The Sisco Home, 2020.
The Sisco Home, ca 1960.
Plot of Sisco Farm Land.
Sitting at the top of Niles-Vienna Road is what
is commonly called the Sisco farm. The brick farm house was built
in 1881 in the Federal Style and then as was the custom with barns,
the roof had the completion date arranged on the slate shingles—1886.
George Sisco was born in 1876 in the area of the Austria
-Hungary Empire that straddles the borders of present day Poland,
Ukraine and Slovakia. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1886 the same
year that the barn was completed. In 1899 he married his wife
Anna, who had also immigrated from the same area as George.
They became U.S. citizens in 1913.
George and Anna bought the farm in 1919 from Martha, Belle
and Jennie Shaw. The farm had 80 acres when purchased
and increased to 120 acres with land that is now Shadow Ridge
developed by Lou Tripodi, the Bonnie Brae Avenue area
developed by Marty Brutz and Park Place Condominiums
developed by Jerry Altobelli.
The farm consisted of the brick house, milkhouse,
the big barn and stables which later became farm machinery maintenance
and storage garages. The Sisco family grew corn, potatoes, hay,
straw, fruit from the orchards and raised chickens, pigs and dairy
cows. Sisco and Sons pasteurized, bottled and delivered their
own milk until the mid-century. The farm switched from raising
dairy cows for milk to beef cows which were sold for their meat.
Many Niles residents recall school trips to the farm to see and
touch the animals, feed the chickens, gather eggs and the hayrides
around the farm at the end of the tour. George and Anna were blessed
with ten children: Steve, Ethel(Sanko), Julia(Yakop). Nancy(Pietrouski),
Frank, Jessie(Kines), Mary(Gobush). George, Jr., and
Helen(Nestor). From these siblings,
there are 21 first cousins who visited the farm in the summers
as they grew up.
As the 1985 tornado traveled up Niles –
Vienna Road, many farm buildings, especially the big barn, were
damaged or destroyed by the 300 mph winds.The many pine trees
that surrounded the house were also uprooted but buffered the
winds and protected the house which suffered only minor damage
and still stands on the property.
Russ Samuels, former Niles City Health
Department Administrator, who helped oversee the response to the
tornado damage, told this story about the farm. “After inspecting
all the damage to the Sisco Farm buildings, I found two eggs from
the chicken coop sitting on the house kitchen window sill, still
unbroken.” The children of Frank and Helen: Ron and
Connie Sisco, Marianne DeChristofaro, and Diane Mizicko
are the stewards of the Sisco and Sons Dairy Farm. Today the farm
is open for hay, straw and eggs. Sadly, the big barn and hayrides
are only fond memories.
George and Anna Sisco, ca 1940.
George and Anna Sisco, ca 1920.
Front: Jessie Kines, Mary Gobisch, George and
Anna Sisco, George Jr., Helen Nestor. Back: Steve Sisco, Ethel
Senko, Julie Yakop, Nancy Pietrouski, and Frank Sisco. ca 1940.