An evening on the farm is what the Boyle Landmark Trust is calling its fun and educational fundraiser “Historic Preservation and Sustainable Agriculture: Preserving a Farmstead” scheduled 3-6 p.m. Sept. 23 at the Historic T.B. Bright House and Farmstead —Kubale Farm — at 2826 Lexington Road.
Bright family members will tell the history of the farm that was once a mule farm and was used later to produce Bluegrass seed and burley tobacco.
The barn used for raising mules was built in 1897 by Thomas B. Bright, grandfather of Chris Bright Kubale, who currently lives on the farm. The two-story barn has been converted into a storage building for machinery.
The main residence is part of a double-pen cabin built about 1805 during the the early settlement of Kentucky, according to information compiled when the house and farmstead with 10 buildings were placed on the National Register for Historic Places. The property was given to Ezekiel Barbee by his father, John, at the turn of the 19th century. The property changed hands several times before the Bright family became owners.
Kubale’s grandfather, Thomas B. Bright, bought the farm Sept. 8, 1893, from W.T. St. Clair. He paid $10,870 for 201 acres and moved his wife, Rena Craig Bright, and their five children to the farm. Two other children were born later.
After Thomas B. Bright bought the farm, he modified the house to create the current Victorian dwelling. He also constructed several outbuildings in the domestic yard and farm buildings in the fields — tenant house, mule barn, livestock barn, equipment shed, tobacco barn, meathouse and garage.
The farm also has a late-19th century dry-laid stone springhouse built near a stream on the side of a hill.
Tobacco was grown on the farm for many years, but now only grain is produced, and cattle roam the rolling fields surrounding the farm.
The mule weight station and scales are still visible in the large barn. All of the farm buildings, a cottage house, a “tiny kit house” and springhouse will be open for tours, said Barbara Hulett, president of Boyle Landmark Trust.
Part of the motive to feature a farm is to raise awareness for historic properties and the rural environment and tell the importance farms played in early Danville, she said.
The Kubale Farm is a good example of how some of the farm buildings can be used for other purposes.
The Kubale children want to keep the farm going and are studying things it can be used for in the future, said Hulett.
“This is a wonderful educational opportunity for all segments of society,” Hulett said of the farm tour. “For example, the farm can be used for good products or hemp for clothing products.”
Walking tours are 3-6 p.m., and discussions with experts will be 4-5 p.m.
Other groups will be on hand to distribute information, make presentations on sustainable agriculture, and show local farm-to-table producers and local farm-support services. Activities for children are planned.
James Ross and Sharon Piper-Martin will talk about organic produce. Richard McAlister will talk about the Marksbury Farm Market and organically-grown meats, and also stone fences.
Eric Whisman of Preservation Kentucky will discuss tax credits for farmers.
Lee Meyer, an extension specialist/professor in sustainable agriculture and agricultural economics at the University of Kentucky, will talk about his work in that area. Most of his professional work has been targeted toward farmer-focused marketing, from feeder cattle and forage-based beef systems through all kinds of locally produced products.
He leads a USDA-funded beginning farmer training project called KyFarmStart and chairs UK’s Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems working group and the UK President’s Sustainability Advisory Committee.
A representative from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture also will be on the program to talk about the Kentucky Proud program.
Booths will be manned by the local 4-H and Boyle Extension Service and Farm Bureau agricultural services.
Jerry Houck, who is helping with the tour, invites children to visit his “kid-friendly” pen where they can see small animals.
Refreshments featuring local products will end the activities.
Tickets are $35 per person for adults, and admission is free to children under 16. Call Hulett at (859) 239-0038 for reservations. The deadline to register is Monday.