Shadyrill History

Governor John S. Fine's Blue Ribbon Dairy Farm

The history of Shadyrill Farm

The original homestead was built by the Hildebrandt family in the early 1800’s. The buildings consisted of the three-story farm house, barn and a small tenant house. The farm house was built using the “balloon type” construction, a high quality construction of the era.

In 1900, Hildebrandt would build a large bank barn that would hold up to 6,000 bales of hay on the main floor. The farming operation would create a stone wall 1500 feet long, 10 feet wide and 5 feet high, separating the farm field from the large forest.

In 1950, Pa Governor, John S. Fine purchased the farm and surrounding land and built his retirement home at the top of the hill. Governor Fine had a vision of creating a showplace farm with a Blue Ribbon Dairy herd.

Govenrnor Fine would add a basement to the large bank barn. This large basement floor was constructed for milking the dairy herd daily. Governor Fine spared no expenses, utilizing native Cherry wood to construct the 30 stalls, walls and support beams. The fertile fields provided pasture, hay and corn to feed the dairy herd. The farm was worked by hired hands that would live in the farm house.

In 1965, dairy farming at Shadyrill Farm ended. The farm would be turned into a rental property. There would be no up-keep for years.

In 1978, Robert and Janet Ciravolo purchased Shadyrill Farm from Governor Fine along with 23 acres. Robert Ciravolo came from a construction background with 30 years of drywall finishing under his belt. He would slowly start renovating the farm house for his family adding new heating, windows, bathrooms, kitchen and roofing. He would also start farming, planting peach and apple orchards along with vegetables and selling the produce from a table in the front yard. Eventually, the produce table was moved into the large barn where more produce was sold each year and at local farmer’s markets.

In 2008, the large barn’s main floor was renovated into a barn cafe, bakery and gift shop. Rough-cut lumber was utilized to create a rustic and warm atmosphere while keeping the original barn ambience. New heating and insulation was added in order to stay open in the winter months. Shadyrill farm served breakfast, lunch and desserts for many years opereated by Janet Ciravolo and daughter Karen.

In 2014, the barn cafe and bakery would close, but the beautiful farm would not be forgotten.

In 2016, Robert and Janet decided to use their facility as a wedding venue. The beautiful farm scenery and large barn with open floor plan creates an unforgettable wedding event.