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Warren County Bicentennial

The Pottersville Fair, circa 1890

Hollis Combs

Hollis Combs was born in 1903. Hollis was the son of David I. and Annie Combs. David was a builder and miller, the son of a Civil War soldier from Bear Swamp. David I. and Annie moved to a home on what is now called “Combs Road” with seven children about 1905. Their eighth child was born here. The house already was about 100 years old. According to deed records, Anna E. Combs inherited the property April 24, 1924.

Hollis Combs married and moved back here with his wife, Elizabeth Ingraham, and their first child. He and Elizabeth went on to raise six children on this farm, where they also raised crops and large gardens, kept cows, and, every spring for decades, tapped his sugarbush. At age 74, he tapped 1,000 trees. Neil Campbell, a good friend and neighbor, remarked that Hollis started sugaring when he was six years old, and was the only maple sugar-maker he knew who started out hanging one bucket on one young maple tree, and, his last year of sugaring, in 1993, was able to hang twelve buckets on that same tree.

Hollis Combs died in spring of 2003, right about sugaring time, and a few months shy of his one-hundredth birthday. He was legendary for his sugar making, his work ethic, his quiet wit, beautiful singing voice and neighborliness.


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