A Productive Year at Homeplace

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This past year was one of significant activity and improvement at Homeplace on Green River.  A number of long-planned projects were started or completed, a second major event was inaugurated and will become an annual activity and the first two weddings on record were held at the farm. There has also been important increased state government interest in Homeplace in 2012.   Here is a brief summary of some of those accomplishments.

  • The sixteenth annual Russell Creek/Homeplace on Green River Gas Engine and Antique Tractor Show, which has been hosted by Lewis Garrison at his Adair County construction business for the previous 15 years, was moved to Homeplace on Green River in June.  Homeplace will continue to host the show annually. Hundreds of interested people viewed more than 40 antique tractors at the 2012 event.  The 17th annual show will be June 15, 2013.
  • In spite of heavy morning rains, the 2012 Fall Heritage Festival was successful with approximately 1000 attending.  Almost all of the planned activities were able to continue beginning about noon.
  • Renovation continued on the house including reconstruction of the bathroom and the beginning of a complete renovation of the electrical system which will be completed this spring. Several significant donations of period furniture were received.  Some has been moved to the house and some is in temporary storage. The meat house, located next to the original home, is also being stabilized so further renovation can continue this summer.
  • After several years of planning, the former manure catch basin at the rear of the feed lot was cleaned out and refurbished to establish a fish and duck pond. The brush and trees surrounding the pond were removed and the roof of the spillway repaired and painted.  Once the pond fills and work is completed this year including new landscaping, the redesigned pond will be a significant addition to Homeplace.
  • Stabilization on the bank barn continued in 2012 and will be completed early in 2013. Following its stabilization, much work will remain on barn reconstruction. This will be a multi-year and very expensive project.
  • The tobbaco barn was renovated with electric and a new compacted gravel floor. It was the site of the first recorded wedding at Homeplace this past year.
  • Construction of the long awaited trail on the Tebbs Bend Nature and Recreation Area began this fall and should be completed this summer.  Trail markers, trail destination points, wildlife viewing stands, maps and trail head information boards should follow this summer. The trail is over three miles long.  Access and parking will be at Homeplace and the Tebbs Bend Toll House just before the bridge on Tebbs Bend Road.
  • In June Matthew Feltner and Olivia Pennington were married in the first recorded wedding at the farm.  A large crowd of their family and friends attended the ceremony in the newly refurbished tobacco barn.  A second wedding was held at the September Fall Heritage Festival.  Two more weddings are scheduled for 2013 and three additional being considered.
  • Both Cub Scouts and the older Boy Scouts were active again at Homeplace in 2012.  A major four day Cub Scout outing involving more than 40 Cubs from Adair, Green, Taylor and Marion counties kept the four legged and winged inhabitants of Homeplace on full alert for four days in mid-June. In November, Eagle Scout contender Nathan Riggs completed a bird watching station next to the bank barn for his Eagle Scout service project.  Nathan, with the help of his Campbellsville Scout troop, also cleared and improved the water ram pump trail.
  • With the help of Taylor County Extension office and the UK Agriculture Department a training seminar on rain gardens was held and a rain garden built at Homeplace next to the corn crib.
  • Two descendants of the first settlers at Homeplace visited the farm May 21 to see where their father grew up and the farm that was settled in 1803 by their ancestors.  Mandy and Ann Hancock’s father, the late George Wade Hancock, was the son of George Hancock and Amanda Tate Hancock who were residents of Campbellsville.  Mr. Hancock’s ancestor, Isaac Hancock and his wife, Amanda, built the original 1803 portion of the existing home at the farm.
  • For the first time at Homeplace this year’s tobacco crop was planted using a no till procedure. Kirby Hancock, Adair County High School agriculture teacher, planted tobacco without first tilling the soil.  The procedure produced a very good crop.  (Kirby is not directly related to Mandy and Ann Hancock.)
  • Major renovation of the two grain bins was completed which will promote easier and more competitive leasing of the farm’s croplands for grain production.
  • An unknown number of families used Homeplace for picnics, hikes and photo sessions. The Board encourages family use of the farm but asks guests leave the farm at least as clean as they found it.
  • Lindsey Wilson College faculty and students continued to use the farm for outdoor classes in a number of disciplines.  Several faculty members and students provided activities for the tractor shows and fall festival including two photography seminars and art projects for children.
This coming year promises to be even busier than 2012.  The Homeplace Board and volunteers continue to work on a very ambitious program to make Homeplace an anchor tourist destination and a place that helps preserve and celebrate the great agricultural heritage of Kentucky.  The need for committed Board members and volunteers is greater than ever.

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