First Historic Farm Tour a Success!

Our off-grid tiny house and conservation projects are located at the Historic Johnson Farm, which recently hosted a tour. This post includes a link to the LiveStream video, and describes a bit about this successful team effort!

March 6, 2023 / Amanda Bancroft

Outside the 1920s Johnson Farmhouse, Holly Hope gives a history presentation to a devoted audience in the cold.

This was our first history tour of the farm, and despite drizzly cold weather, it was a big success! About 40 visitors attended the tour hosted by the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, an agency of the Division of Arkansas Heritage. It took four of their staff, plus half a dozen of us “farm team” members helping landowner Anne (Johnson) Prichard to pull it off. My role was to provide the history information for the script, help direct and sign people in, and answer questions. It was fun!!! Over 480 people watched online – view the video here. (There is some audio difficulty, I’m not sure why, but at least you can see the historic sites.)

The entire Johnson Farm and orchards, plus Rieff’s Chapel Cemetery, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The tour was free and open to the public, and offered light refreshments. Along the way, we heard from Holly Hope about the history of the farm, saw enlarged photographs from the farm’s earliest days, and walked around inside the 1920s Johnson farmhouse. There was also a walking tour of the rock landscaping and pergola, remnant farm buildings, pond, well-preserved 1933 Johnson Barn, and mossy fairyland near the springhouse (the kids didn’t want to leave!). Fawn’s dog Pip was said by several to be the star of the show, posing beautifully as well as playing with the children.

Visitors were delighted to meet Anne and ask questions about the family’s history. Many people were interested in seeing the original furnishings, books and artifacts. The ringing telephone (installed March 4, 1911) was a big hit in the kitchen! Whether you were on the tour or not, you can check out more artifacts shown during the Fayetteville Public Library’s Getting Into Genealogy video on the archives kept at the farmhouse, including photos, letters, diaries and archive materials from Arkansas, Missouri, New York and around the world, from the 1820s to present.

Congrats to the whole team for cultivating a community of care to preserve this very special place!

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