FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 24, 2008
CONTACT: Caneta Hankins, 615-898-2947
STATE PROGRAM RECOGNIZES WASHINGTON COUNTY FARM FOR CONTRIBUTIONS
117-Year-Old Bacon Farm Becomes County’s Newest & 17th Century Farm
(MURFREESBORO)—The Bacon Farm in Washington County has been designated as a Tennessee Century Farm, reported Caneta S. Hankins, director of the Century Farms Program at the Center for Historic Preservation, which is located on the MTSU campus.
Founded by Robert B. Bacon in 1891, the Bacon Farm is located in the Sulphur Springs community. Robert married Cora Mae Cox, and the couple had nine children. On 110 acres, the family raised cattle, hay and tobacco. In addition to managing the farm, Robert was a member of the original Sulphur Springs School Board in 1908, which provided the political and financial support to support a high school that served the community for many years.
The second generation to own the land was the founder’s son, Bruce H. Bacon Sr. Wed to Ann Walker Bacon, the couple had two children. During their ownership, the farm produced hay, tobacco and cattle.
“The farm is located near the historic Sulphur Springs United Methodist campground that had been home of the Sulphur Springs camp meeting for more than 180 years,” Hankins said.
In 2004, the grandson of the founder, Bruce H. Bacon Jr., obtained the land. Today, Bruce raises hay, tobacco, cattle, donkeys, peacocks and guineas. The fourth and fifth generations of the family occupy the Bacon homestead that was built in 1906. An 1891 barn was renovated in 2004. The farm is also listed on the Appalachian RC & D Council’s Quilt Trail and may be viewed on the Quilt Trail Web site at http://www.vacationaqt.com/trails.
Additionally, a replica of the LeMoyne Star quilt hangs on the barn and the original quilt that was quilted by the owner’s grandmother hangs in the living room of the owner, according to the family.
“The Bacon Farm is the 19th Century Farm to be certified in Washington County,” Hankins noted.
The Century Farm Program recognizes the contributions of Tennessee residents who have continuously owned, and kept in production, family land for at least 100 years. Since 1984, the CHP at MTSU has been a leader in the important work of documenting Tennessee’s agricultural heritage and history through the Tennessee Century Farm Program, and continues to administer this program.
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture began the Tennessee Century Farm Program in 1976 as part of the nation’s bicentennial. Today, the TDA provides a metal outdoor sign denoting either 100, 150 or 200 years of “continuous agricultural production” to Century Farm families.
To be considered for eligibility, a farm must be owned by the same family for at least 100 years; must produce $1,000 revenue annually; must have at least 10 acres of the original farm; and one owner must be a resident of Tennessee.
“The Century Farmers represent all the farm families of Tennessee,” Hankins said, “and their contributions to the economy, and to the social, cultural and agrarian vitality of the state, both past and present, is immeasurable. Each farm is a Tennessee treasure.”
For more information about the Century Farms Program, please visit its Web site at http://histpres.mtsu.edu/histpres. The Center for Historic Preservation also may be contacted via mail at Box 80, MTSU, Murfreesboro, Tenn., 37132, or by telephone at 615-898-2947.
ATTENTION, MEDIA: To interview the farm’s owner or request a jpeg of the farm for editorial use, please contact the CHP directly at 615-898-2947.