History of Schwarz Farm

The 96-acre farm Schwarz farm was previously owned by Carl and Roberta Schwarz. Carl’s father Rudolph was a sculptor who came to the U.S. from Austria and settled in Indianapolis, where he created many sculptures for public spaces. After Carl passed away, Roberta set up a foundation to provide for the property as the Carl A. Schwarz Memorial Park. Roberta passed away in 2004. The Westmoreland Land Trust (WLT) purchased the Schwarz Farm from the Foundation in 2021.

Roberta Schwarz (Photo provided by Gladys Light)

Prior to ownership by Carl and Roberta Schwarz, the farm was owned and operated by Joseph and Mary Baur as a dairy farm. Hundreds of farmers visited the Baur dairy farm in September 1931 for an Electric Field Day cohosted by West Penn Power and Westinghouse Electric, with demonstrations of feed grinding, silo filling, home lighting and electric cooking.

1931 newspaper clipping about the Electric Field Day at the Baur farm, kindly provided by Susan Baur Scherff

On March 11, 2021, WLT acquired the Schwarz farm on Beech Hills Road in Hempfield Township with the help of funding from Colcom Foundation, Allegheny Foundation, and other supporters.  The farm will be conserved as a nature and art park, with meadows to provide valuable habitat for pollinator and upland meadow bird species.

The farmhouse will become a base for programming and operation of the future nature and art park.