Breezy Heights Farm
Circle J. Farm
Little Valley Farm
Long Meadow Farm
Maple Hill Farm
Rolling Acres Farm
Valley Breeze Farm
The following map is for a general geographical understanding. It does not provide the specific locations of the farms because of privacy reasons.
Map courtesy of Carole Swann, Tennessee Department of Agriculture
Arnold Farm was founded in 1887 by Henry Francisco and his wife Katherine Brown. The couple’s son B.J. Francisco acquired the property in 1916. He and his was wife Salley Calhoun Francisco were the parents of seven children. On 30 acres they raised corn, hay, cattle, apples and wheat. Leota Francisco Arnold, daughter of B. J. and Salley, purchased the property in 1958. Her son, Cordell, became the fourth generation owner of the family farm in 1994. Today the farm produces burley, tobacco, beef cattle and hay. In March of 1932 a cyclone destroyed most of the farm buildings as well as fences. The barn was rebuilt in 1932 and has been used since then for hay, cattle and tobacco. A storm shelter built by B.J. Francisco after the devastating storm still serves its original purpose and is also a storage place for apples and potatoes.
Photo: Burley tobacco hanging in a barn on the Arnold Farm.
Some farm families have difficulties documenting the exact purchase date of property because of lost or destroyed records. That is the case of the Arnott Farm which can is documented to 1855 when William Arnott purchased the farm from his father in 1855. His father’s transaction has not yet been found. On over 500 acres, William and his wife Suzannah Bowyer Arnott raised two sons, William M. Arnott Jr. and George W. Arnott. The family produced tobacco, corn, hay, and cattle.
From at least 1855 until sometime after the 1920s, a wagon road passed through the Arnott Farm. The “gateway,” as it was referred to, connected Old Highway Road (the original road from Bulls Gap to Rogersville) to Wolfe Branch Road. Though the family could put up gates up, they could not lock them. The public could use the road with the promise to close all gates after passing through. Despite not being used for many years, traces of the road are still visible.
The farm passed through the family until 1926 when Clarence Burgoyne Arnott purchased 46 acres from his great-grandfather, Nelson Long. Clarence married Ora Lou in 1924; the couple had four children, John, Della, Paul, and Lottie. The Arnotts had a diverse farm of crops and livestock, and one year they also cut fifteen or twenty acres of timber. Because the family operated a sawmill, Clarence dragged the logs to the mill and then hauled the lumber to White Horn by horse-drawn wagon. Here it was loaded onto a box car at the railroad spur. Unfortunately, the buyer paid with a bad check so Clarence never got paid for his work and the lumber.
When Clarence and Ora died, the farm was divided between their four children. Today, John Arnott owns 46 acres of the farm and his oldest sister owns about an acre. John’s son, Tommy, and grandson, Travis, work the farm where they have a hay and beef cattle operation. They still use a 1925 barn to store hay and equipment as well as handle the herd. Four generations live on the farm, including Travis’s wife Carla and their sons, Parker and Blake.
Photo: Landscape and one of the several barns at the Arnott Farm.
Scientists from around the
world have visited the Beal Farm because of a natural phenomenon known as the
“Ebbing and Flowing Spring.” The
spring’s fresh water ebbs and flows throughout the day similar to the ocean
tides. The farm dates to 1780 when
Captain Thomas Amis, a veteran of the Revolutionary War, acquired 1,000 acres
of land located three miles east of present-day Rogersville (
Bishop Francis Ashbury visited the farm and the Ebbing
Photo: The Beal Springhouse on the Meadow Brook portion of Beal Farm.
Breezy Heights Farm
Charles William Sanders, Jr.
