The Spring real estate market has been busy, though I found my Friday this week free. I decided to sneak away to our farm in Pike County to do some fruit tree pruning and Spring cleaning. I am still sore and tired. Farms are not all BBQs and picking flower…and you thought I just went to Neiman Marcus fashion shows.
I planted a large stand of ornamental grasses near our sign a few years ago. They are beautiful, though I dread chopping them down each Spring. I used to clip them down with hand pruners, though have found that branch loppers do a better job and give me more leverage. It is still a big job. If anyone has a better method, let me know. One year someone threw a cigarette in them from the road and they burnt down…it made the job easy that year…unfortunately the sign did not fair that well. The sign is another project for this Spring…it is cool weathered, though you can not read it anymore.
Our historic octagonal barn got a make-over last year due to hail damage last Spring.
And of course our scary cellar of the house was full of water. The sump pump was unplugged. Lucky me waded through the water to plug it back in. I am certain that this is how I am going to meet my demise.
Across the street from our farm in Pike County, Missouri is one of the original plantation farms of the area….Ashburton. John Winn Davis bought a large tract of land from Walker Gilmer Meriwether who owned Aberdeen, a 1233 acre tobacco plantation. Mr. Davis build Ashburton in 1840. It was a duplicate of his home in Hanover County, VA and also the Davis home in England….both houses were also called Ashburton. He used slaves to accomplish this over a five year period. It is noted that he had 20 slaves. Mr. Davis fired bricks to build his house in his own kiln and even fired an additional 500,000 bricks to build nearby St. John's Episcopal Church in Eolia, Missouri….which is the oldest Episcopal Church west of the Mississippi. In the late 1800's they added a third story on the house.
Everyone loves kittens!
Our family has owned Rockford Farms since the 1950's. The name Rockford comes from the Ramsay Creek that runs along our property. The creek has a slab rock bottom and a "ford" is a place that you cross the creek…viola! Rockford. There is a school house from the 1850's on our property that my father's sister transformed into a house back in the 1950s. This was called the Rockford School. This was formally called Griffith School where the children of James Griffith were taught.
Our family has owned farms in the Pike County area for several decades. Before WWII my grandfather owned Aberdeen which is at the corner of D and WW. This lovely property was originally one of the Meriwether plantations. The primary crop was tobacco in the 1800's. My grandfather sold the property to Gov. Lloyd Stark. Governor Stark was the one who put the pillared colonnade on the front of the house. The other day I came across some old pictures of Aberdeen and will share them with you in the future.
Update: This blog is going to force me to do more research on Pike County. I just stumbled across this information:
||A post office in Prairieville Township, established in 1891 and discontinued in 1904. H.V.P. Block, formerly from Virginia, owned a farm here consisting of about 13,000 acres. He was of Scotch descent and named the farm Aberdeen. The post office which was established at a toll gate on this land took its name from the farm. (Mrs. T.N. Bragg; J.D. Hostetter)
||Leech, Esther. "Place Names Of Six East Central Counties Of Missouri." M.A. thesis., University of Missouri-Columbia, 1933.