The Moreton Lodge Farm and Frederick William Stone


Originally published in the September 1864 issue of the journal “Canada Farmer”, the following article subsequently appeared in the Guelph Mercury newspaper for September 16th, 1864.






Moreton Lodge



Frederick W. Stone




This fine domain, consisting of about 800 acres, the property of F. W. Stone, lies just outside the town of Guelph, and forms an estate which even in its present partially improved condition would be, were it within reach, a tempting object to many a British capitalist farmer.  It consists of hill and dale, woodland and clearing.  Out of the 800 acres, nearly 600 are under cultivation or in pasturage.  Almost every variety of soil presents itself, though clay loam predominates.  Abundant facilities exist alike for grain, stock, and dairy farming. 


During a recent visit to this beautiful estate, we were particularly impressed by the manifest advantages of two branches of farm economy, which in general are two that are little attended to, viz., draining and stock-keeping.  Low-lying and formerly worthless pieces of land have come, by drainage, to be the most valuable and productive parts of the farm, and the benefits of liberal manuring are everywhere apparent.  Fields, which had been considerably exhausted before coming into the hands of their present proprietor, are fast being restored to their original fertility, and unfavourable as the present season has been, the crops are truly bountiful.  In spite of the drought, the wheat, peas, and oats are heavy both in straw and grain.  Not only is manure liberally applied, but also it is of superior quality, from the fact that large quantities of grain, meal, and oil-cake are fed to the stock during the winter.






About 120 head of cattle are kept, between 400 and 500 sheep, horses enough to do the work, and a pretty large stock of pigs and poultry.  From all these sources, a large amount of dung of the richest description is obtained, and when the arrangements are made for protecting it from the weather, and preparing it for use without waste or loss, its effects upon the land will be still more apparent.  Most of the stock on this farm is of the very best description.  Mr. Stone’s high reputation as a breeder is fully sustained by the appearance of his flocks and herds.  His stately Shorthorns and solemn-looking Herefords are well worth going far to see.  Though the pasture has been short in consequence of the drought, these fine cattle are in excellent condition, thanks to certain fields of green rice and tares into which the scythe has evidently been making daily inroads.  A number of Mr. Stone’s cattle are wholly kept on the soiling principle, the bulls, for example, and some of the young growing stock.  About six acres of rye and twenty of tares have gone very far in keeping up a good supply of succulent food. 


Not only have the cattle been thus provided for but also the sheep have been hurdled upon vetches, rape, et cetera.  Is it not strange that in this wooden country hurdles should be so scarce?  Mr. Stone uses a kind that any farmer could readily make at leisure times, while no great amount of lumber is required for them.  Each hurdle is eight feet long and four feet high.  The end posts are 1½ by 2½ inches in size, and there are five horizontal bars, 2 inches by 1 inch, crossed by a perpendicular bar in the middle, on each side of which there is a brace.  The bars are morticed into the post, an operation soon performed with a boring machine, but where that cannot be had, and the process is too slow, notches instead of mortices can be made in the posts.  The hurdles, when in use, are supported by stakes, to which they are tied.  An iron crowbar is used to make the stake holes.  The advantage of penning sheep on a green crop is two-fold.  They are economically fed and the land that they go over is left, by their droppings, in excellent condition for the next crop.  Hurdles and sheep ought to be inseparable.   Mr. Stone expresses himself satisfied that he can keep double the amount of stock by soiling and hurdle feeding that he can in the ordinary way. 






In seeding down for pasture, he is accustomed to sow such a mixture of grasses as will keep a succession of feed.  When one kind fails another takes its place. In addition to the well-known timothy, white and red clover, etcetera, he sows largely of yellow trefoil, rye grass, and rib grass, all of which furnish feed of which cattle and sheep are very fond.  Having a large lot of stock to provide for, and being anxious to keep them in good order, Mr. Stone goes largely into root culture.  This season, he has 50 acres of turnips, which promise to yield a heavy crop.  One field of twenty-seven acres is remarkably fine.  Land thoroughly prepared for turnips is in prime order, after the roots come off, for a crop of wheat.  The farmyard at Moreton Lodge is enclosed by a stone wall, and the accommodations for the stock are of the most spacious and comfortable description.  The buildings already erected are chiefly of stone and the steading, when complete, will be of a character seldom equalled.  A large and handsome villa residence is in course of erection.  Only one deficiency is visible, that is ornamental fruit and shade-tree planting.  This will probably in due time be supplied.






