Property owners engaged in cooperative farming
A photo gallery of this Mystery Place is HERE
The Rambow farm is located at W6441 Beloit Road, just west of the village of Walworth. The barn on this farm sports a barn quilt called Mariner’s Compass. The farm was once part of a farmer’s milk cooperative that owned its own creamery.
The 1857 plat book shows the owner of this property as James Sherburne. He also is listed as the owner in the 1873 book. The next owner was Thomas Pugh.
Pugh was born in Herkimer County, N.Y. At age 9, he moved with his parents to Oneida County, N.Y. In the fall of 1870, he came to Walworth County but returned to New York the following year.
He returned to Walworth County in 1875 and worked on the farm in this location until he bought it in 1880.
His wife, Mary McCarty, was the niece of James Sherburne. Mary came to Walworth County with her uncle when she was 10. She lived with him until her marriage to Thomas on Sept. 12, 1871. Thomas and Mary had two children, Mattie and Frank T.
In 1887, Pugh rented out his farm and moved to Fremont, Neb. After four or five years, he returned to the village and held various town and village offices. He was secretary of the Walworth Mutual Fire Insurance Co. for several years. In 1903, he moved to Oklahoma and stayed only a few months, returning to Walworth. He moved to South Dakota in 1907 for two years and then went to Florida for two winters and a summer.
Pugh returned to Walworth and resided there ever since. He helped organize the Geneva Land Co., which established the Glenwood Springs development. He was a member of the executive committee of the Walworth County Agricultural Society for several years.
The 1900 plat book shows H.S. Bell as the owner of this property. The 1909 plat book shows a creamery located at the intersection just west of here, which was known as Pugh’s Corners. A farmer’s milk cooperative was located on the southeast corner.
The area farmers felt they could get a better price for their milk by operating as a cooperative. John Lawson and H.S. Bell raised money for it and the operation began June 22, 1893.
The building later burned; current owners of the property still find parts of the foundation when they work the land.
Hiram Sears Bell, son of William and Sarah Bell, (from Bell’s Corners or Six Corners) was born June 28, 1844. He received his education at the Big Foot Academy in Walworth and at an academy at Allens Grove.
He taught school for a year and then learned carpentry and practiced this in Elkhorn for 10 years. While there he married Lucille C. Bailey, daughter of Joseph and Mary Catherine Bailey.
Bell continued to live in Elkhorn until 1876, when he bought this farm west of the village of Walworth -- the southeast corner of this intersection. This may be why some people call this area Bell’s Corners ... but the “more official” one is to the north, where Bell’s parents lived.
Bell moved into the village of Walworth in 1900 and organized the Walworth Exchange Bank. In 1904, he built a home in the village. At one time he was the manager of the Farmers Cooperative Creamery and was the president of the Lake Geneva Land Co. and founder of Glenwood Springs housing development.
In the 1930s, the owner was C. Benedick. Don C. and Faith Rambow were the owners in 1961. The property is now listed as being owned under Donald Rambow Trust & Faith E. Rambow.
The Mariner’s Compass quilt block can be seen on the east side of the barn, just under the extension where the hay fork and track were used to move the hay into the mow with block and pulley. The block’s colors were chosen to reflect the sun and earth, things central to a farmer’s profession.