Noll Spangler National Historic Farm welcomes Earth Day crowds

May 4—MIFFLINBURG — Richard and Grace Noll, and sons Tony and Michael welcomed the public onto their Noll Spangler National Historic Farm on Saturday morning for Earth Day Every Day, where visitors were free to see a farm that is nearly as old as the United States and one that actively producing grains.

Richard Noll bought the farm, which lies along Penns Creek, in 1963, when he was only 19. The farm covers 110 acres.

"I wanted to be a farmer," he said. "There was livestock. It was a dairy farm for 10 years. There is a milk house, where the milk was stored. There is also a pig pen. We've maintained most of the original look of these structures. The house is made of stone, reinforced through the years, of course," Richard Noll said. The stone walls are 27 inches thick. It was built in 1802.

After a while, "It became too much to take care of the milk cows, so with the help of my son, we transitioned to just producing grains."

"As a National historic Farm, our overall mission is to support local agriculture, highlight farm heritage, and promote environmental stewardship through educational programs held at the farm," said Tony Noll.

Mike Noll does much of the actual farm work said Tony and Richard. The land yields wheat, corn, and soybeans, which are stored in 300,000-bushel storage silos. "My brother Mike has taken the granary to a new level of productivity," Tony Noll said.

Meanwhile, Richard Noll credits his son Tony Noll for getting the farm on the historic list. "He began in 2012. The key to the declaration was having many of the original structures still in place — ideal for educational purposes, said Tony.

The idea for celebrating Earth Day Every Day was Tony's. "In the past, we've had guest speakers," Tony said. "People who come today are free to wander around and see how we operate a working farm. They'll also have a glimpse of the past."

Joel and Marjery Benjamin, of Middleburg brought their three children to the farm on Saturday. "Me being a history buff," Joel said. "I had heard about this farmhouse, how old it is. It looks sturdy enough. It's magnificent."

Mama-T's brought its rainbow-colored bus to the farm along with some pets inside for kids to experience, ducks and rabbits.

The Noll-Spangler National Historic Farm became a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization in 2019.