Adeline Farms guests are always curious as to how we became first generation farmers and what made us want to host events here at the farm. We like to tell people, this is our real life version of a Disney movie with many serendipitous moments, farm romance, and drama. Complete with the historical value of what the Thomas family brought to the Woodland community, the global business they built here on this farm and the impressive legacy they left behind.
It was a beautiful sunny afternoon on August 7th, 2013. We were on our way home after spending the day on Swift Lake when I saw the “For Sale” sign in front of the big red barn. Normally after a day on the water, sun drenched and tired, we would not stop for anything. However, this property, this barn, this place compelled me to turn around and drive down the private road of this magnificent homestead. It was love at first sight, so Muriel called the listing agent on the car ride home and within days we were back on the property!
We had been looking for property for quite some time. We had been hoping to find some land near water where we wanted to build an off-grid cabin for a quiet retreat away from the city and start our own little family farm. Muriel’s Dad had recently sold a building and wanted to buy near us which was one of the reasons we felt we should stop and take a look.
This place was huge! The seven structures included the big red historic barn, a massive historic sheep shed/tool shed, an office building, the pump house, a shop with caretakers residence, a sweet little hen house, and the old farm house. This was a lot more than we had initially been looking for but with Muriel’s Dad, we decided to meet with the agent, Mary Meeker.
The place had been neglected for quite some time. Every structure was in a state of disrepair, but the bones were solid and we could see so much potential! After several days of careful consideration, Dr. Stanton decide to look elsewhere. Our hearts were absolutely broken, however when we saw the property with Muriel’s Dad, that gave us the opportunity to share with Mary our vision for the property. We already had a file full of pictures of barn weddings and glampsites. We completely geeked out on her about the historical value of the property, how it needed to be preserved, and how we wanted to share it all with the community. We wanted to keep the property intact and restore it back to a working family farm where people could come for a “farmcation” and take in the history.
Benjamin A Thomas Jr: “Tommy” invited us back!! He was the executor of the Adeline E Thomas Estate and liked our business plan and our vision for his family’s property. We sat at Tommy’s dining room table just up the road from the farm. Tommy and Muriel negotiated the price, terms, and conditions and the Adeline E Thomas Estate carried the contract for us! We named the property Adeline Farms after Tommy’s mother. We always get a little emotional when Tommy tells us that he believes that “…this is what his mother would have wanted.”
So now we are living our American Dream. We are the new “homesteaders” and “first generation farmers”. We still use the old office for business and greeting clients, but it is also our living area, staff lounge, and where we began with only a toilet, an electric skillet, and a dream. Over the last three years we have loved the farm and it’s structures back to life. We have worked very hard, and made many personal sacrifices to make our dreams a reality. We have feverishly worked our fingers to the bone to offer the historic barn and grounds for weddings, the old Farm House and Carriage House for lodging, and carved out many spots for camping. We are also thrilled to offer “Glamping” to our guests. These are quaint furnished bedrooms in canvas wall tents and vintage trailers.
In July of 2016 Muriel and I were able to secure a loan and become the sole owners of Triple P Productions, LLC and Adeline Farms!! Who knew on that lazy day back on August 7th, 2013 we would be here, with all of this. Now with no one holding us back, Adeline Farms has a bright future. We are honored to have been a part of the restoration and historical preservation of this beautiful land. Witnessing people enjoying it all and making memories of their own that will last them a lifetime, is what it’s all about!!
– Jenny Stanton-Johnson