Generations of agricultural expansion and innovation, combined with
dedicated service in progressive agricultural organizations, identify the
Breezy Heights Farm as one of the most significant farm operations in
John Ross Sanders purchased the homeplace plus 184 acres
of his grandparents’ land in 1844. The crops that the slaves produced did not
change; indeed, the farm yielded flax until the Civil War. John married Martha
Ann Reynolds and they had seven children, one of whom, John Ross Sander, Jr.,
inherited the farm in 1891. An elder in local Cumberland Presbyterian churches
for over fifty years and a Mason for 71 years, Ross was a charter member of the
Hawkins County Farm Bureau, a county road commissioner and the county chairman
of the Food Administration during
By the late 1930s, Charles William Sanders had acquired
over 260 acres from his parents and brother. Charles enjoyed a distinguished
career of public service as president of the Hawkins County Farm Bureau and as
president of the Tennessee State Mutual Insurance Company of Rogersville. On
the farm, commodities from the family’s
As of 1976, both Charles and his wife Frances Holston
The history of the Brooks Century Farm is a reminder of the importance
of religion in the lives of
William managed a typical
In 1927, Lida Mae Wright Brooks inherited 135 acres of the original Brooks Farm. The great great granddaughter of the founders, she lives in the original homeplace, which has been remodeled and expanded throughout the decades. Her children, Robert, Mack, George and Alma Brooks, work the land, cultivating tobacco, hay and vegetables and raising cattle.
Mrs. Robert L. Snow
Thomas and Delphia Caldwell
established a farm in 1782 of 400 acres in what would become
Twenty years after the farm’s establishment, James S.
Caldwell inherited the land from his parents. He and his wife Juliet and their
seven children raised more specialized crops and
James L. Campbell, a nephew,
purchased acreage in the late nineteenth century. In addition to farming,
Photo: Lyn Campbell receives a certificate, booklet and letter of congratulations from Joe Gaines, Assistant Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Agriculture and Caneta Hankins, Director of the Tennessee Century Farms Program, at the Farmland Legacy Conference on October 10, 2008.
Circle J. Farm
William Joe Manes
Elizabeth Rose Kite Manes
A group of about 50 pioneers
John Kite, their son and a Revolutionary War veteran, was married to Betsy Louderback. They were the parents of six children. The family raised horses, cattle, hay and corn. The third owner of the land was Martin Kite, Sr. Married to Susannah A. Kite, the couple had nine children. In his turn, their son Martin Kite, Jr. and his wife Patsy Smith and two children made their home of the farm and raised wheat, hay, corn, hogs, horses and cows. During the Civil War, part of the farm was used as a camp by Union troops.
David S. Kite, the son of Martin and Patsy acquired 73 acres. After David’s death, his son Joe bought out the other heirs and became the sole owner of the land. He and his wife, Mildred Burchette, were the parents of Elizabeth Rose who was the next generation to obtain the farm in 1989. Married to W. C. Manes, they are the parents of William Joe Manes. The family operated a diverse farm, raising a variety of crops and livestock. Joey Manes is the current owner of the farm.
Ella M. Fudge
The Fudge Farm, which is located twelve miles east of Rogersville, is the second Century Farm in Hawkins County to evolve from the original 1852 estate of Conrad Fudge. It gains special significance for the number of its remaining mid-1800s buildings. In 1948, Ella M. Fudge inherited 76 acres of the family land. The founders’ great granddaughter, Ella lives in a mid-nineteenth century two-story brick dwelling. A log granary, barn and smokehouse, each at least 100 years old, are intact and in use. Together with a farm tenant, Miss Fudge operates a property that yields tobacco, hay, grass and cattle.
Charles Randolph Kirkpatrick
Martha K. Nelson
In 1834, Aaron Mooney founded the Kirkpatrick Farm, which is located on
Anna Mooney Kirkpatrick inherited 440 acres of the farm from her parents in 1889. Together with her husband James Kirkpatrick they changed the direction of the farming operation. Rather than raising sheep, mules and horses, the Kirkpatricks specializes in breeding cattle. They also raised cotton for family use instead of flax and other coarse materials for their clothes.
In 1962, the farm passed into the hands of the founder’s
great grandson C. Randolph Kirkpatrick and Martha K. Nelson.
Photo: The farmhouse on the Kirkpatrick Farm.
Little Valley Farm
Howard D. Klepper
Located in the Alum Well community, Little Valley Farm’s
founders were Elijah and Sarah Hennard, who initially acquired 473 acres in
1852. The Hennards, together with their ten children, managed a traditional
S. D. Brice, the founders’ grandson, purchased at least
300 acres of the original farm in 1886. He added sheep to the farm’s products.
