Reflections from Fran: Farming, Fishing, and Family

Frank Wolff & Arthur Linvill, 1930

I was going through old photos when I came across this one of my grandfather Frank Wolff (left). It immediately caught my eye because I LOVE fishing. (Personally, I call fishing my “yoga”, it’s a release. My body, mind and soul truly rejuvenate with any opportunity to fish.) So, needless to say, I was delighted to come across this picture of my grandfather and another gentleman with a row of fish. My dad had always told me that HIS dad (pictured) LOVED to fish too! Unfortunately, my grandfather passed away when I was a year old, so I never had an opportunity to know him let alone fish with him. Additionally, I love this photo because they’re dressed in button down shirts and ties to go fishing. Clearly, fishing “dress codes” have become more lax in the last 90 years!  But, then I happened to flip the photo over, and it got even more fascinating to me…

On the back is a caption in my Dad’s handwriting:  “My dad Frank Wolff and Arthur Linvill take time out to go fishing.” Wow!! NOW I REALLY LOVE THIS PHOTO!! Let me explain why. Arthur Linvill was the founder of Linvilla Orchards and they, like Wolff’s, are another family farm operating for over 100 years in Media, PA. The two families have known each other and have been friends now for multiple generations. (It’s worth noting: farming is a unique and wonderful industry in that would-be “competitors” are often friends and allies on the same team, competing against their old nemesis, Mother Nature!) In fact, Frank Wolff’s grandson Randy is married to Arthur Linvill’s granddaughter Nancy! (See more in the genealogy note at the end.)

Kate Wolff & Wini Wolff with dad Ken Wolff getting our apples pressed into cider at Linvilla Orchards, Fall 1969

And I personally have cherished childhood memories of my family being invited by Paul & Peg Linvill and their kids to join them at one of their pools after hours on hot summer nights… Just the Wolff’s and the Linvill’s, relaxing and swimming after a long hot day of farming. I felt like I was at a concert with back-stage VIP passes!

Fran’s daughter Grace Wolff keeping the love of fishing alive

Intriguing Genealogy Note: Frank Wolff’s grandson, and my cousin, Randy (Wolff) Dole is married to Arthur Linvill’s granddaughter Nancy (Linvill) Dole. So, their two children Nathan & Rachel (Linvill Wolff) Dole have the distinction of being the great-grandkids of the respective founders of BOTH Linvilla Orchards (Arthur Linvill) and Wolff’s Orchard (Frank Wolff)!!