MONTGOMERY COUNTY FARM JOINS RANKS OF STATE’S CENTURY FARMS PROGRAM
Historic Collinsville Recognized for Agricultural Contributions
(MURFREESBORO)—Historic Collinsville, located in Montgomery County, has been designated as a Tennessee Century Farm, reports Caneta S. Hankins, director of the Century Farms Program at the Center for Historic Preservation at MTSU.
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.
Agritourism is a growing trend on Tennessee farms as owners transition from some traditional crops to offer farming experiences and help visitors to understand the importance of farms historically and in our daily life. Historic Collinsville Farm is known today for its tours and agriculture education programs which attract school children and adults from May through October each year. Items on display vary from a loom to a trundle bed to the Blackhawk Corn Sheller invented by Clarksville resident A. H. Patch in the early 1900s. Students of all ages can learn about many aspects of family life in the nineteenth century. Owners Glenn and Joann Brown Weakley have been honored for their work and in 2009 received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Montgomery County Arts and Heritage Council.
This family farm was founded in 1899 by Isham Sidney Harris. Harris and his wife, Eunice Scott Harris, had one daughter, Martha Belle. The family raised corn, tobacco and wheat on their 86 acres of land. In 1950, at Isham’s death, the land went to Martha Belle and her husband, Ewing Sanford Weakley. At this time, the farm totaled 416 acres. Martha and Ewing had four children: Glenn H. Margaret Ann, Rebecca and Martha Ewing. They raised tobacco, corn, wheat, tobacco, hogs and beef cattle.
Glenn H. Weakley inherited the farm in 1970 and continues to work the farm of 413 acres to raise soybeans, corn, hay, wheat, tobacco and beef cattle. He and JoAnn live on the farm with their nephew, Michael Armistead, and their great-niece, Michael’s daughter, Mattie Armistead. The farm is named for the community, which was known as Collinsville as early as 1870 when the first post office opened. The name was changed to Southside in 1880 after confusion with the Collierville Post Office near Memphis which kept getting Collinsville mail. The Weakleys make use of several historic buildings to educate and entertain those who visit Historic Collinsville Farm. More information can be found at the Historic Collinsville website, www.historiccollinsville.com.
Since 1984, the Center for Historic Preservation at MTSU has been a leader in the important work of documenting Tennessee’s agricultural heritage and history through the Tennessee Century Farm Program.
For more information about the Century Farms Program, please visit its website at www.tncenturyfarms.org.The Center for Historic Preservation also may be contacted at Box 80, MTSU, Murfreesboro, Tenn., 37132, or 615-898-2947.
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• ATTENTION, MEDIA: To interview the farm’s owner or request jpegs of the farm for editorial use, please contact the CHP directly at 615-898-2947.
Founded in 1911, Middle Tennessee State University is a Tennessee Board of Regents institution located in Murfreesboro and is the state’s largest public undergraduate institution. MTSU now boasts one of the nation’s first master’s degree programs in horse science, and the Council of Graduate Schools in Washington, D.C., acclaims MTSU’s Master of Science in Professional Science degree—the only one in Tennessee—as a model program. This fall, MTSU unveiled three new doctoral degrees in the sciences.