Let's all give
The Farmer's Daughter at The Country Farm Home a farm fresh welcome!
She has graciously agreed to share her story and her farm with us for our first Farm Fresh Feature.
I adore The Farmer's Daughter.
And so will you.
Let's get to our interview...shall we!
What would you like to share with us today?
I’d love to share a little about our farm—show you around the place.
Do you have a name for your farmhouse/homestead?
In 2007, the entire farm complex was designated and listed on the National Register of Historic Places as The Widner-Magers Farm Historic District. The Country Farm Home is just one of fourteen buildings located within the five acre district.
What farm fresh style do you embrace?
Plain and Simple Farm Style—inside and out. A little primitive, a little Shaker, a little Delta folk style, and a lot of “make-do” and “can-do”.
Tell us a little about your space.
We’re located on a 500 acre cotton farm in
Arkansas. My Grandfather bought the farm in 1930 and built the
house we live in for his manager (who was also his brother-in-law) the same
year. He also built all the barns, the farm shop, and several out buildings in
the early 30s. After he passed away in
1957, my father took over the farm.
Although we never lived on the farm—our home was “in town”—I spent many summers roaming around in these barns and sheds. Through the years, I had the dream of returning one day and restoring the old farm buildings and living in the farmhouse. A series of events made the dream a reality in 2004. That was also the year I made the mistake (?) of bringing John from
Virginia to see where I grew up and to show
him my farm. He took one look and didn’t want to leave. He quit his job at
Colonial Williamsburg—I took a leave of absence—and we moved to Arkansas. We’ve been
here ever since. I still have a hard time getting him off the farm! It’s a laid
back, easy-going place to live.
Please tell us more. What have you done? Any future plans?
What haven’t we done is the question! All of the barns and buildings had to be renovated or restored. Our goal was to put the farm back to the 1930s cotton plantation style and to preserve the history of our local farming community. We were so blessed to have my Dad’s input and 1000’s of his photographs to help us accomplish our goal.
Our home was the only building that was changed somewhat from the original. Here it is in 1951.
The front of the house is to the right. The porch was enclosed in the 1960s, adding a third bedroom.
Here it is today. . . .
We added ten feet onto the back of what is now the keeping room, also a “breeze-way” off the keeping room connecting the house with the new garage. Then we added a porch around the original house on three sides—still in the manner of a Delta home—but not original. In my mind’s eye, I’ve seen that exact same porch on it ever since I was a child.
Inside, the layout remained the same as it was in the 1930s. Based on a four-square Craftsman style, it had no indoor bath or closets. We moved the bathroom off the back porch (I’m serious) and put it in one of the three bedrooms.
Then, we removed all the kitchen cabinets and started with an open room for the kitchen.
The orange shag carpet had to go—not a surprise—and the original cypress floors were restored in the living room and one bedroom. John began crafting the cabinetry to look as if they were old.
Along the way we began filling the house with vintage items that were appropriate for the 1930s era. A friend of ours dug up the iron bathtub in his flower bed so that we could refinish it for the bath. The sink is a dresser we found in the barn.
We found the original, hand-made paneled interior doors under the barn—one of which had three bullet holes in it. Wouldn’t that make a great story! We also found glass door knobs and vintage brass hinges. A chandelier for the bath came out of my Mom’s home. The furniture was mostly family pieces. The rest came from junkin’ in
We recently finished the keeping room/kitchen. Next on the list is the living room. Right now, it’s an eclectic mix of hand-me-downs in a cottage style. I’m ready to change all that into my newest love—plain and simple Farmhouse style—much like the keeping room.
(Chamber of Commerce Tour)
At one time, we were allowing groups to tour our home, as well as the other buildings, so I tried to keep everything very 30-ish. Now, it’s only on special occasions that anyone sees inside our house. I’ll never be a person who is comfortable living in a new home or with all new furniture and accessories—but, I don’t mind mixing in new trends and ideas in small doses. One lesson I’ve learned over the years from owning several homes is that if I stick to the basics—white or light walls, neutral fixtures, wood floors—it’s very easy to go from one style to the next--almost on a whim. So, it will be fairly easy to change the living room. I want the feel of an early, simple farmhouse. It’s a style that both John and I feel right at home.
What is your favorite spot within the space you are sharing today and why?
My favorite spot would have to be the keeping room, with its huge open hearth fireplace. The entire room just makes me smile when I walk in. It’s also the only room that is totally completed.
Do you have any collections, interests, and/or hobbies that you would like to share?
Well, I’m an “old soul”, so I collect anything vintage. Probably the one collection I’ve stayed with all these years would have to be my vintage clothing collection. I don’t care what era, if it’s old—and reasonable—I’m buying it!
(Clothing from the 1900-1940's)
What do you cherish the most about your farm fresh life?
The simplicity of the life we’ve made here—the simplicity and the feeling of being a part of the family legacy. Living with old things and preserving history is in my blood. Living on our family farm is certainly a dream come true.
Where can we find you?
I have two blogs with links to Facebook on each of them:
Two websites: widner-magers.org and dellarkansas.com
Thank you so much, The Farmer's Daughter, for sharing your farm with us today.
Hope y'all take the time to visit her.
And thank you so much for stopping by at our first Farm Fresh Feature!
I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have.
The next Farm Fresh Feature will be January 28
since we will taking December off due to the holiday.
Fresh farmhouse hugs to you,