Unmarried, Brice deeded the farm to his sister Alice Hennard Shanks in 1916.
The family reports that under
At her mother’s death in 1942, Eva Shanks Klepper, the founders’ great granddaughter, inherited the family land. Eva and her husband Fred raised three children. In addition, the Kleppers worked the farm’s first tobacco fields.
The founders’ great great grandson Howard D. Klepper obtained 300 acres of the original farm in 1975. As of the following year, Howard farmed a total of 407 acres, specializing in tobacco and beef cattle. The homestead’s original log house, although covered by weatherboard and enlarged, still stood on the property, along with a portion of a nineteenth century log barn.
Long Meadow Farm
Robert Miller Young, Jr.
Georgiana Young Pearson
Frances Young Torbett
Records of land transactions
are not always available from the earliest years of settlement history. While the Young family may have come into Carter’s
next owner of the property was Wylie Miller Young. Along with his wife, Ida
Whitlock, they managed the farm and raised four children. Eventually, the farm
was passed onto the three remaining children,
farm is a lesson in
Jessie Lyons Brown
Around 1806, William and Matilda Lyons established the Lyonsdale
The next owner of the land was their
son, Clinton Gallagher Lyons. Married to Margaret Lavinia Cooke, the couple
raised five children. During this
generation, the farm continued to
support primary crops including tobacco, livestock, and a variety of grains and
vegetables. As time moved on, the farm was passed to
In 1966, the great, great granddaughter of the founder, Jessie Lyons Brown acquired the farm. She and her husband, William Horatio Brown, IV, oversee the farm’s management, leasing it to Wayne Byington who raises tobacco, cattle and hay. A two-story log home, built in 1891, the historic Lyons Store and Post Office building, and a blacksmith shop that were constructed in the late nineteenth century are reminders of the two hundred years of farming history that the Lyons family celebrates this year.
Photo: The farm house on the Lyonsdale Farm.
Maple Hill Farm
Jane Fudge Cole
Eula Fudge Parker
A native of Virginia, Conrad Fudge founded Maple Hill
Farm in 1852. Conrad and his wife Louisa McGhee purchased 213 acres of land
twelve miles east of Rogersville where the “Old Stage Road” passed in front of
their farmhouse. A founder of the Fudge’s
John Frankin Fudge, Conrad and Louisa’s only living
descendent, inherited the entire farm in 1891. Besides introducing new types of
livestock to the farm, John continued to operate the family’s sorghum mill. He
further supplemented his farm income by serving as the Surgoinsville postmaster
for fourteen years. Married twice, John had six children and his son Charles H.
Fudge obtained 74 acres of the family land in 1927. Charles directed most of
his farming efforts toward cultivating tobacco and raising cattle. His daughter
Jane Fudge Cole inherited 56 acres of the farm in 1969. Today she continues to
live at Maple Hill and manage its everyday operations. Jane shares ownership of
the property with her daughters Eula Parker and
Howard G. Moore
In 1834, James Moore, Sr. founded the Moore Farm in
The next owner of the land was John Rufus Moore. Under
his ownership, the farm produced the same livestock and crops as the founder.
While managing the farm, John Rufus built a smokehouse and a cellar on the
property. In 1864, he enlisted in the Third Tennessee Mounted Infantry for 100
days and was on guard duty as corporal along the line of the East Tennessee,
addition to serving the community with agricultural implements, John’s farm
served as a stopping point for many people who took their horses and mules to
Eventually, John’s son, Dorsey James Moore became the third generation to own the farm. Under his ownership, the farm produced corn, wheat, cattle, sheep, horses and mules. Dorsey married Myrtle Grisgby Moore and they had four children.
time moved on, the land was acquired by Dorsey’s son, Vernon C. Moore and
eventually it was passed on to
Photo: A mule on the Moore Farm.
