Early History

Poplar Spring ~ Stover-Winger Farm ~ Tayamentasachta
Artifacts, research, and archaeological studies provide rich evidence that Native Americans established camps on this land.  Greencastle was a desirable location for the Delaware and Iroquois Indian tribes because of its proximity to the Conococheague Creek, an important water source for buffalo and therefore, Native Americans.  A natural spring on the land of Tayamentasachta also served as a valuable resource attracting Indians to set up camps specifically on this property. 

Historical records indicate that James McLanahan, Sr.,  one of the earliest settlers in the Conococheague Valley, obtained a land grant for 900 acres of land on July 5, 1742, which included the land Greencastle residents today call Tayamentasachta.  When McLanahan, Sr. died, his land was divided between his two sons, James, Jr., who inherited the portion containing a natural spring, and John.  McLanahan, Jr. later sold his portion to Emanuel Stover (1761-1833), an extensive farmer who employed many men to work the fields and transport grain to large markets. 

Stover had several children, one of whom was Jacob Price Stover (1800-1886).  After Jacob's marriage to Elizabeth Emmert (1805-1874), he settled on a farm near Greencastle.  According to the will of Emanuel Stover, Jacob P. inherited the land from his father, however, he had to make a payment of $700.00 to John Miller due within one year of Emanuel's death.  On the land existed a stone house beside the natural spring. 

Jacob P. Stover improved the farm, known as Poplar Springs, by constructing a log house in 1822 to accommodate their growing family.  The log portion of the house currently serves as the first floor kitchen and second floor craft room in the farmhouse.  The Stover family quickly outgrew the log house, and in 1840 built an addition encased in brick (believed to have been made on site) to the log house.  Today, this newer portion of the farmhouse serves as classrooms, museums, and an office. 

A barn was also built in 1849 and was considered the best finished one in the county.  However, misfortune struck the family, and on July 10, 1876, the barn was destroyed by fire as well as an entire crop and valuable machinery causing an estimated $3000 in damage.  Driven to rebuild, Stover, age 76, completed his new barn in the fall of the same year.  Reconstruction lead to several discoveries by the family including a skeleton believed to have been that of an Indian chief due to its extreme size and numerous arrow and spear heads surrounding the area. 

Stover and his wife, Elizabeth had 12 children, all of whom were born at Tayamentasachta.  Two of their sons, Emanuel and Daniel (1839-1908), were great inventors and took their brainpower to Freeport, Illinois where their innovative ideas lead to many achievements mainly in the agricultural industry.  Daniel, whose father feared he would not amount to anything because he was always looking for an easier way to accomplish a task, is credited with patents that include the windmill for powering well pumps, a corn cultivator, and the coaster bicycle brake which became an industry standard.  Located in Freeport, Illinois, Daniel's business, Stover Experimental Works (est.1866) soon became the Stover Manufacturing Company in 1879.  He also owned Stover Engine Works and Stover Bicycle Company.  Companies merged shortly after Daniel's death becoming the Stover Manufacturing and Engine Co, Inc. and a supplier to the Sears Roebuck Company until shutting down in 1942. 

One of Daniel's younger brothers, James Mitchell Stover, continued to live on the farm, helping his father care for the land.  J. Mitchell turned the unsightly swamp area into thriving trout ponds and established a desirable dairy trade in Greencastle.  He also served as a partner in his brother Daniel's company, supervising the manufacturing of engines in Greencastle, including the 12-foot wind engine with an attached grinder on the farm used to pump water from the spring and grind grain for the livestock. 

Another son of Jacob P. was Jacob A. Stover (1837-1875), who fought in the civil war.  After returning from war, he purchased 33 acres of the farm and built a house for his wife and sons.  One of his sons, Wilbur, became the first missionary for the Church of the Brethren serving in India.

Misfortune struck the Stover family again through various losses, and in 1878, Stover was forced to assign his property to Colonel Benjamin Franklin Winger for the benefit of his creditors.  Colonel Winger and his family spent their summer months on Poplar Springs Farm.  According to historical records, Col. Winger's daughters renamed the farm, Tayamenta Sachta, a Delaware Indian name meaning "living waters", "never-ending waters", or "never-ending hills". 

Other known tenants of Tayamentasachta included Mr. William Zeigler from 1892-1912, Mr. Norman Walck from 1912-1924, Mr. John Greenawalt from 1924-1929, Mr. Monroe Sellers from 1929-1936, and Mr. Ben Fisher from 1936-date unknown.  The last known tenant, Mr. Monn, lived in the farmhouse before the Greencastle-Antrim School District purchased the farm in 1966