History of The Sage Farmhouse at Hillwood Farm

The original farmhouse was built circa 1785. Little is known about the property until the late 1800’s when A. E. Ford, an industrialist from Philadelphia, purchased Hillwood Farm as his summer residence. He added a large addition to the farmhouse and added beautiful interior moldings. It was referred to as a mansion after that addition. In the late 1800’s/early 1900’s, he planted an orchard with over 7,000 fruit trees, mostly peaches and apples. The orchard was an important fruit growing center in the area then known as Rockdale.

Over the years, A.E. Ford continued to make renovations to the entire property. He hosted “field days” on the grounds for his company, Ford and Kendig. In an article in the “Rockdale Herald” dated April 9, 1910 it states “The visitors were met at Glen Riddle station and conveyed to the Ford place in a large touring car, owned by Mr. Ford. It was a lively party with excellent music rendered by Carson’s Orchestra of Philadelphia and original parodies of the latest songs applying to members of the jovial party were sung by a talented comedian.” Mr. Ford’s family lived in the house until the 1950’s.

Nancy Reiser SignIn the 1950’s, Hillwood Farm was purchased by Nancy Riser, VMD, one of the first female veterinarians in the country. She lived in the farmhouse, raised goats in the barn and used the carriage house (now Rockdale Music) as her veterinary office until the 1980’s.

In the 1980’s, Hillwood Farm was purchased by George and Shirley Cornog. George was a pattern maker for the Franklin Mint and a master carpenter. George added the 4,000 sq. ft. shop at the top of the property and made renovations on the farmhouse. George and Shirley used the barn as an antique shop.

In 2004, Hillwood Farm was purchased by the current owners, Jerry and Kim Fink. Jerry and Kim received The Heritage Award from The Heritage Commission of Delaware County for their continued preservation efforts to this historic property. The Barn, located next to The Sage Farmhouse, is home to Advanced Engineering and Makin’ Music, businesses owned and operated by Jerry and Kim Fink.