Baum Brothers Barrel and Butter Firkin Factory
In the early 1850s, L. Frank Baum's father Benjamin Ward Baum established a cooperage a very short distance northwest of Benjamin's home, which would become in 1856 L. Frank Baum's birthplace. Joining Benjamin in the business were his brothers John Wesley, Adam Clarke, and Lyman Spaulding Baum.
Using water power from nearby Chittenango Creek, the factory made barrels and firkins (containers holding a quarter of a standard barrel) used mostly for storing butter. The factory was only modestly successful and closed after the Panic of 1857. Benjamin soon made a fortune from oil in northwestern Pennsylvania and provided his son with a privileged upbringing.