>This is the view from Dumont’s front door looking out over the farm, to the mountains in the distance. The stagecoach would come through the gap in the mountains and down to the inn where guests would spend the night or eat a meal while the horses were rested. Animals were moved over the mountains in large herds by drovers who would also stop here to feed the livestock.
You can tell from the assortment of chimneys, the farmhouse has been significantly added to over time. The stone chimney in front is one of the older parts of the house. It is still used as a staging area to clean and package eggs before they go to the store.
This basket of eggs was sitting outside the door waiting to be cleaned. Proof that while the farm has been modernized, much is still done as it has been for 100 years. If you have never had really fresh eggs, you will have to stop by the Carolina Bed & Breakfast and try some. It’s a completely different experience from the eggs we get at the supermarket.
I couldn’t resit taking a picture of this porch on one one of the small worker’s cottages on the property. The rocking chairs, rubber boots (red with white birds!) and jugs on the stone steps were so evocative of North Carolina, its history and the way the past is made comfortable with the present.
One of the in-laws added this unique swing to the property. We had never seen anything like it and Sarah and Janey were quick to try it out. You push the bottom bar with your feet while pulling back on the top bar and before you know it you are swinging out over the hill below.
I probably won’t get the history exactly right but I believe it was Dumont’s Grandmother (although it could have been his Great Grandmother) who painted these murals of the old stagecoach coming to the inn on the walls in the dining room. She was a fascinating woman who had studied art in France during the time of the impressionists and her art is found throughout the old farmhouse.
This is just small taste of the many things we saw and did out at Hickory Nut Gap Farm. While the whole farm is not open to the public, you can visit the store and horseback riding can be arranged. It is worth it just for the drive out through the mountains to see this beautiful and historic location.