Last week, we brought you a very special Christmas treat. We told you about Berry’s Tree Farm, the Covington farm that’s been providing our community with beautiful Christmas trees since 1977. Their farm is an absolute delight, with hay rides, s’mores around the fire pit, a petting zoo, and even Santa Claus himself! Plus, you and your family can experience the holiday tradition of cutting your very own tree. But, did you know, this farm has actually been in existence since 1884? That’s right. Over six generations of Berry’s have tended to these verdant hills. Read on to find out more!
We spoke with Mrs. Hilda Berry, the matriarch of the Berry clan. She told us the story of her husband’s family and how they began to grow our favorite kinds of trees. When the farm first began, Charles Woodson Berry presided over the land; a sprawling 300 acre estate. The farm began as a grow-crop farm, a kind of tenant farming operation. Tenants would pay for a piece of land in which they can grow crops. In fact, tenant farms like this were extremely common during the time period and were pivotal in saving the South during the Reconstruction. As time went by, the land became a dairy farm. Charles Hamilton Berry Sr. was raising his cattle as well as a few cash crops, like cotton and hay. His vision of the Berry Farm, as well as his incredible moniker, would continue for 40 years and four generations, until 1977. Charles Hamilton Berry III planted the first Virginia pine tree that year, and changed his family’s history.
Now, the farm is home to over five different types of Christmas trees and some pretty fun attractions. This historical farm even has a train ride that has quite the history of its own. The Berry’s found their train abandoned in Stone Mountain, Georgia. As Mrs. Hilda tells it, the train had a pine tree growing right in the middle of the engine! They took it as a sign and carted the train home.
Come out to Berry Tree Farm for some amazing, family-friendly, historical holiday fun! And, join the Berry’s every Friday and Saturday night for BTF Late Night. There will be s’more making, hay rides, and you can get your picture taken with Santa. Visit Berry’s website here for more details!