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Massive farm family picnic celebrates Williams family’s 200th year on the land

Three generations of the Williams family.

Three generations of the Williams family – Lindsay, Justin and Brittany with Bob and Helen and Don and Anne.

Among a few hundred visitors,  friends, neighbours, farmers and their families wished the Williams family well on the celebration of the 200th year of the family farm.

The sixth, seventh and eighth generations to farm the property near Bloomfield attended the massive farm family picnic – Bob and Helen, their son Don and his wife Anne, and their children, Justin, Brittany and Lindsay. Following the barbecued feast, cake and ice cream, there was entertainment on the bouncy cow for youngsters and a performance by the junior farmers in a tractor pull event. The 4H members also showed their cattle.

Wilhome Farms has a Holstein herd, cash crops and was a swine operation for many years. Justin, the eighth generation on site, has added a maple syrup business to his parents’ farm and now taps about 500 trees each year.

Bob and Helen Williams, who celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary the day before, had a long and varied career on the farm and were honoured for a lifetime of achievements when they were inducted into the Quinte Agricultural Hall of Fame (Stirling) in 2011.

They sold the farm to son Don, and his wife, Anne, six years ago. Anne, as co-owner, is the first woman to own the Wilhome Farms property.  She works full time off the farm as a public servant but also completes all the bookkeeping for the farm.

“I believe the name came from the Williams Family Home Farm, and shortened to Wilhome Farms, but that’s just a really good guess,” said Anne.

Don and Anne continue to promote activities with 4H and the Junior Farmers. Williams-barn-quiltDon was in 4H and Junior Farmers and Justin was also in 4H and is still a Junior Farmer member, currently serving as Executive Director of Agricultural Programs on the Provincial Board of Directors. Justin graduated in the Spring of 2014 from the Gay Lea Youth Leadership Program. Don and Justin are both graduates of Kemptville College.

In July, their barn was adorned with a quilt block, as part of a barn quilt tour initiative in the County.

Don, who is also a volunteer firefighter, is proud that their barn’s block is more than just a pretty design.
“It was designed by Sandy Smith from down the road and she put a lot of thought into it,” he said. “The eight stars represent the eight generations here. The green is the fields, the red the barn, the blue is sky and the yellow is the sun as well as representing the commodity produced on the farm. It represents the whole farm and the family because that’s what it’s all about. I like that.”

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  1. Ross Lees says:

    Congratulations to all of the Williams family, but especially to Bob and Helen and Don and Anne – they were great supporters during my tenure in the County. I wish I had been there to congratulate them in person. Great farmers and great people!

  2. Becky Quaiff says:

    Congrats Williams family! Thanks for hosting, we had a blast. Also photos were taken of my son Jasper and just wondering if I’d be able to get my hands on them? Thanks

  3. Theresa Durning says:

    Congratulations to the Williams Family! You are an inspiration to this community!

  4. Anne Williams says:

    Samuel Williams purchased this land from James R. Armstrong in 1814 to give to his third son, Caleb Williams. Samuel already had a farm well established in West Lake prior to this date. Not sure of your source Gary, but this information was verified at the Land Registry Office in Picton.

  5. Gary says:

    Not to take away in anyway but I wonder if it is 200 years in the present location. I thought the first farming settlements were at East Lake in 1815.

  6. Joanne Fralick says:

    Congratulations Williams family! What a wonderful legacy. Here’s to many more farming years in the County 🙂

  7. congratulations to all your family. I remember wqhen Helen became interested in a fellow from far away(from Perth that is)It is quite a milestone since most around here would be pushing 150 years.Good to see you all and maybe someday we can make it down again. Don’t like to haul the boat through Toronto now. We are all getting older it seems. That is the good part.!
    Our farm reached 100 years this spring but Jim’s family had settled in Bruce county much earlier.

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