18th-Century Farm Tours in Virginia!

History of Fair Lawn Farm

Monterey, Virginia, Highland County, Maple Festival, Maple, Farms to Visit, Antique, Fair, Trades, Colonial Life, History, Staunton, Bath County, A visit to a farm, 18th century, gunsmith, gunsmithing, historic farm, travelIf you’re looking for historic farms to visit in Virginia, you should add Fair Lawn to your list! Built in 1887, this site has a deep-rooted history in its home of Highland County, Virginia, which is located within an hour of Bath County, Virginia, and Staunton, Virginia. The farm’s current owners, Tim and Terry Duff, possess a passionate love for the property. Over the last two decades, the Duffs have faithfully restored the farm, including the extraordinary farmhouse, to honor its past while preserving its future, creating an ideal location for family trips, sugar farm tours, homeschool adventures, and more. 

Fair Lawn Farm, which is also a unique stop during the Highland County Maple Festival in Monterey, Virginia, focuses on the late-eighteenth to early-twentieth century era. The Duffs collect, restore, and reuse antique 18th century trade tools and equipment your great-grandparents would have used in the days of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison. You can even see these implements and colonial tradesmen in action during Fair Lawn Farm’s 18th Century Trades Fair every year on the first weekend of September. (We also host other Fair Lawn events throughout the year!)

In addition to their passion of recreating an 18th century farm, the Duff’s also added their own signature mark to this legacy – Duff’s Sugar House, which produces Highland County Maple Syrup and provides sugar farm tours in Virginia. The farm also makes homemade apple butter during the Fair Lawn Fall Festival – a stop during the larger annual Hands & Harvest Festival in Monterey, Virginia. 

To further honor the farm’s history, Tim and Terry have portraits of the original owners – John and Peggy Stephenson – hanging in their restored parlor.

Fairlawn Farm old photo

18th-Century Gunsmithing Cabin

We moved this historic cabin from Union, West Virginia, in Monroe County, by way of Bath County, Virginia, to its new home next to our fishing pond at Fair Lawn Farm. Originally a slave cabin from 1830, it now stands as an 18th century trade workshop.

The logs are a mixture of Poplar, Oak, Chestnut, and Pine, and the exposed rafters are from an original mid-eighteenth-century cabin from the Shenandoah Valley. The gable end siding and roofing material are Hemlock, a material that is naturally bug-resistant and stands up to the elements. The raised hearth is designed for warmth more than forging and, along with the cast-iron fireback, works very well. The chimney is traditional wattle and daub, and the addition of a clay flue liner makes it safe from chimney fires.

If you’re looking for new farms to visit in Virginia, Fair Lawn is the spot for you!

Interested in 18th century trades, such as creating flintlock rifles, powderhorns, or hand-carved decoys? Sign-up for one of our classes!