To return for a moment to the stock, while a detailed account of this would occupy too much space, we cannot forbear adding a few particulars and remarks.  The herd of Shorthorns is in a most flourishing state.  It consists of about 80 animals and almost faultless specimens of this world-renowned breed may be seen at various ages.  A three-year-old bull promises to eclipse his ancestors and contemporaries, and be an animal of rare size and beauty.   Some very perfect heifers, also, are coming on, and will, if they do well, figure honourably on future prize lists.


The Herefords, of which there are about thirty, are evincing equally with the Shorthorns, their adaptation to this climate.  Their grave white faces give them a particularly sage and sedate look.  Mr. Stone represents them as being quite as early in their development as the Shorthorns, and like them, of varied quality as milkers.  He considers the chief excellence of the Herefords to consist in their aptitude to take on flesh and fatten.  In this respect, he thinks that they surpass all other breeds.


Among the sheep, are fine specimens of Southdowns, Leicesters, and Cotswolds.  The latter, as is well known, are Mr. Stone’s favourites, and they are certainly a noble breed.  Two of his Cotswold rams are of gigantic size and make common sheep look like Lilliputs. 


Mr. Stone keeps the Yorkshire and Berkshire varieties of pigs, of both of which he has excellent samples.  His Darkling fowls and Aylesbury ducks are exceedingly good also.  At the approaching Provincial Exhibition, our readers will have another opportunity of seeing for themselves, a selection from these choice animals, which no doubt will, as usual, make considerable havoc among the prizes.  It is certainly a matter of no little gratification that we have so much superior stock in the country, and we hope that many of our farmers, catching Mr. Stone’s spirit, will take pride in owning and raising the best animals to ornament and improve their farms.






Mr. Stone’s Sale of Stock

(from the Guelph Mercury newspaper for October 14th, 1864.)



The sale of stock belonging to Mr. F. W. Stone, of Moreton Lodge, came off on the farm on Wednesday afternoon.   There was a large attendance of breeders from a distance, as well as those in the immediate neighbourhood.  Many of our leading farmers in the county were also on the ground.  Among the company, we noticed Hon. David Christie, Hon. A. J. F. Blair, Mr. Stirton M. P. P., Mr. James Cowan M. P. P., Mr. Howard (Secretary of the Board of Agriculture, Michigan), Col. Mitchell of Norval, Mr. John Snell of Chingacousay, Mr. McKane of New Jersey, Mr. George Clark of Otsego Co. New York, Mr. Ashton and Mr. Jones of Ohio, Mr. W. B. Telfer of Pilkington, Mr. Robert Cromar of Nichol, Mr. Alex Watt of Nichol, Mr. J. T. Nottle of Hamilton, et cetera.  The farmers of the south riding were well represented.  Mr. W. S. G. Knowles conducted the sale with his usual tact and ability.






After lunch, the sale commenced with the Durham cows.  The prices paid for cattle were, on the whole, very low, although we think they were a slight improvement on those paid two years ago.   For some lots, bidding was brisk enough but a few went off slowly and it required all the persuasive powers of the auctioneer to bring bidders up to the mark.  The sheep went off much better than the cattle. Very fair prices were paid for some of the Cotswolds, and the competition for favourite and first class animals was spirited.  Southdowns were not in demand, and only a few were put up.  There were eight Leicesters in the catalogue and only one was sold. The Berkshire pigs, what were sold of them, fetched about $10.00 each.  They were four months old.  The following is a list of the sales, with the names of the buyers:






red and white cow, calved July 1858, Thomas McCrae, Guelph, $67.00

red cow, calved January 1860, Arthur Hogge, Guelph, $102.00 (She won the two first prizes in her class at the Provincial Exhibitions in 1862-63.)

