For Release: March 28, 2012
Contact: Caneta Hankins, Center for Historic Preservation, 615-898-2947
SHELBY COUNTY FARM JOINS RANKS OF STATE’S CENTURY FARMS PROGRAM
Flippin-Castles Farm Recognized for Agricultural Contributions
MURFREESBORO—The Flippin-Castles Farm, located in Shelby 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 Farms Program recognizes the contributions of Tennessee residents who have owned and kept family land in continuous agricultural production for at least 100 years.
The Flippin-Castles Farm is composed of two family farms in the Rosemark area. James C. Castles began farming in Shelby County in 1875, and from that property came the Castles-McCalla Century Farm, owned by Mrs. Henry McCalla, that was certified in 2002. It was not until 1906, however, that Castles purchased the 150-acre parcel of his total of 1,600 acres that is being registered as the Flippin-Castles Farm. James and his wife, Elizabeth McQuiston Castles, assigned their children’s inheritance by dividing the farm into nine parcels of “approximately equal value.” They put nine slips of paper into a jar, and each child drew a slip that indicated which piece of the farm they would inherit. In 1921, James C. Castles died, and the children became the owners of their parcels.
The Flippin family came to Rosemark in 1895 when Dr. Peter John Flippin moved to the area; three years later, he graduated from Memphis Hospital Medical College. In 1903, he purchased 3.8 acres of land in town, where he built a farmhouse to accompany a three-room house and a cotton barn already on the site. He used the house as his medical office, where he had a waiting room, exam room, and a room where he mixed his medicines. Flippin delivered 1,000 babies and during his career received the “Golden T” from the University of Tennessee for his 50 years of medical service to the community.
Flippin also purchased 320 acres near the Castles property in 1911. He married Elizabeth C. Castles, the daughter of James C. and Elizabeth McQuiston Castles. Both families grew cotton and raised cattle on their farms.
The Flippins were the parents of three children: Peter Jr., Elizabeth and Charlotte. In 1951, these three siblings inherited the 462 acres, and cotton continued to be the primary crop. The current owners of the farm are Elizabeth Flippin McCalla, Helen F. McGill, Drew F. Henwood, John R. Henwood and Lee C. Henwood.
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 Farms Program.
For more information about the Century Farms Program, please visit www.tncenturyfarms.org. The Center for Historic Preservation also may be contacted at Box 80, MTSU, Murfreesboro, Tenn., 37132 or 615-898-2947.
• ATTENTION, MEDIA: To interview the farm’s owner or request jpegs of the farm for editorial use, please contact the CHP at 615-898-2947.
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