Frank and Alva Orrick
In 1877, John Orrick established the Orricks Homeplace
farm in the Big Hill community of
Under Samuel’s ownership, the farm produced tobacco, strawberries, corn, oats, hay and molasses. In addition, he raised cattle, horses, mules and hogs. Along with his wife, Hattie Steadman Orrick, they had six children. Their names were Maggie, Viola, Frank, Ellen, Kyle and Samuel Edgar Orrick, Jr.
In 1952, Frank and his wife Alva Orrick, acquired the farm. Today, Frank and Alva continue to own the farm and live on the land with their daughter, Geraldine Seals and her sons, Curtis, Chris and Frankie. Currently, the farm produces cattle, goats, young heifers and poultry. In addition, the acreage yields tobacco and vegetables. A log house made from hand hewn timbers that was constructed in 1846 still stands and the owners live in it. In addition to the log house, a corn crib, a smoke house and a barn built in the nineteenth century continue to be used as well.
Photo: The log house on the Orricks Homeplace Farm.
Rolling Acres Farm
Mary Lucille Arnett Ryan
the late 1700s and World War II, the innovations
of progressive farming transformed Rolling Acres Farm into one of East
most modern agricultural operations. Established by John and Winnie
Grigsby in 1789, Rolling Acres Farm is located six miles southeast
of Rogersville. The Grigsbys produced many types of farm commodities,
flax and fruit in addition to the standard crops and livestock of
David Grigsby was born in 1752 to John Grisgsby, a private in John
Willis's company during the Revolutionary War. He married Winfred
Breeding and moved to Hawkins County, which was then in the State of
North Carolina and purchased two hundred plus acres of land on the
South side of the Holston River on July 28, 1789. The couple had
thirteen children, but their son, Nathaniel Grigsby inherited the
family’s 250 acres in
1859 and tilled the land for the next four decades. Nathaniel married
Elizabeth Lauderback and they had one son, James David Grigsby. James
Gulley and in 1899, their daughter Lucy Anne and her husband Louis M.
acquired the property. Although the family planted the proven crops of
Edgar N. Arnott, the founders’ great grandson, acquired
all 250 acres of the family land by 1949. Serving as the director of the county
co-op and as a member of other agricultural and civic organizations, Edgar was
an innovative farmer who was among the first in
Edgar Arnott died in 1976 and willed his land to his wife
Jewel Odom Arnott. Jewel was also active in several agricultural and civic
organizations and was president of the Hawkins County Home
Demonstration Club Council. Today the farm is owned by their daughter, Mary Lucille Arnett Ryan. Lucille married Frederick D. "Rip" Ryan who operated the dairy until they ceased dairy operations in 1989, when they converted to beef. Rip an Lucille had five children: Bridget, Frederica, Beth, Etta and Tim. After Rip's death in 1997, she has continued to work the two hundred year old farm with the help of her son, Timothy Arnott Ryan. The farm still produces corn, wheat, tobacco, and hay for their beef cattle operation.
Sam P. Roark Farm
Pearle Roark Williams
Helen Roark Rogers
Sam L. Roark
Mrs. E. B. Bridges, Sr.
Walter A. Roark
Roger K. Roark
on antebellum house construction highlight the story of the Roark Century Farm,
founded by John Chestnutt in 1798. Chesnutt owned 50 acres of land located five
miles southwest of Rogersville. A native of
The second generation owner was John’s son Rode Chestnutt, who directed his slaves in building a large brick house in 1842. According to the family, “the bricks were burned on the farm (and) the logs were cut and the woodwork in the house was hand carved.” Rode willed the farm to his daughter Mollie Chestnutt Kirkpatrick, the wife of William Kirkpatrick. The Kirkpatricks “owned and ran the first woolen mill in this part of the country.” Upon her husband’s death, Mollie married Sam P. Roark and they raised eight children. Sam “was a rural mail carrier, farmer, magistrate, deacon in the Presbyterian Church and a charter member of the Farm Bureau.”
In 1964, Sam Roark died and the farm passed into the hands of his children. Walter A. and Roger K. Roark, as of 1976, worked the farm, raising cattle, tobacco, wheat, corn and hay. The brick farmhouse of 1842 is intact and used as a dwelling.
