William Jordan and his wife Sarah came from Dudley to Salisbury Street in Holden in 1885 with their two children Inez and Charlie. William started farming by planting an orchard, vegetables and keeping dairy cows.
In 1899 Charlie married Bertha Graham and took over the farm. Vegetables were taken to the train in Worcester and sent to Boston for sale. The farm was named Cleighton Farms, a name whose origin remains a mystery to the family. Charlie and Bertha had six children. Two of their sons Sumner and Howard helped to work the farm.
In 1943, Sumner and Howard, purchased an additional farm on Muschopauge Road in Rutland where they increased their herd of Guernsey cows. Howard ran the Rutland farm and Sumner ran the Holden farm. They began bottling milk first in Holden and then made a larger processing plant in Rutland.
The Dairy Basket, a dairy store was opened in 1963 on Main Street in Holden center and continued until the 1970s. Milk routes traveled to Worcester, Holden and Rutland delivering Guernsey milk door to door.
Upon the death of Sumner in 1963 and Howard in 1970, the Rutland farm was turned over to Howard’s sons Warren and Wayne Jordan. As the family continued to grow, the reins of the farm were turned to Wayne’s sons Randy and Brian.
The acres of land and the numbers of cows which are now high milk producing Holsteins have increased since the Jordans began farming in the 1800s. The apples and market garden vegetables have given way to a state of the art dairy operation of 700 cows, 300 of which are milked three times a day in the milking parlor in Rutland. Brian and Randy each have young children who someday may take the farm to even greater heights.