Saying “I Do” at Historic Herd Farms
It’s no surprise that Franklin County is filled with historic treasures, but one of the county’s oldest jewels is being preserved and transformed into an elegant, antique wedding venue. The Franklin County Historical Review, Vol. 12 published in 1981 featured a plantation style farm with an amount of history matching its age.
The house was built shortly after the civil war by the William Estill Baker family. Built in the federal style, the house is made of solid brick, and the walls are 12 inches thick. The bricks were fired on the grounds of the home. There is no definite date of the homes construction, but one of the bricks has the date 1871 carved into it, dating the house and farm to be over 143 years old. Teresa and Phillip Herd purchased the plantation style Belvidere farm in 1993 from the family of Kila Pope, the 15th owner of the home since its founding. This farm connected to the farm Teresa grew up on.
Teresa says, “As a little girl, I would come over to this place and help Mrs. Pope, the farm’s owner from 1957-1993. I would feed her dog, and we would sit on the front porch of the house, looking out over the green fields as she gave me advice and told me to ‘hitch my wagon to a star and chase my dreams’. As a young girl, my mind was always filled with ways I could fix up the place. Even then, I loved antiques, and in the back of my mind, I always wanted to grow up and preserve the place as the antique treasure it truly is.”
The farm was originally only used for agriculture purposes, and the barn was simply a hay and cattle barn. Teresa and Phillip preserved and remodeled the historic home, making it the perfect place to raise their family that would soon be of four. Phillip and Teresa started Herd Farms Nursery in 2000 as a plant propagation nursery. Herd Farms remains an operating nursery and plantation style home nestled at the foot of the Cumberland Plateau. The venue includes a pre-civil war era home, an elegantly rustic, century-old wedding and reception barn, and nothing but green landscape for miles.
Tours of the farm, barn, and venue are shown by appointment only.
-by Olivia Herd