Exploring our Agricultural Past
by Bob McEowen
Springs Farm near Marshfield preserves an outstanding farm from
the early 20th-century.
The old barns
are disappearing before our eyes, replaced by practical but hardly inspiring
metal buildings. Those longing for the beauty and craftsmanship of the
post-and-beam giants of our agricultural past can find that and more
at Walnut Springs Farm near Marshfield.
Now the property
of Oklahoma transplants Mike and Cathy Brown, Walnut Springs was once
a thriving dairy operation at the dawn of the 20th century. In fact,
the farm operated by Edmund Hosmer is regarded as the first commercial
dairy in southwest Missouri and was once the largest butter producer
in the state.
The farm later
was purchased by a group of Amish families who raised hogs. Today the
Browns raise beef cattle and draft horses.
Two of the farms
barns are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Browns
purchased the property 10 years ago and open their barns to public tours
grand structures, the tour features recreations of the Hosmer operation,
a blacksmith shop, carriage shop, harness shop and an extensive collection
of horse-drawn vehicles and period artifacts.
information about Walnut Springs Farm or tours, call (417) 468-3276.
Admission is charged.