The History of Lehner Farms
“-Like the one stray fragment of a wreck, which, thrown with the vessel’s name ashore, tells who they were that live no more.”~Moore
Preface: The above quotation (which was taken from The History of Delaware County, Ohio of 1880) is perfect, when describing history! As we have researched and learned more about our farm, it makes us realize that our knowledge is just that… a tiny fragment from a huge history. It’s a glimpse of what life was like in centuries past. It can give us names, and some descriptions, but it doesn’t really let us fully know the people who lived before us. We are not historians, nor do we claim to have great knowledge of the native groups or pioneers who lived in this land prior to us, we simply want to recognize and honor them as being part of our farm’s history. We have been so excited to find each piece of history to share, and hope that you will find it interesting as well.
Pumpkins/squash were a staple for most native people in this area and was used in a variety of ways. They roasted, baked, parched, boiled and dried the insides. They ate pumpkin seeds and also used them to make medicines. Dried pumpkin could be stored and ground into flour. They even used the blossoms in some of their foods. Some of the most recent Native American groups to live in this area were the Wyandott, Delaware (Lenni Lenape), Mingo, and Shawnee, through the early 1800’s. Evidence of these great nations have surfaced in our fields over the years. We have found arrowheads, partial ceremonial pieces and other Native American artifacts.
This started a wave of Welsh immigration to Radnor Township. (Read more about this history here or visit the Radnor Historic Society on the corner of Radnor Rd and St. Rt. 203). In 1826 (or slightly before) a stone home, currently owned by our family on Dildine Rd, was built. This Welsh style stone house is one of the oldest homes still standing in the area. At that time, many Native American groups still visited/lived in the area. Also, interesting to think about, was that much of the land was covered by forest. Many animals, which have since been eradicated from the area, such as bears, still lived here! One such story was documented in the Historical Collections of Ohio volume I published in 1890.
The Lehners were granted permission to take the schoolhouse down, brick by brick, to use for their addition. This was a painstaking task as most of the bricks were covered in mortar and had to be individually cleaned. The extra effort was worth it, as the end product turned out as an almost perfect match to the original bricks on the house. The bricks of the deteriorating schoolhouse are now beautifully preserved in the back part of their home.