From a Spring 1993 (issued in May) Newsletter for Arbor Brook, Lyme Regis and St. Albans Glenn. A quarterly service of your local associations, PMI Management & Artifactory, Inc. by Larry “Bear” Baker, a past president of Arbor Brook Condo Assn and Lyme Regis Condo Assn.
Ever wonder about the history of the Arbor Brook, Lyme Regis & St. Albans Glenn communities? When the question arose recently, several interested parties went digging for facts and came up with some rather interesting results.
The elm and oak trees that were recently removed from the entrance once marked the location of the front of Redfearn Farm. The farmhouse itself stood roughly where Lyme Regis Quay passes between Arbor Brook and Lyme Regis. Prior to being purchased by the Redfearn family, the farm’s approximately three previous owners date it back to the 1700’s. Consisting of 33.3 acres when owned by the Redfearn’s, the farm housed pigs, chickens and cows and consisted of one barn, two chicken houses, a smoke house a coal bin & a shop. Buddy Redfearn, a local insurance agent, was raised on this farm and tells of catching large crabs, a variety of fish, including shad and even turtles in the rear of the swamp. Also bountiful were muskrat, otter, mink, fox, pheasants, quails, squirrels and rabbits that were frequently hunted for food. In 1933, when the Redfearn’s purchased the farm, there were two working whiskey stills located in the rear of Lyme Regis. Evidence of this fact was unearthed, during excavation for the current buildings which occupy the old site, in the form of barrels, jars and several pieces of abandoned equipment.
In the late 1800s, another farm was established by the Reader family, next to St. Albans Glenn, consisting of over 60 acres. In the area separating St. Albans Glenn and Reflections stood an especially thick grove of trees. The significance of those particular trees was that they served to conceal a sizeable watermelon patch that would have otherwise been more vulnerable to poachers.
Mr. Reader served as Virginia Forest Fire Warden for Princess Anne County and the sons of both the Reader and Redfearn families occupied positions on the Virginia Forest Fire Team.
Where the Bingo parlor is today stood another adjacent farm, owned by the Woodhouse Family. In stark contrast to today’s family unit, the Woodhouse’s were said to have at least twenty-one children!
In 1969 the Redfearn farm was sold to several new owners and/or corporations. A few decades later the land once more echoed to the sounds of building as the units were erected that house our families and friends today.
Buddy Redfearn speaks fondly of his childhood memories, his collie companion and of enjoying those special moments that spending his youth on a small farm afforded him. Fifty years have come and gone since Buddy’s youthful laughter rang through our neighborhood. Now the ghosts of his past, along with those of the intrepid farming families who worked the land before his family arrived, lie silently buried beneath our feet.