Thinking of beautiful trips we’ve made (before all this)
Anne and I took a day to visit Milky Way Farm in Giles County, Tennessee — when she first mentioned it as an idea for what we call our ‘field trips’ I was thinking “Milky Way as in the constellation?” but the founder was Frank Mars…so…exactly. In 1930 after establishing an office for his Mars candy company in Nashville, he purchased the land, and had 800+ people working on the farm’s construction soon thereafter. The farm was the largest employer in the county during those early years.
On the National Register, the home itself is Tudor Revival with quarry stone, stucco, and half-timber. There isn’t much known about the architect, James F. Drake.
A 25k sqft 35-room house with 21 bedrooms and 15 baths, the dining room includes what’s believed to be the largest dining table in Tennessee:
This table with seating for 40 is giving me serious seder vibes and I want to think about reserving it for first or second night when we’re back to doing that kind of thing altogether. Can you imagine what fun? I can see myself having the requisite four glasses of (prob) Manischewitz, more Bartenura, plus whatever anybody else brings that’s classier and more interesting (brought back from Israel for extra points), then passing out from blissful exhaustion in one of those 21 bedrooms. As we say, next year in…um…well, Pulaski.
The living room is two stories and connects with the dining room through this wrought iron feature:
After the initial part of the tour with a brief history, we were invited to tour the rest of the home at our own pace:
ah, this cedar closet:
Frank Mars passed away in 1934, before his dreams of fully developing the farm took place. In stepped his wife, Ethel, who established a stock of Herefords, and led the horse racing effort, culminating in the farm’s Gallahadion winning the Kentucky Derby in 1940 (Gallahadion’s damsire (maternal grandfather) was Reigh Count, who won the Derby in 1928).
The grounds include a magnolia plantation — at one time, one of the largest in the south
From the home, we were off to explore more of the grounds, including the stables.
This puts me right in the mood to sign the kids up for riding lessons — but can we do the part where afterward they’re just low-key and comfortable on a horse if we want to go on a ride on vacation, and not asking for an Arabian and a, you know, stable in the backyard complete with chandeliers? Ha!