In The Beginning
The Property Has Evolved But The History Remains
The thirty greenhouses, shrubbery bed, and plants are no longer there, but Frank Burns, retiring at age 92, has given his blessing to his daughter, Jill, and son-in-law, Bob, for the go-ahead to grow something new. Since the 1920s, Brookhaven Nurseries provided field-grown gladioli, landscaping, trees, plants, bedding plants, and flowers to Brookhaven, Lincoln County, and florists nationwide. The business name was kept with “Homestead” added as a tribute to the laughter, excitement, and good times of childhood memories and the sweet spirit of Kay and Frank Burns.
Homestead at Brookhaven Nurseries, which opened as an AirBnB in the fall of 2017, continues to offer a place of relaxation as a home-away-from home. When Jill began staging the house as a place for family to gather for holidays and special events, someone suggested that others might want the same thing, so the idea of a bed and breakfast was born. Back in the early days, the plans for the home were selected from a huge book of homes by L.F. Garlinghouse. Blueprints were ordered and local carpenter Truman Williams, a friend of Burns, was selected to build the house. Timber for the house was cut from the 100 acres of trees on the property and sawed into lumber at a sawmill across the road that was operated by another friend, T. W. Hickman. The lumber was air-dried for about a year and and then kiln-dried by Phillips Bros. Lumber Co. Cherry and oak flooring is throughout the home, and ponderosa pine was used for the home office. Creosoted 2’ by 10’ boards were bought for flooring joists. Specially milled time for the window frames and other details in the house were made by Brookhaven Milling. The large front columns were bought from Bud Hartman in Brookhaven and shipped from Chicago. The cherry floors are so hard that the carpenters had to drill a hold in the boards in order to nail them. The walls are solid wood. The home has four bedrooms and two baths on the second floor. Downstairs is a beautiful foyer, a spacious and modern kitchen with a fireplace, a living room with a fireplace, sitting room, dining room, small bath, and wood-paneled den. The southern-style home sits on property edged by magnificent live oak trees.
The property has now opened as a wedding and party venue, as well as a meeting space for various clubs and events. In addition to the thirty greenhouses, the property also housed a huge work building, office, “bulb house,” two large tractor sheds, a “cold storage” (for the blooms waiting to be shipped), and an extensive shop, where Frank did his welding and tinkering with equipment and hobbies. All this had to be cleaned out, auctioned, sold, or given away to make way for the spectacular venue. The work building is now the Event Center, and plans are on the drawing board for additional structures and amenities. Street lights have been added at the entrance and the parking areas, power has gone underground, landscaping has been installed, and the lawns are meticulously cared for.
So the property lives on, continuing to provide a safe and beautiful haven for fun, laughter, and good times, just as it always has!