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Harcum resident recalls his days farming behind a plow

Longtime Gloucester farmer Charlie Bristow of Harcum cherishes the life he’s had and looks back on it with fond memories.

Bristow was born on the Piankatank River in 1922. His family owned a farm in Hell Neck and a sawmill farther inland, so Bristow grew up in both the farming and lumber businesses. During the summer, the family grew corn, soybeans, and small grains such as wheat, oats and barley, while winter would find them working at the sawmill.

Horses and mules pulled the plow in those days, but oxen were used to haul lumber out of the swamp. Bristow said horses and mules would get stuck in the mucky swamp water, while an ox could go right up to his stomach and come back out pulling logs along. The logs would be milled and turned into lumber, dried for a season, and then finally taken to Deep Point on the Piankatank River, where they would be loaded onto a sailing vessel and taken to Baltimore to be sold.

There wasn’t much time for playing in those days, said Bristo...

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