Photo: The brick farmhouse on the Sam P. Roark Farm was built in 1842.
Maxine M. Shepherd
Three generations of owners have continued to farm the land purchased by James Patrick Shepherd in 1904. He and his wife, Minerva Jane Phillips, were the parents of five children. One son, Jacob, purchased almost 58 acres form his father in 1911. He and his wife, Mary Etta (Molly) Long continued to corn row crops and raise poultry and livestock.
When Jacob died in 1978, son Glen acquired half-interest in the land and purchased the other half from his brother, James Guy Shepherd. The property came to Maxine on the death of Glen in 1984. She and other members of her family, including daughter Donna Qualls, grandchildren, Matt, Luke, and Madonna Qualls, and great-grandson, Drake Shanks, live on the farm. Maxine and Donna are active in the farm’s management and hay is a primary crop.
Robert C. Talley and Cornie K. Talley
Located twelve miles south of Rogersville, the Talley Farm was founded by Kinchen Miller in 1889. On 42 acres, Kinchen cultivated corn, small grain and hay. In addition, he raised cattle and hogs. Married twice, he fathered eight children.
son, Benjamin Franklin Miller was the second generation to own the land. Prior
to becoming the owner of the property, Ben and his three children from his
first marriage came from
Benjamin’s daughter, Lucy Myrtle Miller Talley became the next owner of the farm. Under her ownership, the farm experienced some changes with the remodeling of the farmhouse and the construction of a tobacco barn. In addition to improving the farm, Lucy operated a community grocery store. Along with her husband, Thurman A. Talley, the couple had three children. Their names were Olen A. Talley, Mary Miller Talley, and Robert C. Talley.
In 1988, the great grandson of the founder, Robert C. Talley acquired the farm. Today, the farm produces corn, hay, tobacco and cattle. Robert has continued to improve the farm by building new barns, fences and another farm house. While he farms full-time, he also works for the A. S. C. office measuring crops and works part-time on the tobacco market.
Valley Breeze Farm
William and Jemima Pullen
Phillips established Valley Breeze Farm in 1791. Their initial 640 acres are
located in the St. Clair community of
Charlotte Phillips Arnott and her husband Minnis inherited
84 acres of the farm in 1899. Two years earlier, Minnis had contributed to a
written history of
In 1907, William Minnis Kite received 84 acres of the original Phillips farm. William constructed a new barn and corn crib, along with several smaller outbuildings. He also used a tenant house to build an addition to the family home. Married to Elsie Haun and the father of two daughters, William was an early member of the Hawkins County Farm Bureau and helped “build and maintain the first telephone lines in our community.” Like so many twentieth century farmers, he cultivated tobacco as a major cash crop.
Ruth Kite married Bruce Turner in 1937, and in 1940 they
inherited 84 acres from her parents. They farmed the land, which at that time
was 90 acres, as long as health permitted. Mrs. Turner pointed out that all six
of her children, Alvin, William, Lana, Fred, Sidney and Judy, did their share
of work in developing the farm and maintaining it. The Turners’ story of
families working together to keep a farm vibrant and alive is a story shared by
In 1970, Sidney Turner, son of Bruce and Ruth Turner,
came back home to the farm after serving his country in the U.S. Air Force with
a tour of duty in
Text provided by the Turner Family
Photo (top): Sid Turner and his family pose for a photo on the Valley Breeze Farm.
Photo (top): Sid Turner and his family pose for a photo on the Valley Breeze Farm.
(bottom): Sid and Sandy Turner receive a certificate, booklet, and
letter of congratulations from (Left) Terry Oliver, Deputy
Commissioner, Tennessee Deparment of Agriculture and Governor Phil
Bredesen at the Farmland Legacy Conference on October 10, 2008.
Photo (bottom): Sid and Sandy Turner receive a certificate, booklet, and letter of congratulations from (Left) Terry Oliver, Deputy Commissioner, Tennessee Deparment of Agriculture and Governor Phil Bredesen at the Farmland Legacy Conference on October 10, 2008.