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MORE RECENT TIMES

The farmers of Keswick Ridge have always been progressive, quick to adopt the latest changes and techniques in agricultural science. The Coburns were no exception. The fertile slopes of the Ridge have long supported large well kept apple orchards. The first of these was on the Coburn and Jewett farms. In 1875 William Coburn purchased from Caldwell brothers of Woodstock, twenty-five apple trees for the sum of $3.75. Many of the once popular varieties grown in the early orchards on the Ridge included: Wolfe River, Princess Louise, New Brunswicker, Hass, Famuse, Ben Davis, Yellow Transparent, Pewaulkee, Tolman Sweet and Bishop Pippin.

Egg production was also a major agricultural commodity of many Ridge farms. The poultry division of the farm effort was usually left to the care of the farm wife who sought to produce enough eggs and fowl for her own use and if possible some extra to provide some pin money. Left to nature, the incubation and hatching of eggs seemed very inefficient, or at least it did to Mrs. Wm. Coburn and Mrs Havelock Gordon. For this reason they were the first in the area to purchase an incubator. The incubators were capable of handling a setting of sixty eggs and were warmed by kerosene lamps.

Poultry production still plays a role in the Coburn family. In 1935 William Coburn built a poultry house for 125 birds, in 1954 he expanded to 2,000 birds and in 1967 his son Burris built a 10,000 bird laying house which was doubled in 1970;

The demands of the world of fashion have also left their mark on the Coburn family and others on the Ridge. In the early 1920ís when silver fox skins were in great demand the first fox ranches were established by Fred Coburn and later by William Coburn in 1923.

In the late 1920ís electricity came to the Coburn household. William Coburn installed a small domestic light plant. A gasoline engine ran a small generator to produce current which was collected in storage batteries. These early systems were temperamental and required much attention but were the envy of the nieghbours.