For Release: March 29, 2013
Contact: Caneta Hankins, Center for Historic Preservation, 615-898-2947
HAWKINS COUNTY FARM JOINS RANKS OF STATE’S CENTURY FARMS PROGRAM
Arnott Farm Recognized for Agricultural Contributions
MURFREESBORO — Arnott Farm in Hawkins 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.
Some farm families have difficulties documenting the exact purchase date of their property because of lost or destroyed records. That is the case of the Arnott Farm, which can be documented to 1855, when William Arnott purchased the farm from his father. A record of his father’s original transaction has not yet been found. On more than 500 acres, William and his wife Suzannah Bowyer Arnott raised two sons, William M. Arnott Jr. and George W. Arnott and the family produced tobacco, corn, hay and cattle.
From at least 1855 until 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 gates up, they could not lock them. The public could use the road as long as they closed all the gates after passing through. Despite not being used for many years, traces of the road are still visible.
The farm continued in the family and, in 1926, Clarence Burgoyne Arnott purchased 46 acres. 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 15 or 20 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; where it was loaded onto a boxcar 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, have a hay and beef cattle operation. They 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.
The Arnott Farm is the 18th Century Farm to be certified in Hawkins County.
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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