Thanks to Dave Umling for providing this remarkable Yankee Magazine article – “Eminent Domain in Ascutney, Vermont | I Will Not Leave”
Howard Mansfield tells the story of Romaine Tenney, a bachelor farmer. According to Mr. Mansfield’s compelling story, Tenney “milked 25 cows by hand on his farm in Ascutney, Vermont. He had no electricity in his house, used no gas-powered machinery. He cut his firewood with an axe and a saw; cut his hay with workhorses. He didn’t own a tractor or drive a car. When he went to the nearby big town of Claremont, across the river in New Hampshire, he’d walk the six miles–except that he probably never walked all the way. People always picked him up. Everyone knew Romaine. With his long beard, felt hat, and overalls, he was a familiar sight. Romaine enjoyed visiting on these rides, and all his neighbors liked him. His farm was right on the major road between Ascutney and Claremont; the road hugged his cow barn, and neighbors would often stop to chat. He rose late and worked late into the night. “You could drive by at midnight and there he would be in his barn, fixing some harnesses or just puttering about,” said Deputy Sheriff Robert Gale. It was as if Romaine held the office of Bachelor Farmer in town.”
Mr. Umling, who provided us with the link, has a very personal interest in this story and, it’s worth noting, a story of his own about his plan to get back to such a life. We interviewed Mr. Umling regarding his book in a January 2012 post – Lifestyle Lost – A Conversation with Dave Umling
Mr. Umling’s “Lifestyle Lost” is available in a variety of format’s at Amazon.com.