red cow, calved January 1861, Arthur Hogge, Guelph, $57.00

roan cow, calved January 1861, Thomas McCrae, $108.00

roan cow, calved January 1861, Thomas Carter, Puslinch, $116.00 (She won the first and second prizes at the Provincial Exhibitions in 1862-63.

roan cow, calved April 1861, Robert Strang, Doon, $58.00

white cow, calved October 1862, Mr. Carpenter, Townsend, Norfolk Co., $45.00

roan heifer, calved November 1862, Mr. Carpenter, $71.00

rich roan heifer, calved May 1863, Mr. Carpenter, $73.00

red and white heifer, calved June 1863, Mr. Carpenter, $93.00


Durham bulls:

roan bull, calved December 1859, Mr. Thomas McCrae, $74.00

roan bull, calved December 1860, C. Willoughby, Puslinch, $75.00

roan bull, calved September 1863, Geo. Atkinson, Guelph, $42.00

dark red bull calf, calved November 1863, Robt. Mathews, Guelph, $84.00

roan bull calf, calved January 1864, Mr. Carpenter, $112.00

red bull calf, calved April 1864, John Snell, Edmonton, $85.00

roan calf, calved April 1864, James Cowan, Paisley Block, $73.00

white calf, calved June 1864, Thomas Arkell, Puslinch, $61.00






Hereford Bulls:

These were the first Herefords ever offered for sale by auction by Mr. Stone.  They were all red with white face.  The first was calved in June 1863.  It was bought by Henry Haines, Puslinch, for $71.00.  The second was calved in June 1864 and bought by Geo. Clark, Otsego Co., N.Y., for $95.00.  The third was calved in July 1864 and was bought by Thomas Ashton, Ohio, for $42.00.






Cotswold sheep:

One shear ram, David Halton, Nelson, $20.00

one do, William Hood, Guelph, $26.00

one do, Arthur Hogge, $32.00

one do, Mr. Shaw, Dover East, $58.00

one 4 shear imported ram, John Snell, $52.00

one two shear ram, J. W. Armstrong, Eramosa, $39.00

one do, Thomas Arkell, $40.00

one do, A. Jeffrey, Vaughan, $36.00

one do, Thomas Carter, $32.00

one do, John White M.P.P., Milton, $29.00

one do, Mr. Gardner, Chingacousy, $42.00

one do, William McGrath, Springfield, Toronto Township, $28.00

one shear do, Mr. Cadenhead, Fergus, $30.00

one do, Hon. Mr. Christie, $40.00

one do, Mr. Ashton, Ohio, $52.00

one do, Mr. Nicholson, Haysville, $28.00

one do, John White, $47.00

one do, Walter Fulton, Guelph, $36.00

one do, A. Anderson, Stratford, $37.00

one do, R. S. Charles, N.Y. State, $41.00

one do, Colonel Mitchell, Norval, $39.00

one do, R. Reynolds, North Dumfries, $33.00

one do, John White, $35.00

one do, Mr. Gifford, Cobourg, $45.00

one do, Archibald McMillan, Erin, $42.00

one ram lamb, Mr. Ashton, $30.00

one do, Mr. Ashton, $32.00

one do, J. T. Nottle, Hamilton, $30.00

one do, J. Gilmour, West Flamboro, $23.00

one pair Cotswold ewes, J. Armstrong, Yarmouth, $19.00

one do, J. Armstrong, $33.00

one do, Peter Gow, Guelph, $24.00

one do, Mr. Weld, Delaware, $30.00

one do, Mr. McGrath, $36.00

one Cotswold ewe, J. Armstrong, Yarmouth, $12.00



one two shear ram, J. S. Armstrong, Eramosa, $22.00

one do, S. Toms, Ohio, $23.00

one do, Peter Stewart, Puslinch, $17.00

one do, S. Toms, $12.00

one ram lamb, Mr. Telfer, Paris, $10.00


One Leicester two shear ram was sold to Mr. McTavish, Beckwith for $20.00.  The rest were not put up.






Mr. Stone’s Stock for the Provincial Exhibition

(from the Guelph Mercury newspaper for September 16th, 1864.)


