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September 01, 2011   Email to Friend 

Agricultural History Comes To Life At Fall In Folsom
Debra Davis


< Click to Enlarge >
Members of the Holmes family are, from left, William, Lawson, Mary Quitman, Elizabeth, Mary Coleman, Charles, Jenny, Cooper and his fiancee O`Neal Crawford, Marietta, daughter Marietta, and Webb.
Smoke from the blacksmith's shop drifts through the air as sheep graze in a nearby pasture and a gristmill hums in the background. The smells, sights and sounds of the Moore-Webb-Holmes Plantation in Perry County take visitors back to a time when the land provided all the family needed.

A yearning to keep in touch with those historical roots was the idea that became "Fall in Folsom." The celebration is the first Saturday in October from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the farm located in the Folsom Community, seven miles west of Marion on Alabama Highway 14.

"The first 80 acres of the farm were established in 1819 through a land grant agreement to William 'The Wagon Maker' Moore, and the original deed was signed by Andrew Jackson," said Cooper Holmes, the youngest of the sixth generation that now tends the farm. "This is our 5th annual 'Fall in Folsom', and we look forward to having visitors who want to share in our history."

The farm once grew corn and cotton and raised livestock needed by the family for food. Today, it covers thousands of acres and includes cattle, timber and agritourism. The Holmeses take pride in preserving their heritage that shaped the farm and influenced the family for generations.

"All of the buildings are original to the site," Holmes said. "Some of the buildings include a log seed house (used with the cotton gin), carriage house, smoke house, mule barn, chicken coop, potato house and the plantation store, complete with a pot-bellied stove." Visitors can see all those plus the weaving house, canning house, overseer's house and tenant quarters.

Other partners who help make "Fall in Folsom" a success include the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Game and Fish Division, Alabama Forestry Commission, Alabama Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Alabama Wildlife Federation and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Representatives of those groups will talk about programs they offer and will provide hands-on projects for children at the event.

Admission to "Fall in Folsom" is $10 for adults, and children are admitted at a discount.

While adults will enjoy touring historic buildings on the farm, youngsters can pick a pumpkin, wander through the woods or take a gander at the farm animals. Visitors can enjoy a hamburger lunch at the farm, featuring homegrown, all-natural beef raised by the Holmeses.

"It's wonderful to see that our family is grounded through this farm," said Cooper's mother, Jenny. "'Fall in Folsom' brings our family together, and we love to be able to preserve and share our history with visitors here. It's very rewarding to see people enjoy our farm and to reconnect with the land."

The Holmeses also have a rich history with the Alabama Farmers Federation. Cooper is active in the Federation's Young Farmers program. His father, Charles, is a former member of the State Young Farmers Committee and is a past president of the Perry County Farmers Federation. His brother, Webb, is president of the Perry County Farmers Federation and is a former Young Farmers State Committee member as well. The oldest Holmes son, William, is an attorney in nearby Greensboro and still enjoys life on the farm.

The entire family will be at "Fall in Folsom," a fact that brings a smile to Jenny's face.

"Our family has always found strength and unity in this farm," she said. "It ties us all together no matter what else is going on in the world or in our lives. It's a special place."



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