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From William Washington Seay to Watermelon Moon Farm

Updated: Feb 21

Photo by Brian Stansberry

Built between 1835-1854 by Maj. William Washington “Buck” Seay (1801-1874), the residence is located at 10575 Trousdale Ferry Pike about 12 miles east of Lebanon in the Flat Rock community. The 2 story vernacular I-house originally sat on a 600 acre tobacco plantation. Seay’s parents, John and Sarah McCarty Seay, had built a more than 1,000 acre estate. In 1828, John sold William 350 acres and later William bought more from his father. Seay and his wife Ann W. Stanfield Seay (1805-1872) married in 1825 and made a good living both as a tobacco trader and with land deals. William traveled to New Orleans often and built his home as a replica of the Louisiana plantation homes he saw. Buck and Ann died within 2 years of one another.

The estate was inherited by their eighth child, Thomas Jefferson “T.J.” Seay (1841-1887). T. J. was married to Leila Virginia Harris Seay (1845-1884. A couple sources said that 20 years after the death of their only son Sidney in 1864, Leila committed suicide by hanging. Three years later, at his death, T.J. Seay left his step-sister, Eliza Vaughn Seay (1845-1929), the home who lived in it during the 1880s. When Eliza died, a cousin Daniel “Dan” Elijah Seay (1872-1957) bought the property and lived there until his death. Daniel was married to Wilsye Wilson Seay (1886-1979) in 1915. In 1988, Clifford “Cliff” A. Wilkin bought the W.W. Seay House and lived there until 1991. He is a lawyer and opened the mansion to several tours.

Then, Emily Steinberg bought the property and its 18.5 acres in 1991. In 2002, she married Harold Cash, and they renovated the home and renamed it Watermelon Moon Farm. They open the Watermelon Farm seasonally from the spring to the fall and end with Christmas events. Emily is an artist, makes crafts and runs Watermelon Moon Farm. NRHP 1995


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