State and local dignitaries joined descendants of chicken business and advertising icon Frank Perdue to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Perdue family farmhouse and its inclusion in the Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties.
The farmhouse, which is part of the company’s logo and located across the street from the corporate offices of Perdue Farms, was built in 1917 by Arthur W. Perdue. Three years later, he founded on his family farm what would become Maryland’s third-largest company and the country’s most famous brand of chicken.
“It’s an honor to have such an important part of our company’s heritage listed among the Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties,” said Chairman Jim Perdue. “The farmhouse is a daily reminder to all of us at Perdue of the tenets of quality, integrity, hard work and trust upon which my grandfather built his business, and of our beginning as a family farm.”
“From humble beginnings in 1920 when Arthur and his wife Pearl started their small family poultry farm, Perdue has grown exponentially over the past century into a respected and celebrated name, and the number one fresh chicken brand in the United States of America,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “The focus of our administration has been on growing the private sector, creating jobs, and turning our economy around. Our success is due in large part to Maryland companies like Perdue, which have shown such loyalty and commitment to the future of our state.”
The event also included the release of a video tour of the farmhouse, narrated by Perdue family members.
The history of the house
The house’s storied history began in 1917, with Pearl Parsons Perdue tending to a flock of egg-laying hens while Arthur saved up enough money to go into the business full time. In 1920, the year Frank Perdue was born, Arthur started the company as a table egg business, later moving to selling chickens. Over the years, the farmhouse became the site of a hatchery and later a research farm.
In 2007, the farmhouse underwent a restoration, revealing the original wood-sided exterior, and interior hardwood floors, woodworking and fireplaces. The work uncovered a wood shingle hidden in one of the walls, signed and dated “September 1917” by Arthur Perdue.
Attendees at the event included Maryland Governor Larry Hogan; Mike Gill, Maryland Secretary of Commerce; Joseph Bartenfelder, Maryland Secretary of Agriculture; and Salisbury Mayor Jake Day, along with Perdue executives, family and board members, and long-term associates, retirees and farmers.