Posts Tagged ‘Denbigh homeplace’

The Denbigh Farm-Now and Then

Last weekend (February 2, 2019) when we went to Norfolk, we came home through Newport News, or more specifically, Denbigh.  It was with dread and curiosity that we turned down Colony Road and approached the home place. It is no longer home, just a place where home used to be. A memory, with all the reminders gone.  No longer family, just strangers walking the sod. As we approached the once familiar spot, we stopped by a large entrance sign welcoming us to the neighborhood.

I guess it made the developer feel better to call it “Meadows”. The meadow is long gone-only a throw back memory of horses grazing in the pastures. Instead, pristine houses have been planted and paved streets laid where stately, productive pecan trees, daylilies, irises, asparagus, and peonies once flourished. The squirrels, songbirds and woodpeckers have found other nesting places as only one lonely pecan tree still stands. The meadow of wildflowers and native grasses is now a sea of houses.

We always knew where to turn into the drive circling the old farmhouse, it was obvious, but now suddenly we didn’t know. We looked at the row of houses and wondered which one sat on THE spot.  And then we spied the one lone pecan tree that stood as a sad memorial to bygone days. It really looked pitiful and out of place. No longer was it a tall, stately tree; somehow it seemed to shrivel in size and demeanor. Gene finally decided it was the tree at the back left corner of the house where it cast its shadow over dad’s car.

Paved streets, concrete curbs and sidewalks have now replaced overgrown hedge rows. There is a street named after Dad Hertzler. Dad knew this time would come. He fought hard to protect and preserve the farm where he, and his father and grandfather before him tilled the soil.  In the last few years of his life, Dad reconciled with himself that he was the end of an era. It was time to let go. Even though he set the plans in motion,  he didn’t have to see it actually happen. With Dad’s passing, the last parcel of the original 1,200 acre Young Plantation bowed its head and ceased to exist as a farm.

We drove down Colony Road, turned left on Hertzler Road. The old swampy, algae covered pond on the backside of the farm is still there. It is on protected wet lands. We turned left on Miller Road completing the block as we quietly cruised by the cemetery where Dad and Mama Hertzler along with many other patriarchs of the Denbigh Colony rest in peace under the boughs of huge shade trees.

The Before…

Sign welcoming us to Quarterfield Farm Stables.

1994: Daddy and Mama sitting in the yard under the pecan tree. One of my favorite pictures.

The farmhouse: rich in history, full of memories.  It survived the fire in but not the bulldozers! (See blog post below, “Fire”).

 

Dad’s favorite iris.

The garden plot with the row of pecan trees beside the driveway.

No paved driveway.

Horses grazing in the meadow.

Horses instead of bicycles.

Time moves on, the old gives way to new.  We treasure the memories and hold them dear to our hearts.

Gone, but not forgotten!

Other blog posts about the farm:

%d bloggers like this: