In 1929, my grandfather, Fred Williams Floyd and his brother, Robert, built a dairy on the family farm. Floyd Dairy, the only dairy in the area, supplied Grade-A raw milk, cream and butter to the citizens of Fairmont up to two and a half miles away. Later, my grandpa traded his half interest in a grocery store in Fairmont to his brother, Robert, for complete ownership of the dairy. My dad and his siblings worked at the dairy milking, feeding, and caring for the cows. In the summer my dad said that he enjoyed going with Grandpa on his milk routes so he could drive the milk truck back home. Grandpa owned and operated the dairy until 1946.
The two barns stood empty until my father, Ralph and his brother, Francis, decided to use the cow barn, the back barn, to raise pigs. The original dairy barn, the front barn, became a workshop where they built and worked on equipment needed to run the farm. As time passed, they chose to grow crops only and gradually moved from working in the dairy barn to workshops behind their homes across the road. The dairy became frozen in time. The woods behind it gradually engulfed the buildings until it was no longer visible from the road, except for the silo peeping over the tops of the trees.
As a child I loved playing at the dairy. Even after it had long outlived its usefulness, I would wander through the trees and underbrush to revisit old memories and to dream about the possibilities of the future for those old buildings. In 2013, I retired from Guilford County Schools and my husband, Tim, and I moved back home to Fairmont. Moving back home gave me the opportunity to begin making these dreams come true.
As Tim is a general contractor, he has the know-how to restore old buildings. He, my brother, Keith and I, with the help of family and friends, for the last two years have worked extremely hard to revive the dairy and other areas of the farm. Unfortunately, some buildings were beyond repair and had to be torn down. However, we were able to reclaim some beautiful boards from those old buildings which we will use as we continue with our projects.
Although Grandpa probably thought farming would always be the primary purpose of the farm and that the dairy barns would only be used for livestock, he created a beautiful setting that now will provide the perfect location for celebrations and special occasions. It makes us proud to know that we have brought a portion of the farm back to life that Grandpa began 86 years ago.