Susan Ella Ethridge kept a small herd of milk cows, and sold butter at the commissary and in Jefferson.
The family still has wooden butter molds that imprinted slabs of butter with the name ‘Ella’.
The long, low barn with its plank siding and six stalls stood at the end of a path leading from woods where the cows were allowed to browse.
Twice a day cows were called from these woods to be milked, and Joyce Ethridge, Ella’s daughter-in-law, remembered chickens laying eggs in the feeding trough between milking times.
The giant white oak standing between the milking barn and the warehouse was almost certainly growing tall before Joseph Shields established this farmstead in 1866.
Another ancient oak stands beyond the family cemetery near the Teacher’s House.