Franklin County Agriculture Mainstay of County History
Agriculture is the cornerstone of Franklin County’s past and certainly its present. The beauty and the balance of the county’s agricultural land is a prime reason people visit and want to live in Franklin County. It secures the quality of life. Along with the open spaces and forest land, farm lands are the character of the county. To maintain the character, Franklin County needs to retain its agricultural heritage.
The following excerpt from “Old Mercersburg” about Michael Cromer glimpses a piece of the agricultural history and the character of the people, who farmed the land of Franklin County.
The Champion Cradling Feat of the World
It was reported in the harvest of 1857 that an expert cradler in the village of Mercersburg,
Pa., had cut in one day ten acres of wheat. The feat being noised about, some newspapers ridiculed
the idea as being absurdly preposterous.
“In the meantime the report reached the Millard Scythe Company, of Claysville, New York.
The proprietors wrote the cradler to ascertain whether, if they should make and present him a suit-
able cradle, he would undertake with it to beat his former record. Of course with his splendid rec-
ord to sustain, and his splendid pluck to carry him through, he accepted the challenge, but asked the
privilege of having the woodwork built to suit himself, which request the company acceded. In due
time the cradle came, a marvel of strength and beauty. The blade was five inches in width, by sixty-
five in lengfth, and made of silver steel. (more…)