In 1915, Thomas Peter McCulley bought the home of Will Wells along with 40 acres. He and his wife Alice had two sons Leonard and Dalton. They would go on to have four more, Lawton, Luther, Earnest and Thomas (Buck). Alice passed away shortly after their sixth son was born.
Tom's mother, Elizabeth moved in to help with the smaller children, while Tom and the older boys carried on with the daily chores around the farm. Elizabeth was the widow of Confederate Veteran, William Pierce McCulley and drew a small pension of $10 per month. Tom would go on to marry Mattie Gill. They had one son, Bobby Ray, he died as an infant. Mattie's sister, Rose, had moved in with the family. Rose never married. Between Mattie and Rose, the family was well taken care of.
Over the years, Tom had bought up other property as well as continuing to tend the old Blue Springs Farm. With six sons, along with share croppers and other help, Tom was a successful farmer and community leader. Two sons, Dalton and Lawton enlisted in the Army during WWII and Luther joined the Navy. Earnest served in the Army after the war and Buck joined the Navy during the Korean War. Leonard, the oldest son's eyesight prevented him from entering the military. Tom died in 1954 and is buried along with his first wife at Antioch Cemetery not far from the old home site.
After leaving the Navy, youngest son Buck moved back home and continued on farming the old home place. He would marry Carolyn (Wimpy), Williams in June of 1958. They had two sons Thomas (1959) and Richard (1961).
He bought the first tractor for the farm along this time and planted crops including corn, tobacco, rye and cow peas. A small herd of cattle began to grow along with a sow/pig operation. Some of the old fields were planted in timber. In 1973, Buck built the first two poultry houses and would soon build two more. This replaced tobacco as the main crop. Buck also drove a school bus for several years. Tragedy struck in 1978, oldest son Thomas was killed in a hunting accident. Through Faith, the family picked up the pieces and carried on. In 1981, Richard married Carol Plain. He had been working with the poultry company his Dad had the contract with. There was a need at that time for two more pullet houses in the company. Buck agreed to build the two houses. That year Richard came back to work on the farm. He and Carol would go on to have two children Justin (1981) and Candice (1984). Poultry and cattle were a good combination on the farm and soon the plowed fields were replaced with pasture and hay. This combination along with timber production continued on through 1980's and 90's. In 1999, trail riding was introduced to the farm. In 2004, after 30 years of poultry production, three of the old barns were converted into horse stalls, one into a dining and entertaining hall and the other two are used for hay and other storage. In 2009 Buck, Wimpy, Richard, Carol, Justin, Candice, Laton, Hunter, Elizabeth and Kaylin (four generations) welcome guest year around to share in the history of the area while enjoying the scenic trails that wind there way down to and along the pristine Withlacoochee River.
I just got home from my very first long (5 week) camping trip staying at one place with my horse and dogs. I really wanted to give long term camping a try and picked McCulley Farms because of the very friendly and helpful owners and other guests when I had been there previously. If you've never been it should be high on your bucket list!! You won't be disappointed..
We stayed at McCulley Farms Christmas through New Years. The hosts were fantastic. Riding was beautiful. We are going back in Feb.
I love everything about this place for riding horses. I love the trail obstacles that you can go at your own pace. Trails for days.