by Terry Lynn Colligan
When Albert Mosher, 85, a sixth generation farmer on his family’s Long View Farm in Gorham, Maine, talks about his long life in agriculture his love for the place is evident. In 1770, James Mosher, Albert’s many times great-grandfather, purchased 160 acres on the Presumpscot River and the farm has been continuously worked by the family ever since.
On Sunday July 28, Long View Farm was awarded its first Heritage Farm Award from the Cumberland County Farm Bureau in recognition of the Mosher’s dedication to successfully farming and maintaining the place as a family farm for the past 243 years.
Mr. Mosher had been asked to be this year’s parade marshal at the Gorham Founder’s Day Weekend Festival.
On that weekend, the Heritage Farm Award was presented and a granite hitching post was installed, marking Long View Farm as an award recipient.
“I did not expect this award, it was a total surprise.” Mosher said.
Forty family members and friends were at the gathering during the award ceremony.
Another earlier ancestor, Daniel Mosher, was among Gorham’s founding families having moved to Gorham in 1738, two years after the founding of the settlement.
Over the 243 years of its existence, the 1810 farmhouse and surroundings have seen a few changes. Of the original 160 acres there are now 140 acres, as parcels of land were sold off over the centuries.
In 1926, Albert Mosher, Sr., the present owner’s father, established a dairy herd where the cows were hand milked twice daily. In 1943,the milk began to be sold wholesale to Oakhurst Dairy in Portland.
As a youngster, Albert Mosher, Jr. remembers helping his dad deliver milk, butter, meats and other produce to Portland. In addition, loose hay was also delivered to local stables.
During those frequent trips to local Farmer’s Markets, Mosher recalls numerous racing of their horses to and from the markets. Mosher said, “I enjoyed the horses and working with the land.”
Until 1943, the Mosher’s delivered milk to customer’s homes.
Being part of a farming family factored into his decision to attend the University of Maine at Orono’s agricultural college where he studied agronomy.
After World War II ended, he rented the farm from his father for the next 30 years.
In 1952, he became an early member of the Heritage Farm Association.
Mosher took over the running of the farm from his father in 1967.
Another change occurred at Long View Farm in 1987, when he sold off all of the 140 head of cattle. “That was the first time there were no cows ever on the farm,” Mosher said.
Since then he has sold both sweet corn and hay as the farm’s staple crops.
A tragedy struck Long View Farm in 2004, when an arsonist set fire to the 110-foot long barn that was built in 1810. Luckily the main house was saved from the conflagration.
After the fire some improvements were made, including putting up a line of new sheds and a barn. At that time some of the old orchards were removed.
Today his son Mark Mosher, a master mechanic, is the family member, “most likely to take over the running of the farm,” Albert said.
Mark raises the sweet corn that is sold to the public at the roadside stand located at the end of the driveway. This intersection of Mosher Road and Main Street is locally known as Mosher’s Corner.
“I still do the haying and manage that end of the farming,” Albert added. He said farming is a lot of hard work and credits his ancestors with their self-sufficient work ethic.
“I think that my great, great, great grandfather would still recognize this farm today.”