Located west of
Once known for
agriculture and coal mining as its leading industries, the county was propelled
to national prominence in the 1930s with the introduction of the Tennessee
Valley Authority and the construction of Norris Dam. During the years of World
For a brief historical sketch of each farm, click on the farm name:
Map Courtesy of Carole Swann, Tennessee Department of Agriculture
Gregory W. Darnell
to the establishment of the state of
In 1857, Margaret Jane Johnson, the founder’s granddaughter, married Samuel Peak Moore. As a wedding present, Margaret received some of the acreage from the original farm. Under her ownership, the 323 acres produced cattle, pigs, chickens, hay, corn, and soybeans. The couple had five children. Their son, Samuel Tilden Moore, was the next owner of the land, along with his wife, Adania Dunkin Moore. The couple continued raising the same livestock and crops that were grown by the founder, with the addition of tobacco. Samuel Tilden Moore was a logger and he built his home out of timber from the property in 1896. Samuel Tilden and Adania Dunkin Moore had five children.
After Samuel Tilden and Adania died, the farm’s acreage was dispersed to their children. Although the farm was divided between the children, Samuel Houston Moore, the eldest son, continued to farm the entire acreage because the other heirs lived in other states. Samuel Houston Moore and his wife, Laura Onetia Burress, farmed the property until their death. Their daughters, Margaret Illene Moore Darnell and Margie Lorene Moore Wright were the next owners of the farm.
In 1986, Gregory Wade Darnell, the son of Margaret Illene Moore Darnell purchased the acreage and the farm house. Gregory and his wife still live in the home that Samuel Tilden Moore constructed in 1896. The Darnells now raise horses, hay, and cattle on the farm.
A trail leading on the Darnell Farm
Photo (bottom): The farmhouse on the Darnell Farm
Ruth H. Rapier
James M. Hackworth
Kenneth O. HackworthWilliam Riley Dail, Jr. founded the Fairdale Ranch in 1856 with 550 acres in the
In 1907, Henry Grant Dail inherited Fairdale Ranch from
his father. He and his wife H. Ella Prosise had nine children and together they
farmed Fairdale’s 250 acres. Like his father, Henry produced the same kinds of
foodstuffs and animals, but added the cultivation of tobacco, an important cash
crop for all the twentieth century farmers. A prominent citizen of the
In 1932, Annie Dail
Hackworth, the granddaughter of William Riley Dail, Jr., inherited the farm in
the height of the Great Depression. Four years later, she and her family
witnessed an important moment in the history of the Tennessee Valley Authority,
when officials joined the power line from Norris Dam to Muscle Shoals,
Today, Fairdale Ranch includes only 50 acres, which produce hay to feed the family’s cattle. While Fairdale no longer exhibits the diversity of farm activity that characterized it 100 years ago, the Dail home, a two-story frame house built of virgin pine sills and yellow poplar siding in 1869-1870, still stands as a reminder of the nineteenth century East Tennessee landscape.
The current owners of the farm are Ruth H. Rapier, James M. Hackworth, and Kenneth O. Hackworth, who are the children of Annie and the great-grandchildren of the founder of the farm.
The farmhouse on the Fairdale Ranch Century Farm.
Photo (bottom): Pasture scene on the Fairdale Ranch.
Sibley Ronald and Rosiland LaVaune Irwin
Two years after the end of the Civil War, Frank Irwin purchased a 150 acre farm on Buffalo Creek on the Anderson and Union County lines in 1867. The farm was about mid-way between Andersonville and Loyston (now flooded) and was likely a stopping point for travelers. Irwin and his wife, Elizabeth “Betsy” Baker, had twelve children. They lived almost entirely off the farm on which they raised livestock, grew fruit and vegetables, and feed corn and hay. Much of their produce was canned and they butchered and smoked their meat. Francis was known for breeding stallions and introducing high quality cattle breeds. The family also kept beehives for the honey, wax, and the pollination of their orchard. Tobacco was also grown on the farm but primarily as a source of extra income to purchase items not easily produced on the farm.
