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History of Harrisdale Homestead 
 

 Ardyth Harris Gillespie, co-founder of Harrisdale Homestead, is the great-great granddaughter of James Harris, who first settled nearby in 1856. His son, Wilson, later owned the Harrisdale farm.  In 1920 Raymond built the house using a foursquare design popular at the time. That year he also built the round-roof barn to the east of the house. He served as his own general contractor and hired extra help for farming. The family lived in the barn while the original house was torn down for part of the lumber for the new house.  

One of Raymond’s three sons, Kenneth Harris, stayed on at Harrisdale. He married Marie Suiter  and they had four children: Ardyth, Bill, Garnet, and Philip. For many years Kenneth farmed with his father and two brothers, Lyle and Gale. The farmland continues to be owned by the family. 

The farm name comes from the Atlantic Northern Railroad’s “Harrisdale” livestock stop that was just east of the farm. This short rail line helped area farmers by providing easy transportation to market for their farm goods. In the early 1900s, cattle and hogs were shipped to market from the stop. Occasionally, Ray’s daughters, Pauline Harris Boyle and Rowena Harris Knop would flag down the train for a ride into Atlantic. 

Dedicating the Harrisdale Homestead to provide rural experiences for people ties its history to the future through ongoing, useful contributions to contemporary agriculture and community.

Craig Harris - a little recent history.