Rural Missouri Magazine

Walnut Springs Farm
Exploring our Agricultural Past

by Bob McEowen

Walnut Springs Farm near Marshfield preserves an outstanding farm from the early 20th-century.

The old barns are disappearing before our eyes, replaced by practical but hardly inspiring metal buildings. Those longing for the beauty and craftsmanship of the post-and-beam giants of our agricultural past can find that and more at Walnut Springs Farm near Marshfield.

Now the property of Oklahoma transplants Mike and Cathy Brown, Walnut Springs was once a thriving dairy operation at the dawn of the 20th century. In fact, the farm operated by Edmund Hosmer is regarded as the first commercial dairy in southwest Missouri and was once the largest butter producer in the state.

The farm later was purchased by a group of Amish families who raised hogs. Today the Browns raise beef cattle and draft horses.

Two of the farm’s barns are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Browns purchased the property 10 years ago and open their barns to public tours by appointment.

Besides the grand structures, the tour features recreations of the Hosmer operation, a blacksmith shop, carriage shop, harness shop and an extensive collection of horse-drawn vehicles and period artifacts.

For more information about Walnut Springs Farm or tours, call (417) 468-3276. Admission is charged.


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