A Look Back at the Dairy Farms of Northern Wake County

Photograph of the Marshall Stroud Dairy Farm.

Never did a dairy farm sound more spectacular than in this breathless blurb, published by the Wake Forest College newspaper the Old Gold & Black, in May 1936. The family of John Rich was outfitting some property and it captured the attention of the student reporters.

“If you want to see a magnificent dairy farm in the making take a trip several miles out in the ‘Harricane’ to John Rich’s place. His father has been developing it for several years and it is very near completion now.

There is an enormous dairy barn, an up-to-date milk house, hundreds of acres of feed being planted, majestic teams of registered plow horses, tractors and a barn full of harvesting equipment, a bull who with his credentials, four or five of his daughters, is worth around $20,000, an awkward young colt, pigs and more pigs, and men working all over the place. And when John gets on the farm seems to work quite hard. All he needs is the proper setting.”

Dairy farms are fascinating places, and the Wake Forest area definitely had its fair share of successful family-run operations. So if you enjoyed our programs about Country Stores and the Bootleg Economy, we invite you to attend the next free public forum.

A Look Back at the Dairy Farms of Northern Wake County,” at 3pm on Sunday, April 29th at the Wake Forest Historical Museum at 414 N. Main Street (919-556-2911).

Expert panelists will discuss the farms owned by the Marshall Stroud, Rich, Holding, Brevoort, and Darch families. Stories will focus on keeping livestock, producing dairy, and providing the surrounding area with fresh deliveries. Photographs of these operations also will be shared.

Advertisement for the Wakefield Dairy Farms, managed by E. H. Forbes, Old Gold & Black, March 14, 1947.
Presented by the Wake Forest Historical Association and organized by the committee of Karen Winstead, Ryan Keith, Alice Ray, and Sanford Bailey, this will be another exceptional program and we’d love to have you join us!

“A Look Back at the Dairy Farms of Northern Wake County” is at 3pm on Sunday, April 29th at the Wake Forest Historical Museum at 414 N. Main Street in Wake Forest. It’s free and open to the public. 

Refreshments will be served and we hope to see you there! 


  1. I wonder why no information about Eilmar Farm( Lye family farm) was mentioned? I would have gladly shared.

    1. Please consider attending the forum! There is often a sharing/Q&A session. The panel was put together by Sanford Bailey, president of the Wake Forest Historical Association. Although he worked hard to gather all available info, we did have a good many family farms in the area and I suppose it was inevitable that some may have been unintentionally overlooked. We’d love to hear more about the Eilmar/Lye Farm if you choose to come.

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