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Farm Park Stable Renewed


By Nancy Brannon

Restoration of the stable at Germantown’s Bobby Lanier Farm Park, formerly known at Ocean View Stables at 7901 Poplar Pike, is complete and the barn looks better than ever, thanks mainly to the efforts of George McGaha, plus other volunteers and funding from the Germantown Charity Horse Show Association.

Greeting visitors to the renewed stable is a #3 Crystal Metal Bell, circa 1886, built by the C.S. Bell Company of Hillsboro, Ohio. The larger #3 size is rare, said Jef Terry, Farm Park Manager. “There are lots of #2s around, which are smaller, but a #3 is rare. C.S. Ball Company made school bells for schools all around the country.” He’s tempted to start a tradition of ringing the bell at a particular time each day.

The grain silo, standing “guard” at the corner of the barn, got a new top and a new paint job. “Along this west wall we will plant a perennial garden with flowers and vegetables,” said Terry.

All the stalls got new woodwork, new frames, new bars, new stall doors, new latches, and concrete block repair. The central aisle is now concrete, as is the converted double stall, which will be used as a museum area. The electrical outlets and wires have all been refurbished and the water lines and faucets have all been replaced.

Across from the restroom, Lee Honsa made the cabinets that surround the new sinks, and Jimmy Chancellor made the towel racks above the sinks.

There are new front and back doors to the barn, with new frames and headers to support the massive doors. There are new skylights over the central aisle, and all that the ceiling needed was a good pressure washing to make it look new again.

Ceres the cat, named after the Goddess of Agriculture, is the “cat keeper” of the barn, patrolling the area for any mice, voles, and other small, tasty creatures. “She’s a really good mouser,” Terry said, “and she’s happy hanging out at the barn.” She was a stray adopted from the Germantown Animal Shelter.

The only part that isn’t finished yet is Jef’s office, where his computer monitor sits atop a wooden crate and the mouse dangles from an upper shelf. But that will soon be remedied, as Jimmy Chancellor has promised him a desk, and he has some lovely posters from Laura Lee (Wally Bird Photography) to decorate the walls.

Jef expects the stable to soon be buzzing with activity, because “it will be available for rental for weddings, parties, or whatever else Germantown Parks and Recreation offers to host here,” he said. The Boy Scouts have taken an active role in work at the Park, Terry said. “We have chickadee and bluebird houses that they set up. They built a rock trail connecting to the soccer fields. They plan to build bat houses for us,” and other projects they have in store.

It won’t be long before the gardeners get busy, too, with planting of spring vegetables and flowers in the nearby garden area. The Farmers Market starts again the last of June/first of July on Thursday nights, 6-9 p.m.

The chickens already have “spring” on their minds, as the rooster Pepper, a Dominicker, has been busy “servicing” his hens. Terry believes there might be some spring chicks on the way. The chicken coop, built by Jim McGee, and chicken yard are home to a variety of chickens who lay several colors of eggs, from light blue, green, and brown to “dark chocolate colored eggs that the grey hens, Cooper Morans, lay” Terry explained. “We plan to get more chickens and, of course, have more eggs. We also plan to get some turkeys this year,” Terry said. It’s all about “Food Freedom,” he added. He also wants to get a donkey, which he says will be good predator protection for the chickens. He says they keep away the foxes, etc. that prey on the chickens.

The Germantown Kiwanis Club has plans to build a goat barn in the back pasture that will house goats for the FFA students from Houston and Collierville High Schools. Terry is an FFA alum and both his children are FFA members. So he’s quite excited about more animals and FFA members coming to Farm Park.

This June, the stable will once again house horses, as some of the horses attending the Germantown Charity Horse Show will be stalled here, as well as have use of the paddocks. For those who have known this farm and barn for decades, and in the past stabled horses here, the restoration is a welcome sight and a delight to visit. Come spring and summer, it will also be a source of fresh, home grown, organic produce and eggs – the tastiest around! Come see for yourself! Enter Bobby Lanier Farm Park on Farm Road, which is off Stout Road near Germantown Elementary School.

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