HISTORY OF FLYING CROSS FARM
We are often asked about the history of Flying Cross Farm, especially about the Log Cabin. Mary called Miriam Nay Tinnell, who is the daughter of Joe Nay. Joe grew up on this farm, and his Great-Great-Grandfather was the builder. The cabin was built around 1833 by James Newton Nay, who lived in Skylight and was born in the early 1800s. He died in 1883, and his son, Latimore Trigg Nay, who was born in the cabin, stayed on with his family. Latimore raised 8 children on the farm, and put siding on the cabin to preserve the logs. When Joe lived in the cabin from 1924-1930, he did not realize it was a log house, as the siding covered the logs.
The farm was a working farm in the 1800 and 1900s, with about 100
chickens in a coop between the house and big barn (we think along the road
going to the barn), a Ham House over towards what is now the garden, a
Sorghum Shed next to the big barn, and a huge garden near the pond. There
was an icehouse built into the side of the hill in the front field. Also located in
the front field was a double corn crib and a grainery. Horses and cows were
housed in the big barn. Cows to the right and horses to the left. Joe’s
grandfather was a superb farmer, and raised oats and wheat in the fields.
When it was time to grind the sorghum, a horse was hitched to a grinding
wheel, and they ground the sorghum down by the pond. There was also a
working spring, which now feeds the pond. Although there was a well near
the house, the Nays carried their drinking water from the spring.
Joe’s Grandfather, Trigg, worked for Mr. Axton who lived at the end of Axton Lane in a house that still stands. Mr. Axton made his fortune selling & manufacturing cigarette & cigars. “Twenty Grand” was the name of his most famous brand, and also the name of a racehorse Mr. Axton owned. While Joe’s father, Ernest stayed home and farmed what is now Flying Cross, Trig earned $2.50/day in the 1920s working for Mr. Axton. This at a time when the going rate was $.50/day!
The house was always full, and the Nays kept boarders who lived further down Highway 42 at the Belknap Farm, so they would be close to Liberty School (yes- the same one that still stands at the end of Liberty Lane!) and were able to walk the mile to school…Snow, sleet, hail or rain, they got there! There were also “peddlers” that would come by to sell their wares, and often sleep in the hallway before the long trek back to Louisville the next morning. Joe remembers “Mitler & O’Dell” (still Louisville families) selling Raleigh products, and the Karems selling fabric.
The Anderson family bought the farm in the 1950s, and Allen Northcutt purchased it from them in 1989.