The Center for Historic Preservation at Middle Tennessee State University has recently certified the McCulley Family Farm in Sullivan County for TN Pioneer Farm Status. The farm is the 2nd oldest certified Tennessee Pioneer Farm in Sullivan County, and is documented to have remained in the family since 1782.
Currently owned by Tom and Lou Ann McCulley Moore, the McCulley Family Farm is comprised of a 96-acre tract that was carved out of the farm founded by pioneer Stephen Easley during the late 1700s in Sullivan County. A fourth-great-granddaughter of Stephen Easley, Mrs. Moore is the eleventh owner of the farm, with the land transactions passing to Mrs. Moore through both lineal and collateral-line ancestors.
Pioneer Stephen Easley was born circa 1716 in Henrico County, Virginia. In 1751, he married the widow Mary Ann David Burton, and by 1782-1783, he had acquired four North Carolina land grants comprised of 1,733 acres in Southwestern Sullivan County. Easley built a spacious and comfortable house of large, hand-hewn logs on a bluff overlooking the valley of Horse Creek and approached by a drive of silver maples which made it conspicuous for a long distance. It was located east of the present-day Highway 93/Sullivan Gardens Parkway, intersection of John B. Dennis By-Pass and U.S. Interstate 26. Although the log home was destroyed by fire after Stephen's death, a portion of the land has remained in the family for nearly 231 years.
In 2002, Lou Ann McCulley Moore inherited the 96-acre portion of the Easley farm from her mother. Mrs. Moore graduated from Sullivan High School and holds a degree in Home Economics from ETUS and a Master of Science degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her husband Tom Moore retired from the Environmental Protection Agency in 2003 and she retired from the Department of Children's Services in 2006. They now farm fulltime and co-manage the operation. Both are certified as Tennessee Master Beef Producers and are members of the Tennessee Cattlemen's Association. The Moore family, including their son, Andrew, and daughter, Heather live and work on the farm today.
About the Tennessee Century Farms/Tennessee Pioneer Farms Program
The Tennessee Century Farms Program is administered by the Center for Historic Preservation at Middle TN State University. The program was initiated in 1975 by the TN Dept. of Agriculture as part of our nation's bicentennial celebration. It identifies, documents and recognizes those farms owned by the same family for at least 100 years.
To qualify for a Tennessee Century farm, the applicant must prove
- That the farm has been in the family continuously for at least 100 years
- That the farm includes at least 10 acres of the original founder's land
- That the farm must produce at least $1,000 in annual income
- That least one owner is a resident of TN
To qualify for a Tennessee Pioneer Farm, the requirements are the same as for a Century Farm, but the applicant must prove that the farm has remained in the family since 1796 or before.
To date, twenty-five farm have been certified as Tennessee Century Farms (dating back 100 years) in Sullivan County, and five of those have also been certified as Tennessee Pioneer Farms (dating back to 1796 or before).
For further information about the Tennessee Century Farms or Tennessee Pioneer Farms program, please visit www.tncenturyfarms.org. For assistance with your application, please visit the Sullivan County Department of Archives and Tourism at Blountville, Tennessee.