Nash Farm Fall Round-Up offers step back in time

Posted Monday, Oct. 21, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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The city is proud of Nash Farm, its historic life on the farm experience that includes a home, barn and cemetery that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. And the city showed it off Oct. 19 at its annual Fall Round-Up.

Activities included blacksmithing, wood carving and wood-burning stove cooking demonstrations. New this year was the Somethin’ Pumpkin Baking Contest, where guests entered pumpkin-flavored baked goods.

“We show people how to use heritage skills to enrich their lives,” said Jim Lauderdale, Nash Farm manager, said of the annual event. “We want them to see the rural atmosphere right here in the middle of the Metroplex.”

Lauderdale said those who visit Nash Farm, which is located on 5.2 acres several blocks from Historic Downtown Grapevine, get a glimpse of what life was like on the farm more than a century ago. A big part of the Nash Farm experience is education, he said.

The Nash family was part of a migration of farmers from the upper South who settled on the Grape Vine Prairie in the years prior to the Civil War.

Thomas Jefferson Nash was born in 1827 and his wife, Elizabeth Mouser, in 1828. They were married on Feb. 17, 1848, and had five daughters and one son.

The oldest three were born in Kentucky and the youngest three in Grapevine. Nash purchased 110 acres of farmland in Grapevine in 1859, Lauderdale said, which “was not an unusual size for a farm.”

At first, the family lived in a log cabin, which was replaced around 1869 by the current house. The Nash family raised an assortment of livestock and crops and “over the years, the farm grew to about 450 acres,” Lauderdale said.

Unfortunately, Lauderdale said, Thomas died in 1907 and his wife in 1925, leaving no will. The property was sold and the children split the proceeds.

The city and the Grapevine Heritage Foundation, which always had an eye on the property, bought the site in 2000. A capital campaign was held in 2008 that raised approximately $800,000 to restore the house, which retains much of its original structure.

“The 1869 house, which had undergone several renovations, was brought back to its original look, right down to the green paint that covers the building — a luxury for its time — and the yellow eaves for good luck,” Lauderdale said.

Today, Nash Farm is overseen by the Grapevine Heritage Foundation Board of Directors, who partners with the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau to provide the staff for the site.

“The Grapevine Heritage Foundation’s mission for Nash Farm is to preserve, protect, and visually reflect the significance of our farming and agricultural heritage so that future generations may appreciate and experience a way of life lived by settlers of the Grape Vine Prairie,” Lauderdale said.

Nash Farm offers special events and interpretive programs, as well as educational tours that allow visitors to connect with the agricultural heritage of the Grape Vine Prairie.

But its Fall Roundup 13 years ago was the site’s “first large event,” he said.

Marty Sabota, 817-390-7367

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