780 York Road
When Clifford Louis Conover (1885-1958) bought the ninety-acre farm surrounding this house from James Laird in 1915, he began operating it as a potato farm. Ten years later, Clifford bought sixteen purebred Guernsey cows and began transforming the farm into a dairy. He delivered milk to his first two customers, Dr. Tracy Dawes and Dr. George Franklin of Hightstown, In a Model-T Ford panel truck.
Within a few years, Conover's business quickly grew into one of the two large commercial dairies that supplied milk to township residents in the twentieth century. At one point, the dairy delivered 16,000 quarts of milk a day. As their herd grew to over 160 cows, they bought Additional land until the farm included five hundred acres. In 1937, Clifford was elected to the American Guernsey Cattle Cub in recognition of the size and quality of his herd of cows.
With the business growing, Clifford enlisted his wife Ann Hancock and their seven children to help him run the farm. Leo W. Fenity's history of the farm (see page 38) describes what a typical day was like for the Conover children. After rising at 5:00 a.m. to milk cows and fill milk bottles, they quickly made deliveries and ate breakfast in order to reach school by 9:00 a.m. Once school ended at 3:00 p.m., they spent another two hours milking and filling bottles before eating dinner and doing their homework.
The photograph above shows the massive porch that the Conover's added to the house. They also made three large additions to the original section of the house, which C. R. Laird built around 1860. After the dairy closed in 1972, Clifford's son Clifford H. opened a popular antiques and clock business in the house.