TuckerTaters Sold Locally since the 1920s
Don Tucker, our Dad, began peddling potatoes to various Tri-Lakes stores and restaurants in 1943, taking over from his father, Joseph J. Tucker who had been selling his Green Mountain potatoes locally since the mid-1920s; his brother-in-law, Frank Hobart, had been selling his prize-winning Green Mountain potatoes for more than fifteen years before that. Needless to say we have a long history in the local potato business, and today, that tradition is being continued by Steve, Tom and Ben Tucker.
But in reality our story goes back decades before that. Frank Hobart's great-grandfather, William, brought his family to this area in the 1850s when Paul Smith and James Wardner were just getting their resort hotels started. We suspect that by the 1860s, William was probably growing potatoes for his family's consumption--that is what everyone did back then. We only know for certain that by the 1870's, his son, Benjamin Franklin Hobart, better known at the time as B. Franklin 'Frank' Hobart, a guide for Paul Smith during the guiding season, had a farm at our present location and was growing potatoes. While details are lacking, we can only assume that among other things, he grew potatoes for his family and sold the extras to his neighbors. Henry N. Hobart, B.F. 'Frank' Hobart's son (William's grandson), took over the farm at some point, built a 'proper' house across the road from the log cabin he grew up in, and expanded the farm by purchasing adjacent lots as they became available. But it was William's great-grandson, Franklin Benjamin Hobart, also known as 'Frank', who "really got the farm going" during the second decade of the twentieth century.
By this time, Franklin County farmers had come to the realization that due to their soils, their climate, and their relative isolation, they could grow high quality seed potatoes. The more progressive of them formed an association (cooperative) and began marketing their seed potatoes to growers in New Jersey, Long Island and all places between. Franklin County quickly developed a reputation for growing high quality potatoes, primarily the Green Mountain variety. Seeing this, many dairy farmers cut down their herds and planted potatoes. Some gave up dairying altogether and became potato farmers.
Frank Hobart rode this wave as he gradually took over the farm from his father, Henry, during the earliest part of the twentieth century. He was a meticulous detail-oriented farmer, despite his young age, and he soon became known for growing the best Green Mountain potatoes in Franklin County, which at the time was saying something--by then there was several other well-skilled potato growers in the county.
By 1919 he was growing some sixteen acres of potatoes--a rather sizeable potato farm for the time. Around this same time, he built a state-of-the art, underground potato storage building capable of holding some 10,000 bushels of potatoes and he doubled his planting to about 30 acres to become one of the biggest potato growers in Franklin County. The quality of his Green Mountain potatoes was such that during the 1930s, while at the peak of his game, he took the grand prize at the Empire State Potato Show for his Green Mountain potatoes five times.
Since then, while the local marketplace for tablestock (eating) potatoes has changed considerably from the predominance of small Mom & Pop type stores in our father and grandfather's day to today's supermarkets where it is increasingly difficult for small growers to sell their wares, one can still buy locally-grown Tucker Farms potatoes, if one knows where to look.
If you are unable to travel to Gabriels and meet with Steve or Tom to buy TuckerTaters potatoes directly at the farm, then the following vendors may be a convenient alternative. As purveyors of TuckerTaters potatoes for many years, these vendors will work with you to meet your individual potato needs. You need only ask them.
|TuckerTaters Sold Here|
|TuckerTaters Served Here|
"Famous for its home-cooking," except that you do not need to cook it at home. You will not go home hungry from here
Recently re-opened after extensive renovations and improvements after a major flood last winter
A small local diner, but one of the few anywhere whose menu recognizes the special requirements of those with bariatric surgery issues
The bar with A Spirited View
© 2018 Tucker Farms, Inc. • Hobart Road, Box 8 • Gabriels, NY 12939
online since 1999