John “Whit” Davis was born on the Stanton Davis Farm, on Greenhaven Road in Pawcatuck, Conn., in 1924. He never left the farm. Whit has been working the farm with his grandfather and father for last eight-plus decades.
The Stanton-Davis farm has never missed a crop since 1654. Now, however, Whit has decided to slow down and retire. No one truly expects him to retire completely; however, he is preparing to pass the reigns off to his son, Larry Davis, who represents the eleventh generation of Davises to own and operate the Stanton Davis Farm. Whit will always have a hand in the marketing which he loves so much and to be able to speak to all his friends which he has cultivated over the past decades. His long time right hand man, "Fat" Thompson, has worked the farm with Whit for several decades. They have been friends since they were children. Whit and his wife Velora reside in Groton.
Over the years, Whit had many local people working on the farm. For several years, he had the Stonington High School football team exercising on the farm, by planting seeds and pulling up weeds and vegetables. Many other local teenagers, at the time, worked on the farm. Farm work is an excellent education for young people to learn about the earth and its products. All of which Whit has been willing to teach.
The Stanton-Davis farmhouse was built in 1654. The walls in the attic are 1" x 12" slabs of pine. In the 1600s any board over 12" wide was considered King's lumber and was shipped to the King of England. The homestead is being converted to a museum, including its contents.
Whit has also served the town in several areas such as Dog Warden; he served on the Inland Wetlands Commission, and several other town commissions. During WWII, the only products grown were potatoes which were used for the military only.
Some of you may remember the sleigh rides taken through the woods in the snow and the scary Halloween rides with all the goblins and frightful beings. What fun we had!
On August 5, 2009, John Whit Davis was presented with the “Farm of the Century” award by The Connecticut Agricultural Information Council.
On November 16, 2012, a Retirement Party given in his honor will be held at the Groton Inn & Suites, Route 184, Groton, Conn. The event will begin with a cocktail hour at 6:00 p.m. and dinner served at 7 p.m. Choice of entrée is available.
If anyone has pictures of Whit or the farm, please send them, and they will be copied and returned. Tales or stories? Please let us know. Donations for a Raffle Table are gratefully accepted.
For information please contact