A Visit to the Past at Normandy Farms
Established in 1759
Francis Daniels was born June 22, 1723 in the Province of Normandy, France. While still a young man, he entered the French Army and was assigned to the West Indies where he became an officer. Taken sick, he spent months in the hospital before returning to duty. The move proved premature, as he became ill once again, so he decided to return to France. The ship was captured by a Colonial privateer and brought to Massachusetts Bay Colony in Boston, where the young prisoner was a source of income to the privateers and was imprisoned for three months. George Hewes, keeper of the jail, spoke French, and took a liking to his young charge. He made him aware of his brother in Wrentham, a wealthy landowner in need of hired help.
With the promise of being paid wages for his services, young Francis went to Wrentham and lived with the Hewes family. Francis was indebted for the cost of his passage, and was 36 years old before it was paid off and he was able to purchase property himself. The Suffolk Registry of Deeds shows that on June 6, 1759 “William Hewes of Wrentham deeded to Francis Daniels 53 acres of land for seven pounds, 18 shillings.”
Turning to the land, working with the rudest of elements, he carved a farm from the wilderness. The land which Francis had purchased and started to farm was to be included in an area, set aside from Wrentham and other towns, to form a new community, called Foxborough. Francis died June 23, 1813 and was buried in the Central Burying Ground, a small cemetery outside the center of Foxborough where Memorial Hall now stands. Years later, when Central St. was widened, his grave was moved to Rockhill Cemetery. His gravestone can now be found on the west hillside, facing the pond.
As the years have passed, the farm grew in acreage, and each succeeding generation has taken its place at Normandy. From a dairy farm to chickens, then raising sheep, the family has all worked the land first cleared from the wilderness over 250 years ago. Now the 7th, 8th, & 9th generations are contributing to New England’s finest family camping resort.
The Daniels Family
Stop by our Reception Center to view our display of historical items from the farm dating back to the 1700’s.