A few days ago we had a look through the stock that Mr. Stone intends to send to the Provincial Exhibition at Hamilton.  Compared with those shown in previous years, we think that the cattle and sheep that he has entered for competition at the forthcoming Exhibition are much superior in quality and appearance.  He will take down about forty head of cattle, comprising the finest animals from his splendid herds of Durhams and Herefords.  In our opinion, the stock to be shown this year, are equal in every respect, if not superior, to any yet exhibited.  His two and one year old Durham heifers are beautiful beasts, and the Herefords are in the same class, and though not generally so heavy, are perfect as regards symmetry and condition.  He has a lot of bull calves, both Durhams and Herefords, which, we have little doubt, will be beat any of their age in Canada.  The three year old and aged bulls in both breeds are remarkable for their size and symmetry.  The two year old and yearling heifers, both breeds, are superior to any of the same age that we have yet seen.  Mr. Stone also intends to show several cows of both breeds.  Some of these cows have produced the finest stock that he has on his farm and all of them are in excellent condition.


The improvement among the sheep is particularly noticeable this year.  Out of a lot of over forty, which Mr. Stone intends to send to Hamilton, there is not one but is well worth a prize.  Some of his Southdowns are really fine animals.  Among his two-shear and yearling rams in this class, two or three could be picked out which would be a match for the best specimens in the largest and finest herds in England.  The Cotswolds, of which Mr. Stone has a great many, are also very superior.  They are well bred, very large in size and in good order.  Some of the rams and ewes in this class are very large, fine animals.  He has also some nice, purebred Leicesters.


  Mr. Stone has long been noted for keeping a fine breed of Berkshire pig.   This year’s stock is fully up to the mark and is well worth the attention of those who favour the Berkshire breed. 


We feel sure that Mr. Stone will be very successful at the forthcoming Exhibition.  He well deserves it, for the importation and rearing of stock is an expensive undertaking, and his enterprise in this respect merits every encouragement from agriculturalists throughout Canada.   In this connection, we would call attention to the advertisement of his annual sale of stock at Moreton Lodge, on the 12th of October, which will be found in another column.  We shall have more to say of this sale in a future number.


We learn that Mr. Arthur Hogge, Mr. George Murton, and Mr. Samuel Barber intend exhibiting stock at the Exhibition.  No doubt, others will also enter some for competition, and we feel assured that the County of Wellington will, at the approaching Exhibition, keep up the high character it has attained for the excellence of its stock.






A Visit to Mr. Stone’s Farm


(from the Guelph Mercury newspaper for Wednesday August 28th, 1867.)


Mr. Frederick W. Stone




The editor of the Cobourg “World” has seen Mr. Stone’s farm and stock lately, and gives the following account of what he saw and learned on the occasion.


A week or two ago, we had the pleasure of inspecting the fine herds of cattle and sheep of F. W. Stone, Esquire of “Moreton Lodge”, Guelph.  The premises of Moreton Lodge comprise six hundred acres of land, the greater part of which is in the highest state of cultivation.  Of Mr. Stone’s stock, and the premiums awarded him, year by year, at the Provincial Exhibitions, our readers have frequently read.  He has now on hand, and intends to exhibit at Kingston, some of the finest Durhams and Herefords on the continent.  One fine Hereford cow that we observed was so fat that it was with difficulty that she could walk about.   Mr. Stone has now on his estate two to three hundred head of cattle, of various ages, of these and other breeds, forming altogether, one of the most valuable and celebrated herds to be found on this side of the Atlantic.  His stock of sheep numbers about five hundred, of the very best breeds, and he has a good collection of superior pigs.  Mr. Stone has also lately imported a fine stallion and three mares of the celebrated Suffolk Punch breed.


The stables and yards at Moreton Lodge are very extensive, and are kept with the greatest care.  Twice a year, the buildings are whitewashed, inside and out, and every attention is paid to the health and comfort of the herds.  The principle fodder is hay, turnips, cut peas, and chopped feed, all of which are furnished on the farm.  Mr. Stone’s crop of turnips is usually from forty to sixty thousand bushels, averaging over a thousand bushels to the acre, all of which are used in feed.  He employs twenty-five hands on the estate and his manager is Mr. Henry Arkell.  He is, at present, in England, on business we believe, connected with the enlargement and improvement of his stock.


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