Heart's Delight Farm was developed on William Henry Miner's family homestead of 144 acres in Chazy, New York, beginning in 1903. By 1918, the farm had grown to 12,000 acres - 4,000 acres of tillable land, 2,000 acres of pasture and 6,000 acres of woodland. Within the cropland, 450 acres were devoted to growing corn and 600 acres to small grains. There was a wide variety of animals on the farm including beef and dairy cattle, mules, draft horses, purebred horses, sheep, pigs, chickens, turkeys, pheasants and brook trout. The farm employed 800 workers at that time and had its own dairy, box factory, ice house, natatorium, greenhouses and grist mill. There was a 20-bedroom guesthouse and an entertainment center named Harmony Hall, which included an auditorium, complete with a stage that could accommodate 300 persons.
Development of this lovely gentleman's farm was made possible by the fortune Mr. Miner earned from his mechanical inventions for rail transportation. The farm continued to thrive during Mr. Miner's lifetime as he divided his time between the farm and his company, Miner, Inc., based in Chicago.
Mr. Miner's will provided for the establishment of a school and farm devoted to teaching scientific and environmentally sound agricultural practices to the farmers and youth of northern New York.
Learn about the Heart's Delight Farm Heritage Exhibit at Miner Institute.
William Henry Miner
at age 40-45
"When I named the farm I could not think of anything which would express my feelings towards this particular spot on the earth's surface more correctly than the phrase 'Heart's Delight', and it certainly is my heart's delight every time I am permitted to enjoy the beautiful things which the Creator has showered upon us with such a lavish hand... It is an expression of the great joy reflected to me by the farm and the beautiful country round about.”
- William Henry MinerLearn about the new biography "William H. Miner: The Man and the Myth" here.
"William H. Miner has become a North Country Legend, for his legacy suggests a man bigger than life. He could claim many titles: businessman, builder, engineer, entrepreneur, educator, agriculturist, philanthropist, and visionary. He had a Jeffersonian distrust of urban life and a love of rural living, combined with a Hamiltonian belief in the benefits of business and manufacturing. He made his money in the bustling metropolis of Chicago, but put his heart in the rural life of New York’s North Country."