Jess Shackford’s farm

Shackford barn 1945



After Sam Ward’s death in 1941, Jess Shackford took over as caretaker of Joy Farm and Abenaki.  The Shackford family enjoyed a close relationship with Estlin until his death in 1962, and continued to correspond with Marion Morehouse.

Cummings paid tribute to Jess Shackford within the text of Marion Morehouse’s book of photographs, Adventures in Value, published by Harcourt, Brace and World in 1962 shortly after Cummings death.  Opposite a wonderful black and white image of Jess leaning on a large scythe in front of the barn at Joy Farm, Cummings wrote:

not only is Jess the strongest  man I know,he’s the gentlest. He is also a modest man,a manwith a senseofhumor,& a man without fear. He has a
mind of his own:not something else,invented at catastrophic expense by
“educators” to take the place of supposedly obsolete individuality.
The UNamerican vice of softheadedness completely skipped my friend

quite incidentally who becomes(whenever needed)his town’s gravedigger


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