In July 1925, George Auerbach, Beatrice Fox Auerbach’s husband, purchased a 220-acre farm property on West Simsbury Road in Bloomfield. After his death in 1927, Mrs. Auerbach took charge of the farm.
Under her leadership, the farm thrived. Mrs. Auerbach even received accolades for her award-winning Guernsey cows! The milk and eggs produced on the farm, along with other food items, were sold in the employee cafeteria and in the restaurants frequented by customers. Employee picnics were also held at the farm.
In our collection, we have a menu from the Connecticut Room, one of the two customer eateries at G. Fox & Co., that lists the price of “Auerfarm Pure Guernsey Milk” as $0.15 a glass. We also have the early Auerfarm account books that begin in George Auerbach’s hand and continue in Mrs. Auerbach’s handwriting. Auerfarm was also in the news quite frequently and we have a number of newspaper clippings concerning the farms activities. While most of the news is positive, in 1955 the Hartford Courant reports the fire that destroyed the main barn. Fortunately, all 96 cows, 18 calves, and the prize-winning bull were rescued from the conflagration.
Eleanor Roosevelt, who was a guest on the farm on more than one occasion, sent her condolences to Mrs. Auerbach upon hearing about the devastating fire. In her other letters, Mrs. Roosevelt often thanks Mrs. Auerbach for sending fresh eggs from Auerfarm to her in New York.
Before her death, Mrs. Auerbach donated her prize-winning cattle herd to the University of Connecticut Agricultural College. In 1977, her family donated the Auerfarm to the Connecticut 4-H Development Fund. Today, the Auerfarm is the 4-H Education Center at Auer Farm and, partnered with the UCONN College of Agriculture, continues the Auerbach tradition of humanitarianism by educating area youth while providing them with hands-on experience. For more information about their current programs, you can visit their website at http://www.canr.uconn.edu/ces/fourh/farms.html.