History about the Farm
The farm, known as Brantley Ridge Farm, is located in Marion County, Georgia about six miles north of the Buena Vista town Square. Situated in Georgia’s sand hills and on the ridge dividing the Chattahoochee River drainage area and the Flint River drainage area, the farm is a unique blend of natural beauty, wildlife, history and yes, one of the largest remaining herds of rare Pineywoods Cattle.
In an effort to restore the farm to the look of yesteryear, we only replant native longleaf pine. Over 130 acres of longleaf have already been planted, with more acres being planned. Pine areas are designed to blend with hardwoods and pastures to give our cattle and wildlife a stress-free, comfortable setting.
Our cattle and wildlife coexist just like their ancestors did for centuries. Not only do they coexist, the Pineywood’s ability to eat and forage on plants other cattle breeds would ignore underbrushes the forest and coupled with prescribed burns enhances the terrain for the endangered gopher tortoise colonies that populate the farm. Large populations of deer, turkey, quail and bird species too numerous to name--to include hawks, owls and woodpeckers, are also found here.
Evidence that Native Americans resided here for thousands of years has been found throughout the farm. Tribes often used prominent ridges for trails. These trails later became roads. One such trail is known as Jackson’s Trail, the Fort Gaines Road or the Seminole war Path. Built at the direction of Andrew Jackson in 1818 by Colonel Arthur Peronneau Hayne’s Mounted Tennessee Volunteers to connect Fort Perry, Georgia to Fort Gaines, Georgia, the route was originally a supply route during the Seminole wars. Colonel Hayne later served as a United States Senator from South Carolina.
The trail served as a major route for settlers that began to move into the region in 1827. Fortunately for us, Joshua R. Wimberly of Twiggs County, Georgia won the contract from the State of Georgia to survey the 4th Land District of what was Muscogee County, Georgia (now Marion County) in the lands acquired from the Creek Indians in 1825. Wimberly completed the survey on February 5, 1827 and did an excellent job noting the location of the trail both on the survey and in his field notes.
Wimberly also identified many trees along the land lot lines and the corner trees at every corner at each 202 ½ acre land lot. Over a mile of Jackson’s Trail ran through the farm and hundreds of feet of the trail’s cut can still be identified.
In March of 1827 the State of Georgia held the Land Lottery of 1827 to distribute recently surveyed land lots. Soon after the Trail became the interstate of its day as settlers used the Trail to move into the new lands.
Decades of poor farming practices in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Century led to depleted soils and erosion. Much planning and effort goes into our continuing goal of restoring our soils and creating a sustainable healthy environment for all creatures that call our farm home.