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A significant part of Winston-Salem’s history, Brookberry Farm was once the country estate and dairy farm of Bowman Gray Jr. There, his family created their home on the nearly 800 acre farm and raised their five sons. With a strong commitment to the land’s historic integrity, Brookberry has evolved from an active cattle farm into a vibrant community for residents who embrace the history and enjoy the outdoors.
Every aspect of Brookberry Farm has been carefully designed with preservation in mind. The once working barn has been historically restored to provide an exceptional venue for life’s most precious moments. Since the days of the Gray family’s milestone moments, the barn and clubhouse have provided the perfect setting for residents to create their own family history. From engagement parties and weddings to neighborhood events, one of Winston-Salem’s most elegant venues is minutes from home.
Bowman Gray Jr. (1907-1969) and his wife, Elizabeth Palmer Christian Gray (1915-1974), began buying land for Brookberry Farm in 1946. They built a home on the farm, which consisted of 795 acres on the outskirts of Winston-Salem, near Lewisville. Mr. and Mrs. Gray raised their five sons on the farm, and Mr. Gray became involved with farming and raising cattle.
Mr. Gray built a registered Guernsey herd that once ranked fourth-best in the United States in its category. He sold the herd at auction in 1967. He kept the Charolais beef cattle.
With all of the cattle to feed, making hay was an important operation on the farm. In 1956, a new hay-drying system was installed on the farm. The new system shortened the actual time of sun needed and produced a richer hay product. The shortened drying time, which produced an abundance of hay, was necessary for the 300 head of purebred Guernseys at Brookberry Farm in 1956. They produced from 450 to 600 tons of hay a year.
In addition to hay, the other necessary components to raising cattle are good pastures and silage. The farm produced 600 to 700 tons of corn silage each year. The farm ponds capacity was enlarged over the years to supply irrigation water when needed. The water helped irrigate the pastures when spring rainfall was sparse.
After the death of Mr. and Mrs. Gray, the pastures and barns were leased for raising cattle, crops and horses. The farm consisted of the Gray home, barns, grain silos, lakes and rolling farmland. The farm was also rented by Cozy Fox Farms for a riding school.
Article courtesy of WinstonSalemTimeTraveler.com.