In the early 20th Century, John Sprunt Hill owned a large tract of land which stretched from the railroad tracks along Hillsborough Road, two miles north through the Ellerbee Creek basin close to the intersection of Rose of Sharon Road and Guess Road in northern Durham County.
Both farms featured prized Golden Guernsey cows, known for their milk production and high milk fat for which they received regular recognition. Croasdaile Farm featured a hog and chicken operation and a variety of crops: corn, hay, soybeans, tobacco and apples.
The acreage also contained the Crystal Lake property, the former amusement area used in the 1930s and 1940s for the troops at Camp Butner during World War II, featuring a dance hall, fishing and swimming areas with docks, a train, carousel and other amusements.
Interstate 85 subdivided part of the Hillandale Dairy Farm, and Mr. Hill’s daughter, Frances Hill Fox, and her husband, Dr. Herbert Fox, whom owned both the Hillandale Dairy Farm and the Croasdaile Dairy Farm at that time, began to consider developing the northern 500 acres of the Hillandale Dairy Farm which became the Croasdaile Country Club and golf course community with approximately 200 homesites. This community was developed during the 1960s and 1970s and completed in the early 1980s.
Mrs. Fox began to consider development of 1,110 acre Croasdaile Farm property just to the north of the Croasdaile Country Club property with her son-in-law, George Beischer and her daughter, Susan Fox Beischer. In 1980, a decision was made to hold a total dispersal sale of the Guernsey herd and move to a smaller herd of Black Angus cattle which were less labor intensive.
In 1987, the development plan for the Croasdaile Farm community was approved. Over the next thirty years, over 400 homesites were developed, over 260 apartments and over 50 luxury townhomes contructed. In addition, in 1994, the United Methodist Retirement Homes purchased 100 acres within Croasdaile Farm to construct the current Croasdaile Village retirement community in which over 600 residents now reside.
Farming is still important at Croasdaile Farm where hay is regularly cut for our Black Angus cows and the historic barns of Croasdaile Farm still remain and will eventually be used for possibly a small retail and restaurant area.
Croasdaile Farm’s future will continue to reflect its rural heritage and its farming background which has been a part of Croasdaile Farm for over 100 years.