Ithamer Stow 1802-1887
Ithamer Stow was born into a farming family that was living in Grafton, Massachusetts. He was welcomed into this world by his mother Sally Bright Temple and his father, the original Ithamer Stow. Soon after he was born he was given the nickname Jr. so that it would be less confusing for the other 7 people that were living in the Stow home and he would carry this nickname throughout his youth.
After Ithamer finished his limited schooling he decided to venture out into the world on his own. He would leave the Stow home sometime in either his late teens or early twenties. He moved around a lot, but he eventually purchased a farm for $1,700 located in West Millbury, Massachusetts. It was this farm that would eventually become the Stowe Homestead.
Besides buying and starting the farm, Ithamer Stow's major legacy is that he added an "E" to the family last name when his son was born, naming him George Ithamer Stowe. The "E" ending is still in use to this very day.
George Ithamer Stowe 1853-1919
George Ithamer Stowe was born on the snowy morning of February 22, 1853. He grew up on the family farm and learned directly from his father. George under the tutelage of his father became a master farmer, so good that his father Ithamer sold George the farm in 1874 when he was just 21 years old for $4000. As George grew older the Stowe farm became more and more prevalent in the Millbury community, along with George himself.
George became engulfed in the Millbury community. He became a member of the investment committee for the Millbury Savings Bank. He joined the First Congregational Church in Millbury and would even lead their choir. George was also the Millbury Grange master and also became a trustee for the local cemetery and played an integral role in restoring and beautifying the cemetery.
When George Ithamer Stowe passed away in 1919 he had planned to leave the Stowe Farm to his oldest son, George Burton Stowe. However, he had already left the Stowe farm to purchase his own farm on South Oxford Road in Millbury. This made is so that the farm would fall into the hands of his second son, Oscar.
Oscar Henry Stowe 1881-1960
Oscar Henry Stowe not only inherited the Farm from his father, he also inherited the responsibility to take care of his ailing mother Mary Jane Robbins. These two things took up the majority of Oscar's life and free time. Even with all of these responsibilities Oscar was still able to find a wife, Alice Minerva Brigham. Oscar and Alice would go on to have three children: Carolyn Mae Stowe, George Brigham Stowe, and Arthur Lewis Stowe.
Oscar was seen on the exterior as a cold and stern man, but those that were close to him knew him as a kind and caring man. He was known to help anyone in need, except like the Stowe's that came before him Oscar chose to help quietly. He would continue to run the farm until his passing in 1960, the farm was then turned over to his oldest son George.
George Brigham Stowe 1916-2009
George Brigham Stowe grew up on the family farm and grew to have a deep love and respect for the land and embraced being a farmer. Once George took control of the farm he made at the time what would have been seen as radical changes. George saw that the world was changing and seeing this change he decided to shift the focus of the farm. He took what was traditionally a dairy farm and transformed it into an agricultural one.
Cattle was sold off while crops were planted for future. Apple trees became the main focus for Stowe Farm. Selling produce to stores, making weekly trips into Worcester with horse and buggy was another way to market the apples.
As the agricultural farm became more successful George started to expand his reach. He went through the new immigration program to hire Jamaicans to come and work on the farm and eventually as time went on he moved into wholesale distribution and mass food production. Eventually George decided to open up his esteemed orchards to the Millbury community by creating the "pick your own" program, which allowed people to browse the orchard and pick there own apples.
Outside of the farm George lived a busy life. He became a member of the investment committee at Millbury Savings Bank, he was the trustee to the Millbury cemetery, and was a fervent church goer - attending the First Congregational Church of Millbury. George unknowing lived a very similar life to one of his ancestors, George Ithamer Stowe sharing multiple common interests. George Brigham Stowe would eventually marry Ruth Higginson in 1939. They would go on to have 3 children together: Jonathan B Stowe, Justin Charles Stowe, and Amy Elizabeth Stowe-Peterson.
At one point George Brigham Stowe, his mother Alice, his daughter Amy, Amy's husband Dean Peterson, and their 3 children (Deanna, Leah, and Maura) all were living in the Stowe family home at the same time.
Ruth would unexpectedly pass away on November 3, 1950 and George would pass on September 19, 2009. They both went peacefully inside of the family home.
By the time George had passed away his two sons had also passed, leaving Amy as the sole inheritor to the farm therefore made her the first female owner in its history.