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The Fearrington Archives

I’m the youngest of RB and Jenny’s three kids, recently moved back to North Carolina with my own family after a decade in Maine. Upon my return, Dad loaned me a slide scanner and pointed me to a disconcertingly dusty mountain of boxes – everyone needs a project, right? Mine has become archival.

The slides are all jumbled together, an assembly of jarring set location jumps and strange time wormholes. Fitch family, Fitch Lumber and Fitch Creations; Dad’s Air Force slides diligently labeled and organized into crisp Argus slide cartridges; scattered shots of my then one-year old sister Keebe at the beach; rubber-banded landscape slides my mother captured to paint later; the 100th birthday of my great-grandmother; a whole series of inspirational shots- English flower borders, signage from New England, California land planning; yearly holiday pictures from our visits to Mom’s family in Siler City and Dad’s in Chapel Hill; the dedication of Jenny’s garden behind The Inn after her first bout with cancer; my three-year old toe-headed brother, Greg, sitting on my grandfather’s lap; house after house – building sites, construction pictures, interiors; Mom admiring her new engagement ring; and me being dropped off at summer camp in the 1970s. Nobody has seen these images in decades.

Fearrington is the fourth Fitch child in so many ways, except she’s definitely been photographed more often. I guess I can’t begrudge her that – I suppose she’s passingly photogenic, and not exempt from occasional sibling rivalry. Appearing on the scene in 1974, Mom and Dad talked about her constantly, their love poured into this patchwork of land and into the creative re-purposing of the historic Fearrington farm buildings.

And while I was wheeling around our neighborhood, oblivious in my new roller skates (Christmas slide, 1978), they were already a few years into their lifelong project. It is this other side that I am reconstructing with the archives—the work, the inspiration, the history—I hope you’ll enjoy tooling around with me once a month on the blog. And if you have any memories or favorite images of Fearrington, please share them with me – after all, I am the family archivist.

– Kelley

Exploring Chardonnay

Since this week's featured wine is a California Chardonnay, lets talk about it a little more in depth. Chardonnay is an ancient varietal, and no doubt one of the most popular varietals in the world. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir were the focus of Benedictine monks in the 12th century. As a result, we have the world of wine as we know it. However, I firmly believe that Chardonnay as a whole is grossly misunderstood, at least in the United States. There are so many ways to make this wine, and,... Full Post >

Early Spring Planting

February in the Piedmont usually heralds the first stirrings of what truly feels like spring. While it's hard to resist the urge to get out there on the first warm, sunny day, putting your garden energy to work in a thoughtful manner now pays big dividends later! If you are starting a vegetable garden - or simply like to incorporate edibles into your ornamental beds, as we do here in the gardens surrounding The Granary - February is the ideal time to sow cold weather crops like arugula,... Full Post >

California Chardonnay

Stop by The Goat Wine Shop to pick up a bottle of this week's featured wine. We're sipping Landmark Vineyards, Sonoma California “Overlook Chardonnay” 2014! Having lived and worked in Sonoma, California for nearly two years, I drove past this winery everyday. Culturally, it is on the tip of the tongue of all the affluent and elite wine drinking locals. Why? Because it’s fantastic. A phenomenal example of California Chardonnay without being overly robust and hard to handle. It’s got... Full Post >

Meet Jesse

Jesse joined The Fearrington House Restaurant team in 2016. A North Carolinian native and resident of Chapel Hill, he previously worked as AGM and head server at [ONE] restaurant. Jesse started his career in the hospitality industry as curb-hop and dining room server at his family’s restaurant. Now immersed in wine, he helps guests find the perfect bottle to complement their dining experience at The Fearrington House Restaurant. Read more about Jesse below! When did you realize you were... Full Post >

Meet The Artists: Theresa Gloster

Theresa Gloster first began painting in 1999, when she met Sam McMillan. When Gloster met McMillan, she knew she wanted to paint but was unsure of what she should paint. McMillan advised her to, "paint what you know." From then on, she began painting her memories. Gloster's work depicts memories of her past, her family, the simplicity of daily life, the stillness, the noise, the chores, the joys, the pains, the acceptance of life, but most of all the humanity of Appalachia's rural black... Full Post >