52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #40 – Carl Hope Strait

Relationship: Great uncle
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Carl Hope Strait was a turkey farmer and a motel owner.

His full obituary reads:

“Carl Strait” – Andover Twp. – Carl H. Strait, 87, of Andover Township, died Tuesday at Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation Center in Andover Township.  Born in Branchville Junction, Mr. Strait was a long-time resident of Andover Township.  He was the owner of the Holiday Motel from 1964 to 1976 and was also the owner of Strait’s Turkey Farm in Andover Township from 1947 to 1962.  The son of the late Ora S. and Audrey R. Hunt Strait, Mr. Strait was also predeceased by his wife, Sarah E. Strait, on Nov. 2, 1986 and a daughter, Patricia A Toye, on Dec. 2, 1998.  He is survived by two daughters, Nancy Dannhart of Andover Township; six grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.  Arrangements are under the direction of the Smith-McCracken Funeral Home, 63 High St., Newton.[1]

The turkey farm, appropriately named Strait’s Turkey Farm, was located in Andover Township, Sussex County, New Jersey. Carl and his wife Sarah (Decker) owned the farm between 1947 and 1962.

In 1956 and years following, Carl’s farm participated in the “National Turkey Improvement Plan” along with other hatcheries, dealers and independent flocks.[2] The U.S. Department of Agriculture sponsored the program.Screen Shot 2015-10-03 at 6.06.00 PM

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Carl’s independent flock consisted of 8,400 of the White Holland variety of turkeys.

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White Holland turkeys (MotherEarth.com)

Some of his competitors also participating the flock improvement plan were two smaller farms (1) Umbrian Farms in Lafayette with a flock of 4,500 consisting of Broad Breasted Bronzes and White Hollands and (2) Carr’s Turkey farm in McAfee with a flock of 3,750 consisting of Broad Breasted White Hollands. Carl also had one very large competitor in Cranbury, New Jersey. It was Ender’s Turkey Breeding Farm with a flock of 80,000 consisting of Broad Breasted Bronzes, White Hollands, and Beltsville Small Whites.

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Broad Breasted Bronze turkey (www.ourtable.us)


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Beltsville Small White turkey (www.greenhealthyfarm.com)

All the turkeys on the farms participating were certified as pulloram-typhoid free. According to the Canadian Food Inspection website[2]:

  • Pullorum disease is an infectious poultry disease caused by the bacterium Salmonella pullorum. The disease affects mainly young chicks and poults, but can also affect older chickens, game birds, guinea fowl, ostriches, parrots, peafowl, ring doves, sparrows and turkeys.
  • Fowl typhoid is an infectious poultry disease caused by the bacterium Salmonella gallinarum. The disease affects mainly mature or growing chickens, but has the ability to affect all chickens, ducks, grouse, guinea-fowl, peafowl, pheasants, quail and turkeys.

After running the turkey farm for 15 years, Carl moved over to motel ownership. Located on Route 206 in Sussex County, the motel is still in use today. The property was (and still is) named The Holiday Motel and it was a neat white building with columns rising to the second story in the middle part of the building. Rooms ran out from both sides of the office with plenty of parking for weary travelers. What can’t be known is if the turkeys gave him less sass than the general public!

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The Holiday Motel, Andover, New Jersey

Let’s take a side trip here to discuss the difference between a motel and a hotel. According to the website www.diffen.com (which usefully compares just about anything you want to compare):

hotel provides paid lodging to tourists and may also provide a number of other services or amenities, such as a restaurant, swimming pool, and/or spa. Many hotels are also arranged to hold conferences and meetings, thus making them useful locations for business meet ups. …

Motel is a word derived from the term “motorist’s hotel.” This was a term used to indicate when a hotel provided ample parking, a feature that is particularly useful to Americans and Canadians who frequently travel long distances on major highway and interstate systems. Initially, motel rooms had doors that faced the parking lot, making coming and going especially easy. …

Carl passed away in 2001 but the Holiday Motel is still in operation to this day. If you’re ever on Route 206 in Andover on the way to Newton, keep your eyes peeled for Carl’s motel or maybe stop in to stay for the night.

[1] “Carl Strait,” obituary, newspaper clipping, 09 August 2001 (penned), unidentified newspaper [most likelyNew Jersey Herald]; Strait family newspaper clipping, privately held by Jodi Lynn Strait, Tucson, AZ, 2015.  Inherited in 2010 by Ms. Strait from her grandmother Beatrice (Repsher) Strait Guirreri of Newton, New Jersey.
[2] https://ia801505.us.archive.org/25/items/CAT31321527/CAT31321527.pdf
[3] http://inspection.gc.ca/animals/terrestrial-animals/diseases/reportable/pullorum-disease/fact-sheet/eng/1344181819473/1344194671356


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