Monday, April 25, 2011

Nehucky Farm: Slippin' Southern's Studio & Home

Susan and Me at Tryon Palace, New Bern, NC last summer. 
One of our  favorite historical places to visit in NC.
Have you ever visited an American historic home like Monticello or Mount Vernon and imagined what would it be like to actually live there today? Here at Slippin' Southern our family lives and works in our own historic 19th century farm house called Nehucky Farm, located along the Contentnea Creek in Snow Hill, North Carolina. We purchased this house a year and a half a go and are in the process of a full rennovation to bring her back to her original condition.
The rear portion of the farm house dates back to 1880 and was purchased by G.W. Mewborn in 1903 and has remaind in their family for three generations. Mr. Mewborn was a hard working, promenent planter as well as a cattleman, livestock man, dog and pig breeder. As his family and farm grew he added on the front section in 1905 as seen in the picture below.

Nehucky Farm, home of Slippin' Southern and the Havens-Morris family
sits in the middle of 300 acres of coastal farmland in Snow Hill, NC.

Along with the farm house, other structures at Nehucky Farm include a chicken house, two pack houses (tobacco barns), smoke house and silo. The farm house and it's outbuildings sit on a 2 acre plot with an additional 2 acres in the rear for gardening. We only purchased the homestead portion of the farm, Nehucky Farm today consist of 300 acres that are still farmed. The structures however are a mere shadow of what his operation once was. Mr. Mewborn at one time farmed over 3000 acres in several neighboring counties. He had many more barns here as well as at other fields. There was also a dog kennel, pig farm, pastures for cattle, water tank and stables for mules.
Follow along with our son Greyson as he renovates one of our two pack houses
at his blog "a boy and a barn"

The farmland around the house today is leased to a local grower. This summer tobacco is the crop being planted. As I write this I can hear the workers planting in the fields with their tractors and other equipment. It's really quite an operation. Below is a picture taken from our studio window of field hands hard at work planting sweet potatoes last year.

Much of todays' farming is still very labor intensive and requires
many hands at planting and harvest time. These farm laborers
are preparing to plant sweet potatoes from the back of a tractor.

There's another significant historical story at Nehucky Farm that dates back even farther than G. W. Mewborn. In 1713 the Tuscarora Indians constructed a fortress on the Northeast corner of the farm which was the site of the deadlyest battles between U.S. forces and Native American Indians in U.S. history. Not much has been done to memorialize this event because of its delicate subject matter. However, Archaeologists affiliated with East Carolina University excavated the site here a few years ago and collected thousands artifacts. To this day there is still discussion within local government on how to further memorialize this significant historical event.

Many Tuscarora Indian artifacts have been excavated from the Nehucky fields. This is an arrowhead I recently found while jogging along one of the farm roads on the property. 

As I create and sell my signs and letters here and sell them on the internet, I often wonder what Mr. Mewborn would think if they could see his historic house today being transformed and preserved as an artists studio and home instead of its origianal agrarian operation. If you've ever wondered what it would be like to live in a historic house, it would be something like what goes on here everyday at Slippin' Southern's Nehucky Farm.

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