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Castlewood (Rutherford Co.): A modernized dairy farm

Updated: Feb 20

Castlewood was built in the early 1840s for Marman Spence (1798-1847) and Sara Wasson Spence (1791-1857). They wed in 1826. It was located on present-day Haynes Drive, west of Stones River Manor. After Marman died, Sarah inherited property.

With Sara’s death, their son, David H. C. Spence (1827-1876), got the property. He was married to Sally Eakin Spence (1833-1920). He sold Castlewood and the farm lands to Josiah Ewing (1836-1890) and Ada Byron Hord Ewing (1836-1920). They wed 1855. After the Civil War, he returned to farming until1873, then moved his family to Murfreesboro.

Daniel Price Perkins and (2nd) wife Florence Ewing Fletcher Perkins owned it about l882. Daniel’s first wife was Katie Morgan. Daniel’s grandfather was Col. Nicholas Tate Perkins (N.T.P. House/ Poplar Grove/ Two Rivers). The Perkins family moved from Williamson to Rutherford County in 1882. Daniel went into the lumber business and by 1913 was president of Perkins Critchlow Lumber Co.

Since 1889, the Haynes family have owned Castlewood. In that year, James Monroe Haynes, Sr. purchased Castlewood Farm. By the early 1900s, Rutherford County was well-known as a dairy producer for the region and Castlewood was a large part of that business. By the 1920s, James Haynes was delivering bottled milk to customers. In 1921, J.M. Sr. was raising Jersey cattle, and the farm was at least 400 acres. In 1927, Carnation Milk Co. opened an evaporated milk plant and the dairy business greatly increased. J.M. Haynes built the former Haynes Hotel in Murfreesboro on old Dixie Hwy (now West College St.) and ran it from the 1890s to 1958. And the Haynes family is also connected to the Darrow House which The Women's Club of Murfreesboro has owned since 1916.

By 1942, his son, J.M. Haynes, Jr. and Margaret Haynes owned the property. In 1959, J.M. and J.B. Haynes managed the farm as a diversified dairy farm. Castlewood burned down in the 1980s. According to family legend, Perkins’ daughter, Mamie, scratched the word “Castlewood” on an upstairs window pane with her diamond ring; years later, Mrs. Haynes found the etching and used it to name the mansion. Per the Rutherford County Historical Society website entry, the style of the home was “built by Marmon Spence to resemble a Norman castle mentioned in a poem by Sir Walter Scott.

Also, from the 1880s to the 1930s, Rutherford County was well-known for a large dairy industry and very good tasting milk and butter. The Haynes family and Castlewood Dairy Farm was part of a network of about 1,400 dairy farms in Tennessee and the South that were supplying the country’s dairy demands. In fact, “Magnolia butter” seems to have been a local brand that was sought after. The property and family is recalled by Castlewood Dr. and Haynes Dr. See also N.T. Price house/ Poplar Grove/ Two Rivers

Ed. note & fun connection: J. B. and Margaret Haynes son is Dr. (James) Brevard Haynes in Nashville. My family has known and been friends with Dr. Haynes, Jane, Jim and Emily forever.


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