Merton Parsons, one of Oscar Parsons' sons wrote some recollections about life on the Farm and they have been published privately by Jeff Parsons. This volume also contains short essays by Mary Clifford and the diaries of "Uncle John" Parsons.

The book can be purchased
($24.00 plus shipping) by contacting:

Books n' Things
430 Main Street
Norway, ME 04268-5926
(207) 739-6200
Ask for Erica

CLICK HERE for the website

Recently found photo from ca. 1900 -- this was taken on Mt. Mica which is north of South Paris. In the photo from top: Oscar Parsons and 2 unidentified kids, one may be Caroline (or "Carrie") Clifford, Apphia's oldest daughter -- below them is Apphia Jane with Stephen and Mary -- then Dora, and sitting in front of her Earle Clifford, Mary Parsons, an unidentified child, and her husband Frank Shurtleff.

Mary Colley Stierer front left in 1939
Her mother Mary Clifford Colley back right

In Troy, NY 2005

Mary Colley Stierer 1921-2008

Mary was one of the many "Clifford Cousins," the generation of kids born in the 1920's to the children of Wallace K. and Apphia Parsons Clifford. She was my Mother's favorite cousin and they were close their entire lives. Mary and I traded pics and info about the Parsons and Clifford families and she provided a lot of pictures I didn't have. When she was diagnosed with a fast moving cancer in the Summer of 2008, according to her daughter Sue, she spent the rest of her days finishing her work on her own family history. She was a great friend and I'll always miss our talks.

Michael & Peter Shaffer
Summer 1954

Mary Stierer with Bernice Parsons Paul on a visit to the Farm in 1995. Bernice lived on the Farm her entire life and passed away in 2007.

Pencil Drawing by
Sam Gardner (ca. 1895)

The Farm in 1957
Painting by Virginia Clifford
after a visit with her children and
husband Edward Clifford (1929-1997),
grandson of Apphia Parsons Clifford

The photo to the left is my brother Peter and I on our first visit in 1954. We visited again in the summer of 1960. Twenty-seven years later, when I was driving through New England in 1987, tried to find the Farm and to my surprize, I found it easily -- it was a beautiful September day, and as I drove past the house, I noticed the front door was open, but I decided not to knock, unannounced. But I was struck with how it seemed the house was frozen in time: it could have just as easily been 1887, except that I was driving in a car, but there was nothing else which might have described a specific time.

When my mother Vivian Clifford Shaffer died in 1998, I took over as my family's archivist and with the help of Mary Stierer (grandaughter of Apphia Jane Parsons Clifford, daughter of Mary Clifford and my mother's cousin) began to rediscover the Farm through the various pictures I found in my mother's collection. So, at Jeff & Mary Parson's invitation, I visited the Farm in August 2003. Mary Parsons and I scanned the exisitng photos they had in the collection at the Farm, some of which I am presenting here and I also shot a video tour of the farmhouse. Jeff and his brother Jerry painted the entire exterior of the house during that visit and as I arrived one evening, they were in the process of hunting down two extremely large porcupines that were eating the stairway into the kitchen. With the help of a neighbor's shotgun, I witnessed the porcupines' sudden entry into the happy hunting ground.

To view a Parsons photo gallery click HERE

Bernice Parsons Paul, Vivian Shaffer, Peter Shaffer 1960

Click HERE to read an account
by Anna I. Parsons
on the 100th anniversary of the Farm in 1903


Click HERE
To read her 1915 novel
"A Real New England Girl"

The line:

Stephen Robinson (1765-1825)

marries Jemima Haskell (1775-1856) in 1792, settled on 100 acres of what would become 250 acres of the "Robinson Homestead."

The sixth of their ten children, Apphia (1802-1861) marries John Parsons (1795-1868) in 1829.

Their son Stephen Robinson Parsons (1830-1905) marries Mary Thomas (1843-1918) in 1865.

Their daughter, Apphia Jane (1865-1923) marries Wallace K. Clifford (1859-1925) in 1885.

Their third oldest son of seven children Stephen Parsons Clifford (1896-1959) marries Lillian Julia Hopkins (1896-1968) in 1921 in South Norwalk, CT.

Their daughter Vivian Ester Clifford (1922-1998) marries Richard Sherman Shaffer (1908-1996) in 1942........whereupon I was born in 1946.

Front Yard 1957
Tommy Clifford, Jr., Cynthia Paul,
Jack and Kenny Clifford

Front Yard 1957
Lillian Clifford
my Grandmother
Above is the lineage from Stephen Robinson which was assembled by his great, great, great grandson Jeffrey Parsons. Jeffrey penned a history of the farm and completed it in 1978 in time for the 175th anniversary of the Farm house. The photo at the right is from 1978; left to right is: Vivian Clifford Shaffer, Mary Clifford Colley, Bernice Paul (still living at the farm), Mary Colley Stierer, Mary Parsons (wife of Tom Parsons), Mary H. Parsons (wife of Jeffrey Parsons), Jeffrey Parsons and Apphia Parsons in front of Mary. Tom Parsons in stripped shirt.

The 4 Parsons Daughters ca. 1910
l-r: Apphia, Dora, Mary, Anna

These are scenes from Fairview Cemetary, not far from the Farmhouse.
It's a very peaceful place, in view of the White Mountains about 50 miles away.
It's the kind of place you'd like to have your
ashes scattered when the time comes....

The Farmhouse

Sunday Morning
October 2004

June 2005

The power lines that run in front of the house have been digitally removed, so except for one of the massive maples in the front yard that had to be taken down several years ago, it looks as though it could be 1804 -- a year after this part of the house was built.