George Lyford, the inspiration for Gramp Lyford's Vermont Salve, was born and raised in the rolling hills of central Vermont. George Lyford was a hard-worker all of his life. As a schoolboy, George would walk to the one room schoolhouse every day where he earned a small wage by bringing in water and starting the wood fire to warm the school before the teacher and other students arrived. Of course this was after he finished his daily chores on the family farm.
Upon graduation from high school, George continued to work on a neighbor's farm saving money to purchase his own farm. In 1945, at the young age of 20, with a new bride on his arm, the first George Lyford farm was purchased in Tunbridge, Vermont. It was on this farm, the original Justin Morgan Horse Farm, where the couple had four of their five children. Mr. and Mrs. Lyford sold this farm in 1956 to buy their present farm – Cold Springs Farm –in Chelsea Vermont.
George Lyford successfully farmed for fifty plus years as well as raised and educated five children. Education was very important to George, as he never had the opportunity to go to college himself, he made sure that his children would have that opportunity – each of his two daughters and three sons all received college educations.
George was an excellent steward of the land. His crops were always successful and he grew some of the best Jersey dairy cattle in the White River Valley. He was an avid deer hunter and was involved in community activities. He was also active in local politics and held various posts as an elected official of the town of Chelsea. Without doubt, Gramp Lyford's first love was his wife and children, and his grandchildren flocked to him no matter if he was in the barn, on a tractor, at the kitchen table or at a ball game. With a heart of gold, all those who met him felt his warmth and kindness, and quickly learned of his keen ability to tell a joke or recall local history. His gentleness and acute knowledge of the land and his cattle (he named them all) enabled him to be a successful and respected Jersey dairy farmer.
Gramp was never able to use the Salve that carries his name as he passed away after a courageous battle with lung cancer in 1999. As a tribute to him, a portion our sales is donated to the Chelsea Vermont Fish & Game Club and Hospice VNA in his memory.
About a year before he passed away, George Lyford made a film with his longtime friend and fellow farmer, John O'Brien. You can see Gramp in the film, Nosey Parker, which was released in March 2003. This film accurately reflects George Lyford's love of the land, family, and his willingness to befriend a stranger. For more information about Nosey Parker or John O'Brien