Family owned and operated since 1866
Established in 1866, the original homestead, known as Smithome, has been owned and farmed by seven successive generations of Smiths.
The aim of each generation has been to improve and diversify the farm, which is now 600 acres and is one of the last working farms in Big Flats, NY.
Local Family Farm
The farm originated as a dairy farm then added poultry, beef cows and a variety of crops including tobacco, cabbage, field corn, sweet corn, strawberries, hay and a small variety of vegetables.
Current operators, Michael & Maureen Smith, and their son Tyler Smith continue as a crop farm and have diversified the farm to include farm entertainment in the form of a Fall Pumpkin Patch with a corn maze, hayrides & other family activities.
In June 1972, relentless rain unleashed by the remnants of Hurricane Agnes turned the normally placid Chemung River and its tributaries in New York's Southern Tier into raging, deadly torrents.
In the Elmira-Corning area, the rapidly rising river overwhelmed dikes, sent walls of water down city streets, buckled bridges and swallowed up homes and businesses.
Located in the valley between Elmira and Corning on State Route 352, Smithome Farms was completely flooded and under water at the time of the flood. Now owner Michael Smith, his parents and dog were rescued out the second floor window into boats!
Harris Hill Lookout during the 1972 flood located above Smithome Farms.
William T. Smith II
William T. Smith II
Born January 15th, 1916.
He attended the public schools in Big Flats Corning Free Academy. He graduated from the New York State College of Agriculture, Cornell University in 1938. Moving on to farm Smithome Farms in Big Flats.
In 1961, he bought a Cadillac for $6,100 using money he gained from farm subsides, which were intended to prop up crop prices by paying farmers not to grow crops, Smith a fourth generation farmer, drove the Cadillac around the district as a campaign prop demonstrating the largest of the federal government's entitlement programs, and the next year managed to win the Republican primary in the 49th District, and became know as Bill "Cadillac" Smith. He was a member of the New York State Senate 183rd, 194th, 185th, and 186th New York State Legislatures.
Smith and wife Dorothy led a campaign against drunk driving, which stemmed from their daughter's death in a drunk driving related incident in 1973. Smith was noted for his staunch fiscal conservatism, pushed for cost estimates on state bills, and voted against the state enrolling in Medicaid (the only member of the entire New York State legislature to do so) because he believe the cost would be much more than estimated . At one point he had reached the position of deputy majority leader. William Smith II passed away March 30, 2010.
Dorothy Nowak Smith
Native of Rochester, NY along with her husband William Smith ran century old Smithome Farms and launched Smithome Farms Restaurant.
Dorothy supported her husband in his career as a New York State Senator and his rise to Deputy Majority Leader. While her husband did week-long stays in Albany Dorothy took care of five children and the farm operations.
Dorothy graduated from the State University of New York at Geneseo.
Serving 36 years on the Corning Hospital Board of Directors, and also served as president. 45 years of Corning Hospital Chapter L, of which she was past president, president of the hospital's Chapter's Council, over 30 years as a volunteer nurse's aide in Chemung and Steuben County, including service as a Blood Bank volunteer. A member of the Horseheads School Board, Program Chairman of the Big Flats PTA, member of the Big Flats Park and Playground Committee, and countless more committees and volunteering to better her community. In recognition of all her accomplishments, Dorothy received a State of New York Legislative Resolution, passed by the Senate and Assembly. She always found time to visit the sick and comfort the afflicted, to applaud the successes of those around her, and to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. Dorothy passed away on August 25, 2007.