Sounds good. What is there to do today? Today the Hauser’s beautiful 1830 home is open for tours. In addition there is a smokehouse, fruit house, corn crib, well house, and tobacco barn on the property. There is also a barn where you can pet and feed sheep, horses, and goats. On past the barn there is a lovely nature trail that runs its way down to Horne Creek, which is where the homestead derives its name from. This is a fairly easy hike which takes you first past the Hauser family graves then the graves of the Sawyer children.
There are costumed guides you will take you through the lovely 2-story home. There is a picture taken of the family as they celebrate Charlotte’s 55th birthday. The rooms are set up to show how the family lived. The antiques do not belong to the family. But the Hauser family members provided photographs of their homes so that it looks as if the family still lives there. In the kitchen there is an incredibly beautiful wood oven that is still working. If you are here during the warmer months and there is a cooking demonstration going on, you can certainly appreciate how much hard work went into cooking the family meal. It was comfortable outside when we were here but they were making friend pies in the kitchen and it was like a sauna in there! Plus the poor women wouldn’t have exactly been wearing shorts and a t-shirt in hotter months. If you do happen to be here during a major event then they generally don’t do tours. You just tour the house at your leisure and they do have guides in case you have any questions.
The farm has also been monumental in the growing and preserving more than 400 varieties of old southern apple trees, many of which are almost non-existent anywhere else. This is considered a Southern Heritage Apple Orchard.
Who will like the farm? Everyone! Older visitors may have grown up on a farm such as this one. It is a way to relive their past as a child. Adults will also appreciate the beauty of the home and the land. The nature trail is also a great way to get some exercise while you are here. The animal lovers of any age will enjoy the animals.
Children will be thrilled to get a chance to get close to the animals on the farm. In addition there are also cats running around the family dog for rubs behind the ears and belly. There is also a horse drawn wagon ride through the orchard. Which many adults will also find appealing. I sure did.
What amenities are offered? When you first arrive you will find a visitor center where you can gather more information. They have t-shirts, books, cookbooks, and your typical tourist type items as well as local crafts. Since this is still a working apple orchard you will find a variety of apple products including some farm grown apples. They are divine. John and I got a small bag and the aroma just from moving them out of the bag was nothing like what you get from the grocery store.
The have bathrooms here though if you are here for an event then porta potties serve as bathrooms. There are also vending machines here as well. There is about ¼ of a mile from the parking lot to the farm. It is a pleasant walk, but they do offer rides for those with physical limitations. The handicapped accessibility is limited here. They do offer a camp ground near the creek.
Special events. The farm holds several events throughout the year. We were here for the Peel to Pie event in September. It celebrates the fall apple harvest and includes music, food, games for children, and apples celebrated in a number of ways including fresh apples, fried pies, and butter.
In October they celebrate their Annual Cornshucking Frolic. It features harvesting, shucking, and corn grinding. They also have music, cider making, and corn and apple products for sale. And in December celebrate the season by touring the home by lamplight. They also have an ice cream social and music on the lawn in the summer. In addition workshops and seminars are held throughout the year.
Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 4pm. Hours may be extended during special events. It is closed on Sunday, Monday, and major holidays.
Admission is free. Some events may carry a fee. Donations accepted. Again I hate to harp but it costs money to run the place so please make a donation if you are here.
For more information please go to www.ah.dcr.state.nc.us and then click on sites and the click on Horne Creek.
1. Make a donation!
2. If you plan on hiking the trail then good sturdy shoes are suggested.
3. Bring handiwipes. Great for removing animal slobber or after porta pottie breaks.
4. Bring your passport to get it stamped. If the visitor’s center is closed, such as at a big event, then ask in the farms store on the grounds.
5.Bring your camera! Lots of photo opportunities! Photos allowed inside the home.
6.Check the web site before you go. Some events require advanced reservations.
Dining/lodging information: . Pilot Mountain, Winston-Salem, and Greensboro are the closest major cities offering dining and lodging and are less than an hour from the farm. Raleigh is less than two hours. There are a number of smaller towns off the highways offering refuge after a day on the farm. Just go to www.visitnc.com and you can find out the smaller cities nearby.
Bonus #1 The people. Not since Disney have I encountered such a nice bunch of people. You never have to hunt for anyone if you have questions. Volunteers will hop on in and are glad to fill your heads with plenty of facts and figures. When I was looking to get my passport stamped one young lady ran around until she could find someone who knew where the stamp was located. And nary an eye roll, huff, or any other indication that I had bothered her. She seemed sincerely glad to help. And when I almost fell on my buttocks getting into the wagon the driver made sure to grab me and between him and John I only had a bruise to prove I was quite clumsy that day!
Bonus #2 The drive in. Oh my! Like most other historical sites the farm is off the main highway or road. When you get on the back roads your eyes are treated to acres upon acres of green and lush farmlands probably much like when the Hausers were here. It just gets prettier with each turn of the car wheel. There are tobacco farms and old tobacco barns still dotting the road and great for photographing. There is also an awesome view of Pilot Mountain from here.
Coming to such a wonderful place is a real treat. For some it may bring back childhood memories for others it offers a chance to experience life when things were much simpler. If you are passing by then I hope you will take the time and enjoy this amazing place. After all it is still nice to go and be in a place that time moves at its own pace!