Jared Van Wagenen, Jr., (1871-1960) was born and raised on a farm in Lawyersville, New York. He received a bachelor's degree from Cornell University's Department of Agriculture in 1891 and then returned to work on his family's farm, which remained the central occupation of his life. In addition to farming, he taught agricultural skills part-time at Cornell (where he subsequently received a master's degree), was elected to the New York state assembly in 1920 for one term, served as an assessor for various state and federal land-use projects, and was a trustee of the Farmers' Museum in Cooperstown. His autobiography, Days of My Years, was published in 1962 by the New York State Historical Association.
"The true links that bind Americans to their past may happily be found here. The Golden Age of Homespun has done more to present the manner of early American living than any similar book known to this reviewer."-Carl Carmer, New York Times "Jaren van Wagenen has put together in this book the full and fascinating record of the lore and methods-the economic and social life-by which upstate New York farmers lived on and off the land in the 'Golden Age of Homespun.' ... With rare down-to-earth artistry and a large amount of nostalgia, he has preserved, before memory and tradition wholly perish, the story of early farm life, household handicrafts, and rural occupations."-Henry Christman, New York Herald Tribune "Work and play, it is all here, and let us be particularly grateful that The Golden Age of Homespun is not just one more book distilled out of other books but a more readable and delightful essay and history, written from life itself and from loving memory."-Henry Beston, William and Mary Quarterly