Thursday, March 9, 2017

Do You Know the Henry James Farm?

Recently the Cavendish Historical Society was asked if we knew anything about the Henry James Farm in Cavendish, dating back to the WWII era. The person who is inquiring writes, "I only know about it because my father volunteered there between 1941 and 1944. And I only know that because the FBI was watching him at the time and reported that he went out with the other young people who stayed - there- likely other COs [consciousness objector] -to volunteer to help local farmers with their work such as haying I imagine. Chances are no such person as Henry James who lived there- maybe it was named after a radical Henry James figure ?? Or maybe a local farmer named Henry James with lefty politics?? Really love it if u dig up Any info- the coincidence of this has bugged me for years as my dad eventually settled in close by Andover but never bothered to mention his experience in Cavendish a decade earlier... although he did love to tell a story about how he went door to door during the depression trying to peddle apples in Springfield . Having no luck with sales he eventually just knocked on doors and offered them for free .!people would not accept them and slammed their doors and called him a communist. He did love to tell that story. Now I wonder if that period in his life was the same as when he lived on Henry James farm in Cavendish. FBI records are the only documentation ironically of this."

We've solved the mystery. Turns out the name was William James, for the psychologist and philosopher, and a former Civilian Conservation Camp (CCC) in Sharon VT was renamed accordingly. Turns out this individual was never in Cavendish but rather in Sharon VT.

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