John Irwin bought 150 acres from his father in 1886. He and his wife, Louisa Jane Craig, had ten children and operated the farm much as his parents had. In 1908 several heirs owned the property with grandson Shade Inman Irwin acquiring most of the acreage. In 1935 the Tennessee Valley Authority purchased almost 30 acres in preparation for the flooding of Norris Lake which decreased the farm to its present 112 acres. When Shade Iriwn died in 1938, the farm was inherited by Walter Irwin, Lola Irwin Jolliffee, and Joe C. Irwin.
In 1983, the farm passed to Sibley Ronald Irwin, the son of Walter and Letha Maude George Irwin. He and his wife Rosiland LaVaune Barringer have two sons. Craig Ward Irwin is married to Suzanne Plucker and they have two children, Alexander Shade and Jonathan Luke. Bryan Scott Irwin and his wife Lora Rule are the parents of Bryan Scott II, Andrew Christian, and Cade Alden. Irwin has made a number of improvements to the farm during his ownership. He constructed a pole barn for storing round bales of hay and farm equipment and single room cabin was built for the use of the grandsons. These two structures join a complex of 19th century buildings that includes a cantilevered log corn crib and log smokehouse. The farmhouse is a fine and early example of a log cabin evolving over time to its current Victorian appearance. Irwin primarily ran a cow-calf operation and raised hay until 2008. He then sold his remaining cattle to J. Kern Elkins who uses the farm for his cow-calf operation. The family continues to appreciate and enjoy this land and the history of the Irwin generations who have called it home.
Photo (left): Irwin Homestead
in deteriorating state, not occupied since early 1960s.
Photo (bottom): Cantilevered corn crib on Irwin Farm.
Hubert H. Longmire
Hobert C. Longmire
The Lamar Century Farm is only one
The Civil War directly affected the family. Northern
officers conscripted one son, an action which so outraged one of his brothers
that he ran away and joined the Confederate army. Northern troops also camped
one night at the farm, leaving the next morning with most of the family’s food
and livestock. The soldiers also burned the farm’s rail fence.
Despite the hardships, the Lamars survived the Civil War and in 1900 the farm’s ownership passed to Charles B. and Lizzie Tilley Lamar. Charles and Lizzie remained faithful to one Lamar tradition-they continued to raise wheat, corn and mules-but ignored another-they had only three children. In the 1930s, like the first generation of Lamars, Charles and Lizzie suffered property losses at the hands of the federal officials. The Tennessee Valley Authority took 111 acres of the farm for the Norris Dam Reservoir.
Rose Lamar Longmire, the granddaughter of Joseph Lamar, acquired the farm in 1963. Her family continued to manage its 85 acres and use one of its early structures, a barn now believed to be well over 100 years old. The farm is now owned by Hubert and Hobert Longmire, the grandsons of Rose.
Elijah and Mary Moss Longmire established the
Longmire Farm in 1817. Located northeast of
In 1838, Elijah and Mary’s son Henderson Longmire
inherited 60 acres of the farm.
As of 1976, a log crib and granary, each at least 100 years old, still stood on the Longmire Farm. The Longmires also managed a diversified farm of tobacco, timber, some grain, hay, and beef cattle.
The Twin Springs Hereford Farm is located
approximately five miles northwest of
Kinza’s and Sarah’s son, Craven Johnson, became the next generation to own the land in 1831. Craven with his wife Jane Leinhart and their eight children raised the same crops and livestock as the founder with the addition of sheep and chickens. After Craven Johnson, the acreage passed through three generations of family ownership.
Rushia Johnson Farmer, the great great granddaughter of Kinza and Sarah Johnson, inherited two acres of the present farm in 1949 and acquired the remainder in 1967. She and her husband W. Clyde Farmer lived on the land and managed the farm, until his death. Rushia still owns the farm today.
Photo: Cattle on the Twin Springs Hereford Farm.