What is the lighthouse on a hill along Route 35 in South Salem?
Photo Geoffrey Morris
This time of year, with no leaves on the trees, drivers traveling east on Route 35 can see the “lighthouse” as they crest the hill just past the South Salem Fire Department.
Painted white and crowned by a railing, this structure evokes the seaside but is in fact a non-working water tower at Farvue Farm, one of Westchester’s working farms. In 1945, anticipating his retirement, Agricultural Secretary Henry Wallace, who was Vice President under Franklin Delano Roosevelt, purchased the 120-acre farm.
Founder of one of the world’s largest seed companies, Wallace used Farvue as a place to experiment with cultivating wild strawberries, hybrid gladiolas, and breeding chickens. He died in 1965, willing the farm to his daughter Jean, who subsequently bequeathed it to her three children, who also head the Henry Wallace Genetic Foundation. Carol and Bruce Cernak, managers and residents of the caretaker cottage, oversee Farvue Farm.