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Samuel Hazen Farm District

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1850–1920. PA 1008 from Celia Rd. to Hickernell Rd., 3 miles northwest of Fombell

The three Hazen farms illustrate rural life away from the rivers in late-nineteenth-century Beaver County. Samuel Hazen purchased land in the Connoquenessing Creek valley in 1854. His son, Nathaniel W. Hazen, inherited and added to it, running a dairy farm there into the 1890s. In 1876, Nathaniel divided the farm between his sons Ezra and Elsworth. Ezra added to his acreage and left the land to his two sons, Gilbert and Charles, in 1904. These farms, joined by proximity and family ties, now lie in the path of the rampant suburbanization overtaking rural lands in the counties surrounding Pittsburgh. The land rises gradually to the north along the east bank of the meandering Connoquenessing Creek, with the tracks of the Pittsburgh, New Castle and Lake Erie Railroad parallel to the creek. The Hazen-Perkins farmhouse and outbuildings (c. 1894) sit on a hillside distantly visible from the road. The other two farm complexes, the Hazen-Clyde (c. 1850) and the Hazen-Zeigler (c. 1920), surrounded by their fields, are adjacent to the road. The nearby Soap Run one-room schoolhouse of c. 1876 and a handsome five-bay stone house at 801 Hickernell, c. 1870, add to the rural authenticity of the area.

These farm buildings show the evolution of rural architecture from the mid-nineteenth to the early twentieth centuries. The oldest, the Hazen-Clyde farm built in the late 1850s, is at the core of the complex, and centers on a red brick, four-bay, gable-roofed house with a frame ell on the rear elevation. Originally owned by Nathaniel W. Hazen, it was purchased in 1876 by his son Elsworth. The house is oriented toward and slightly above the Connoquenessing Creek. A frame barn with a jerkinhead roof and peaked dormers is the only outbuilding remaining.

To the west is the Hazen-Zeigler farm, which was owned by Elsworth's half-brother, Ezra, who left it to his son Charles in 1904. Now owned by his granddaughter Mary Lynn Newell, it consists of a pyramidal-roofed brick house dating from the 1920s that replaced the 1890s house after a fire. The outbuildings are similar to those of the Hazen-Perkins farm: white frame structures on sandstone foundations. Hazen-Perkins Farm, on a hillside above the creek, was inherited by Ezra's other son, Gilbert. Its five-bay, white frame farmhouse dates from 1894. The simple porch columns and window surrounds on the facade give way to a livelier east elevation dominated by a wraparound porch and a two-and-one-half-story ell with a bay window and large dormer. At the rear of the intersecting gable-roofed house is a summer kitchen, or “out house,” not a latrine but a small house built for hired hands and nearly attached to the main house for convenience. A large white barn and outbuildings date from 1892. The barn was constructed by the Miller brothers, local carpenters who built timber-frame barns with mortise-and-tenon connections secured by barn pegs. The peaked framed vents, sandstone foundation, and partially hewn tree trunks used for the framing are increasingly rare, as they compete with today's simple metal barns.

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.


What's Nearby


Lu Donnelly et al., "Samuel Hazen Farm District", [Fombell, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 1

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, Lu Donnelly, H. David Brumble IV, and Franklin Toker. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010, 153-153.

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