Oldest family run farm in AL has 101-year-old farmer - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Oldest family run farm in AL has 101-year-old farmer

Posted: Updated:
It is the oldest farm in Alabama, originally purchased in 1809 by the McCrary family. It is the oldest farm in Alabama, originally purchased in 1809 by the McCrary family.
MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

This serene patch of land is part of a 500 acre spread near New Market. It is also the oldest farm in Alabama, originally purchased in 1809 by the McCrary family.

"My mother was a Hunley from Mooresville, and she had three uncles in the Civil War," stated 101-year-old farmer and family patriarch, Thomas McCrary.

McCrary was on his tractor just a few days before we met. He's been recently sidelined with a bug but hopes to be back at work soon farming his land, which he's done for quite a while.

"My dad gave me a light plow, and in those days it was a little left in the middle, and he gave me a saddle horse, before I went to school," McCrary said.

Those before school chores continued until he graduated from Riverton in 1930, where he was a forward on the basketball team. He said there was no lunchroom and no inside plumbing. And his dad, like the generations before, farmed the land and was Madison County's first farm agent.

"He was what they called a demonstration agent. I think there was two in the county at that same time. Of course, the only way he had to travel was on horseback or buggy," added McCrary.

The original homestead was built in 1824, but it has been added onto about three times. It's surrounded by beautiful farmland, animals, and mountains in the distance.

During McCrary's childhood, families went to town by horse and buggy. He said before refrigeration, even keeping milk cool took some effort.

"Before they had electricity, they would put something in a vessel and lower it into the well to keep it cool," he said.

One of the big life changing events happened when electricity and gas powered engines came to the farm.

"But I can remember my dad bought a tractor on steel, no rubber, the year I finished school in 1930," he said.  "The second one we had was on rubber - an F-20 International."

There have been many changes over the years to the farm, which at one time was more than 2,000 acres. Today, it cradles crops, cattle, and 200 years of memories to treasure in Bobby's Bama.

Copyright 2013 WAFF. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow

1414 North Memorial Parkway
Huntsville, AL 35801
256-533-4848

WAFF Is a Proud Member
of the Raycom Family of Stations


FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WAFF. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.