From the very start to today
In the Beginning
The Linkletters can trace their family tree back to the 1400's when the 'Linklaters' were living in the Orkney Islands, off the Northern coast of Scotland. In the mid 1700s, John and Isobel Linkletter left the Orkneys to settle in Greenwich, Connecticut.
In 1783, John Linkletter's son, George Linkletter and his family made their way to Prince Edward Island, and were given land by the King of England. They settled in Lot 17, which today encompasses several communities including Linkletter and Summerside.
George passed his farm down to his son, George II.
George II married Mary Green, whose brother owned 'Summer Side House', which was the inn that gave Summerside its name. George and Mary's son Issac Linkletter married Eliza Sharp.
Major Linkletter was their second child. He bought some land alongside of his father's house and moved a four bedroom home onto it, which he bought from a shipbuilder.
Over the Years
Major's son, Harry Linkletter and his wife Flora took over the 100-acre farm in 1926 and lived in the family homestead until their son Leigh got married. Leigh and his brother, Garth, farmed together with their father; after two decades of this, they began to farm more and more potatoes and grain, moving away from the mixed farming operation it had always been.
In the early 1940's they began buying land, which included the Schurman farm, which is near the Linkletter one-room Schoolhouse. This location was Garth & Mary's first home and now serves as the farm's 'shop', where all the work is done on the farm's various machinery. In one year, they went from a few acres of potatoes to 30 acres. That harvest was very difficult. They used a digger with a big shear on the back of the tractor, which spilled potatoes out onto the ground. Those potatoes had to be picked up by hand. Garth Linkletter, who was around 12 years old at the time, remembers driving this digger quite a bit that fall.
In the early 1960's, Garth & Leigh built a new type of digger, which resulted in less bruising on the potatoes. This article was published in the paper that year. In 1965 they built a new warehouse, which is still located on Glenn Drive and serves as the main warehouse and offices. The farm also became 'Linkletter Farms Limited', and a couple of years later they hired on 13 people. In 1969 they had 2 self-propelled and 1 tractor-drawn harvester for their 550 acres.
In 1979, the farm had 7 tractors, 2 grain combines, 10 trucks, and other assorted pieces of equipment. Garth looked after the field work, while Leigh looked after the warehouse and unloading. In 1980 Harry Linkletter passed away. Although not officially farming in his later years, he'd always been around the farm. He used to search for land to buy quite often, and he looked after many of the rented properties.
The farm continued to grow, and it wasn't long until Leigh's sons, Gary & Dale, became partners in the operation. Garth's son Mark, and his son in-law James Marchbank joined them shortly after that. This picture shows the 6th and 7th generation, from left to right, Mark Linkletter, Dale Linkletter, Leigh Linkletter, Gary Linkletter, Garth Linkletter and James Marchbank. The picture was taken by one of our employees during the fall harvest, in the early 2000s.
The 21st century has seen the next generation continue the family tradition. In 2003, Dale's daughter and son-in-law, Melanie and Mark MacEwen joined the company. Shortly after that, in 2005, Dale's son Tim Linkletter and his wife Amanda became part of the family operation. In 2010, James' son, who is also named James, and his wife Leah joined the company. This completed the 8th generation of the Linkletter Family, to farm the soils of Linkletter and the surrounding communities.
The new generation has the same commitment to continuous improvement as the other family members did and are focused on getting the job done. Linkletter Farms has strived to keep up with the changes in the farming industry. They are dedicated to efficient and environmentally responsible production of potatoes and are very proud of what we produce each year.
But one thing that has not changed over the years is the incredible staff. Their talent and dedication is a huge part of why Linkletter Farms is still going strong today!!