architecture, it includes examples of folk history; folk narrative in
the form of the anecdote; folk-speech, particularly terminology;
and an attitude which may be classed as folk.
The farm is owned by Mr. and Mrs. Fenton Wedderspoon. It
was visited on June 12, 13, 17, 30, and July 5, 14, 22, 1965. Of
these dates the most important were June 13, when Mr. Wedderspoon
spent the day visiting each building and explaining its function,
and June 30, when a lengthy interview with Mrs. Wedderspoon
was tape-recorded. Excerpts precisely transcribed from this
recording are preceded by an asterisk. Other quotes were taken
from the field notes.
The Wedderspoon farm is located in the Wedderspoon Hollow
about 3/4 of a mile west of Otsego Lake near Pierstown, which
* “was named for a family of Piers . . . Abner Pier and his seven
sons,” about five miles north of Cooperstown, Otsego County,
New York. The area was first settled by “gen-u-ine Scotch” who* came over to this country in around 1802. The first people
to come was...William Allen, he and his wife, who was
Jeanette MacTavish, and they settled...on the old road
near Otsego Lake....
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