Sunday, May 15, 2011


We apparently didn't get our fill of old barns while we were in Boxley Valley. So we drove east, heading towards another spot with a plethora of old buildings. On the way, we stopped to get a picture of this barn that sits along Hwy. 74.

The road was covered in a thick fog. This is along Hwy. 74 where the road curves around Horseshoe Canyon.

Our next stop was the Parker-Hickman Farmstead, near the Erbie campground. This old farmstead is a collection of several well-preserved buildings. All of the buildings sit far enough away from the Buffalo River that they escaped any damage from the recent floods. But the heavy rains did wash out the area around a low-water bridge over Webb Branch, so it was only passable with high-clearance vehicles.

It takes a few miles of driving along a dirt road to reach the farmstead. Luckily the road was in good shape, and it passes by some neat barns along the way. We stopped at one for a few pictures...

Eventually, we made it to the farmstead. We didn't want to press our luck driving across the low-water bridge. The rain had scoured the dirt from both ends of the low-water bridge, leaving deep ruts. So we parked and walked across the bridge, which had about 6 inches of water running over it from the creek.

The farmstead is comprised of an old home and several barns. The old home was built sometime between 1847 and 1849. It is the oldest structure within the boundaries of the Buffalo National River.
The lean-to on the side of the building was added in the 1920's, and served as a country store.

The last family to occupy the home was the Hickman family, who started living there in 1912. They built most of the barns and other buildings in the farmstead.

Gradon Hickman was the last person to call this place home. He lived here until 1978, just a few years after the land surrounding his home was protected as the Buffalo National River. In 1982 the Park Service purchased the property and in 1984 the buildings were stabilized and preserved. The house is still open for anyone to go inside and have a look around.

Another view of the old home, with a small stream that cuts through the property:
I had some difficulties getting this picture. I decided to shoot this angle, trying to get the creek and and the house all together in the shot. But I realized I should probably use a polarizing filter, which I had left in my camera bag. And of course, I had stupidly left the camera bag in the car. So I had to walk through the 6 inches of water on the low-water bridge to retrieve the filter.

I grabbed a filter out of the bag and crossed back through the water and went back to the camera. Only then did I realize that I ended up grabbing the wrong filter - I got a neutral density filter instead of the polarizer filter. So back I went, crossing back across the creek. This time I just grabbed the camera bag so I didn't need to make any other trips through the water.

And one last shot of one of the several barns at the farmstead:

From there we drove back to Hwy. 7 and went north into Harrison for dinner. We dined at a Thai restaurant, which was actually pretty good. I felt bad though, since my soaked shoes left wet footprints all over the dining area.

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