Skip to main content

The Duncan Family Farming Legacy in Harrison Mills

As far as I know, we always raised Holstein cattle.

Bert Duncan, Farmer, 2017


Black and white photograph of three men loading milk onto the

Three men loading milk onto the “Hasty” tugboat at the Bonnie Doone Dairy Farm, 1948.


Beverly Kennedy of The Agassiz-Harrison Historical Society spoke with Robert “Bert” Duncan, grandson of James Duncan, a pioneer farmer in Harrison Mills, in 2017 to record the family’s story. Bert and his ancestors have operated the farm, located on the western foot of Mount Woodside, since the 1890s.

With his brothers John and Sandy, James Duncan first established the Orchard Bluff Farm from which fruit was shipped to eastern Canada. After more land was cleared, James started the Bonnie Doone Dairy Farm with Holstein cattle. In the early years, James grew corn, hay, grass silage, and oats to feed the cattle.

Bert’s father William “Bill” took over the farm operations by the early 1930s. Following the flood of 1948, Bill became director of the dyking committee in effort to protect the precious land in Harrison Mills that had been devastated. Bert and his brother Donald’s families continue to farm and manage the dairy herd. Their grandchildren represent the fifth generation of Duncans to live/work on the farm.


Black and white photograph of cows grazing in a field.

Holstein cows grazing in a field at the Agassiz Dominion Experimental Farm, early 1900s.