The Martin family roots extend to Berne, Switzerland in the late 1600’s. Our immigrant ancestor, Christian Martin (1669-1749), was imprisoned because of his religious beliefs. He was 63 years old when he was released and left Europe to join his four sons. These sons had previously immigrated to America settling in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania between the years 1727-1732.
Christian’s sons married and had families while farming along the Conestoga Creek. Christian Martin’s grandson, known as Creek Henry II, had 13 children with the middle child being John Zimmerman Martin (1776-1826). This was the first “John Martin” of many generations to follow.

John Wegner Martin (1805-1887)

The search for less crowded and more productive farmland brought John Z. Martin’s son, John Wegner Martin (1805-1887), to purchase a parcel of property near Smithsburg, MD. The 94-acre parcel was called “Hospitality” and the purchase occurred in March of 1850. This is the site that would later be known as Ivy Hill Farm with John Wegner Martin it’s first, but not last, John Martin to own it. John Wenger Martin married Mary Musser in the 1840’s.

John Musser Martin (1843-1910)

John Musser Martin and Elizabeth "Lizzie" Barkdoll, married after the Civil War.

John Wegner Martin’s son was John Musser Martin (1843-1910) who fought for the Union during the Civil War. After the war he married Elizabeth “Lizzie” Barkdoll, and purchased the farm from his father. Their only child, a son, unfortunately died at birth. This however was not the end of John Martin’s. John Musser Martin had a brother, Henry, who had 8 children. The eldest of those children was John Mentzer Martin (1874-1929). John Mentzer Martin went to live and be raised by his Uncle John at Hospitality (Ivy Hill Farm).

John Mentzer Martin (1874-1929)

John Mentzer Martin married Lydia Fehl and they raised 5 children. John Mentzer expanded the acreage of the farm and began marketing the fruit it produced. He needed a brand name under which to market and this is when Ivy Hill Farm evolved. This name was chosen in reference to the abundance of poison ivy that grew on the hilly farm ridge. Tragedy fell on John Mentzer Martin in 1929 when he fell through the barn hay hole and broke several ribs. Days later he died from those injuries at 55 years old.

John Mentzer Martin and his wife Lydia, married in 1900.

John Alfred Martin (1905-1984)

John Alfred Martin married Gladys Sensenbaugh in 1931.

The sudden death of John M. Martin left Ivy Hill Farm in a state of uncertainty. His son, John Alfred Martin (1903-1984) was only 26 years old. The legal transfer of farm ownership between these John Martin’s had not yet occurred. Ivy Hill Farm was appraised and put up for public auction meaning the possible end of John Martin owners.

As is common in farm communities the family, friends and neighbors of the Martin’s banded together and refused to bid against John A. Martin at the auction. Everyone felt it was only right that the farm stay with the Martin family. John Alfred Martin was able to raise the funds to purchase the farm and was the one and only bidder at the auction. The family’s deep-rooted agriculture tradition was able to continue. John Alfred Martin married Gladys Sensenbaugh in 1931.

John Richard Martin (1934-2011 )

In 1954 , John Richard Martin (1934-2011 ) married Jeanne Brown and joined in the farm partnership with his father, John A. Martin. Ivy Hill Farm began diversifying at this time selling off the dairy cattle and turning to a registered Yorkshire swine herd along with the established fruit orchard. The Martin’s expanded into the retail farm market business in the early 70’s. In the following 30 years, the Ivy Hill Farm Market grew in stages. The first commercial cider press was purchased in 1975, greenhouses to raise spring vegetable and bedding plants sprouted in 1977, and cold storage facilities added in 1979. The most recent advancement was in 1999 with the installation of a high-tech ultraviolet treatment system to purify sweet cider without effecting it’s distinctive fresh taste.  The Ivy Hill Farm website was developed in 2002 launching the farm into the digital age. John Richard Martin married Jeanne Brown in 1954.

John Steven Martin (1957- )

Steve Martin became a farm partner in 1977, and married Karen Eckstine in 1985. Steve’s two sons, John Timothy “Tim” Martin (1990- ) and John Justin “Justin” Martin (1997- ) are the seventh generation of John Martin’s to live at Ivy Hill Farm.

John Richard, John Steven, John Timothy, and John Justin Martin

Jeanne Martin and son, John Steven “Steve” Martin (1957- ) are the current owners of Ivy Hill Farm. There is a long-standing tradition of successful, progressive farming of this land originally named Hospitality. The current John Martin’s of Ivy Hill Farm aim to take this tradition well into the 21st century.



John Richard, John Steven, John Timothy, and John Justin