"Life is amazingly good when it's simple and amazingly simple when it's good." ~ Terri Guillemets

Monday, November 26, 2012

Farm Fresh Feature - November 2012

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”.

(1930's Door)

(Cotton Art)

Tell us a little about your space.
We’re located on a 500 acre cotton farm in Northeast 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.

(Magers Barn)

(Corn Crib, 1910 Barn, Shop)

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.

(Grocery Museum)

(Corn Crib)

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. 

(Kitchen Cabinet)

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. 

(Living Room)

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 Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, and Kentucky.

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.

Sharing at...

Fresh farmhouse hugs to you,


J9's Happiness in the Every Day said...

Oh wow!! What a gorgeous post! Thanks for hosting the interview and thanks for sharing your beautiful home. I love that you are living your dream and you made moves to make it happen. I love that you have restored it, loved and considered it's history and your link with the farm and preserved this wonder for the future. Well done! I love the pictures of this house - I think I'd feel right at home!! J9 x

The Farmer's Daughter said...

Good Morning, Cindy!
The feature looks great!!!! Thanks so much for honoring me with your first Farm Fresh Feature. . .It was lots of fun!!! Hope everyone enjoys it!
Hugs from the Farmhouse,
The Farmer's Daughter

My Little Corner said...

What a beautiful farm. Very enjoyable, thank you!

Kimberly said...

What a sweet idea! This is my first visit, but I'll be back!!
We're restoring our 1920 farmhouse and everything else as we are able. I love to about other farms. It gives me great ideas and hope it won't always look like this around here. ;)

Julie Marie at Idyllhours said...

Hi Cindy, I just loved seeing more of the Farmers Daughters home and acreage... I also love that it is a way of life for her not a "style"... to be honest, I get so tired of all of the "trends, fads and style" that magazines promote... my home too is a way of life, plain and simple, like my mama and my grandmothers homes before me... simply "home"... thanks for the beautiful feature!... wishing you a wonderful day, xoxo Julie Marie

Simply Shelley said...

WONDERFUL STORY....I do love the style very much...its a beautiful home. Thanks for sharing...blessings

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

Now we know "the rest of the story" behind the gorgeous kitchen we've seen featured. How wonderful that the farmstead has been kept in the family and so beautifully restored. Thanks so much for sharing this inspiring story!

Our Neck of the Woods said...

What a great feature! The farm looks so beautiful! I loooove the open hearth fireplace in the keeping room. I'd love to cozy up next to a fire in there!

Little Susie Home Maker said...

to both Cindy and Dru,
This is a wonderful interview and stry told. I am so happy that I get to partake in this wonderful farm! Dru it is really wonderful that you are living your dream. I love that you have kept this piece of history in your family and John sounds like a great guy! You guys have just done the most fantastic job in preserving this history. Thanks Cindy for bringing this story out in your first Farm Feature! There is so much about all of this that makes me feel at home.

jeanetteann said...

Love,Love Love it. Who wouldn't Thank you for sharing this beautiful home. xx

Anne said...

I enjoyed reading the history of her home! What an amazing transformation!

sweetvintageofmine said...

This is a beautiful post about a beautiful family and their life! Thank you Cindy for your Farmhouse Fresh Feature! LOVED IT! What a magnificent place! My kind of living! Roxie

cynthia lee designs said...

Cindy...thanks for sharing Dru's farm with us on your first Farm Fresh Feature. Love her home!!

Jann Olson said...

Cindy, I love Dru's farmhouse! It was so fun to learn a little more about her and the farms history. Her keeping room makes me drool. She is such a sweet and talented lady. John is a man after my own heart. He knew a good thing when he saw it. So happy that she has returned to the farm!

Wild Oak Designs said...

What a fabulous story! Not many stories like that around. thank you so much for sharing the story so we can read it. That is what makes blogging so wonderful.

outjunking said...

That was so nice. Enjoyed all the history and pics to go with it. All so nice. That bath is what my dreams are made of. Wow!

Maureen Wyatt said...

I'm a big fan of her's and your newest member so I don't miss your next feature!

Bonnie@Creative Decorating said...

I just LOVE farmhouses and red barns so this caught my eye! I enjoyed the history of it as well. Thanks for sharing!

Jody and Stan said...

Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful farmhouse on Simple & Sweet Fridays. Love all the history and photos!


Sherry said...

I am so happy to see the story behind Dru's home! I could tell it was special! That is the fanciest corn crib I have ever seen! I had a farm in my family(KY)that was on the historic register, out buildings corn cribs and all but, it is falling apart and it won't be restored. It is very sad but, it is lovely to see your home being restored. Thank you Cindy for the fabulous tour! Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home! Have a very Merry Christmas!

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