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Francis Farm Cabin

Francis Farm, Pikeville College

In 1944, trustee James D. Francis, a kindergarten student in Pikeville Collegiate Institute’s 1889 opening year, provided Pikeville College with the funding to purchase the May Farm, an almost 1,000 acre farm on Johns Creek. The country was in the middle of a war, and Dr. A. A. Page, president of the school at the time, realized that the farm could provide food for the school in the midst of war shortages. Dr. Page was familiar with farming, and he knew that he could teach students how to carry out the farm labor for work study. Though the success of the farm varied from season to season, it provided needed meat and vegetables to the school cafeteria.

Some students lived on the farm all summer, raising various crops, hogs, chickens, and dairy cattle. Even teachers and administrators participated in the farming. The land provided a place for many outdoor activities, such as swimming, playing ball, and having picnics. It was also used as a model farm to test the implementation of modern farming techniques in Appalachia.

Board of Trustees

Tilling the Francis Farm

After Dr. Page retired, the farm slowly lost its usefulness. By the 1970s, the farm no longer served its original purpose. Teachers and students were encouraged to make use of the property, but its distance from the campus hindered its use. Coal found on the farm was mined in the late 1970s, and once it was cleared out, the college had little more use for the land. The property was finally sold in 1985.

 

Resources:

Kinder, Alice. (1989). Pikeville College Looks to the Hills, 1889-1989. Pikeville, KY: Pikeville College.

92-00 Pikeville College Collection. Special Collections and Archives, Frank M. Allara Library, University of Pikeville, Pikeville, Kentucky.

Elkins, Stella, and Kelley, Marion. (1964). The First Seventy-Five Years of Pikeville College, 1889-1964. Pikeville, KY: Pikeville College


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