Zenda Farm


{Need current and/or old photos here}

Anthony Potter, a veteran of the Napoleonic Wars, acquired the land this farm was eventually built on when it was just woods and untamed wilderness. He died in 1862 but later others owned the property; including Reinman, Whitmore, and Tiernan.

In the 1930's Merle Young, of the Youngs Rubber Company (which manufactured condoms among other things), started acquiring land and farms in the area, including the property the Zenda Farm would eventually be built on. Young had innovative steel Jamesway barns built and ran a diary farm there, then later a beef farm.

The name "Zenda Farm" came from a previous owner of the property, who owned a mansion along the St. Lawrence as well as the land where the Zenda farm would be built. The aforementioned mansion had once belonged to James Hackett, who was a famous Shakespearean actor and who was born on Wolfe Island. Hackett's earliest and most successful role was the title role in the 1913 film "Prisoner of Zenda", which he named his mansion after. He also had a famous father who performed Richard III on stage in London. (The old Zenda mansion burned in 1991.)

The name "Zenda" was taken up by Young when he built the farm.

By the late 1930's the farm had become a show farm with some of the most modern equipment as well as agricultural and management methods available. High quality Guernsey cows were bred and raised and produced milk for the area. A spotless creamery with the area's first automatic bottling system was built, as well as a walk-in cooler and electric screens that kept the flies out of the milking parlor. Each cow's tails were washed each morning in a special solution to keep them clean and free of flies. Tours of the farm were arranged for local farmers and interested parties.

In 1997 John and Lois Jean MacFarlane donated the farm to the Thousand Islands Trust (a local organization working to conserve the natural beauty,
wildlife habitats and recreational opportunities in the Thousand Islands region). The organization raised money to paint the rusting metal barns and buildings, and a local farmer keeps the fields hayed as well as pastures his cows on the property. The harvesting of the hay from the farm takes place after August 1st in an effort to allow nesting grassland birds to raise their young in peace. The farm is also the site of the annual Community Picnic, and a trail was also to be built around the farm property.


Zenda Farm Preserve (external site)
Historic Structures of Jefferson County
Clayton