Drone Captures Aerial Footage of Historic Johnson Farm

On October 18, 2017, we were delighted to host Ozark Film and Video!

Damen and Bill fly a drone near the Johnson Barn, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Bill McFetridge and Damen Washington from Ozark Film and Video spent the early morning hours at the Historic Johnson Farm, capturing the sunrise and flares over the hills on the southeast side of Kessler Mountain with their drone. It was quite exciting seeing the drone take off and fly around the fields, barn, pond, farmhouse and cemetery where so many events in history have occurred. Bill founded Ozark Film and Video in 1983 to meet the need for independent film production in the region. He has over 35 years of experience, and expertly piloted the drone.

The company is working on a video for the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust, which holds a conservation easement protecting the farm from any development which would damage the ecological or historic value of the land. It’s our combined hopes that their video will raise awareness about the importance of this beautiful space on Kessler, and ignite a fire in many hearts who want to join us in protecting it. This is the site of early settler Rieff’s Chapel schoolhouse and cemetery where Phillip Kessler, namesake of Kessler Mountain, is buried. It’s where the Uckers planted orchards in the 1800’s, and four generations of Johnsons have grown and sold fruit here since 1908. But it’s also important for today’s clean drinking water, as it lies within two watersheds. Wildlife is abundant, from frogs to great horned owls. There are several very old trees on the farm, like one towering Missouri black walnut. The architecture of the barn, farmhouse, and pergola has intrigued many visitors, especially the rock work. It’s a location that’s been used for Ozark Society hikes, a kids’ sledding party, university students doing ecological research, public school field trips to a pear orchard and more. It’s part of the scenic Fayetteville view. Photographers come to gawk at the uniquely designed barn or to snap quick photos of dragonflies over the pond. In short, it’s important to preserve this space for many different reasons, and we’re thrilled that Ozark Film and Video is creating this production to promote conservation. We’re not sure when it will be available for viewing, but will share it with you on our Ripples Facebook page!

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