Steeped in history, charm, and tradition- stepping into The Farmhouse is like wrapping your hands around a steaming mug of tea on a brisk autumn's day. The more than two-hundred-year-old farmhouse rises from the encircling corn fields, anchored by immense dairy barns, welcoming visitors to take a step back into a simpler time.
The old screen door welcomes me with a familiar clack as I step into The Farmhouse. The electric fireplace is glowing, and the whole place smells of pear and lemon balm. I experience a strange sense of deja vu as if I've been here before. The sensation is like stepping into your grandma's house after a long time gone. Except your grandmother is Joanna Gaines, and everything is picture-perfect. I am elated and comforted all at once.
It was a gorgeous fall evening, so I tucked my chili in the fridge, tossed my bags on the bed, and headed out to explore. The farmhouse is entirely surrounded by cornfields; the only thing visible on the horizon is the white steeple of an old church rising over the tassels. Two lumbering barns sit at the back of the property, and an ancient apple tree is the nearest neighbor. I helped myself to a gnarly apple and found it surprisingly sweet, despite its appearance. An old-fashioned tree swing, perfectly placed to capture the sunset, just begs to be sat on. I indulged in a little childhood nostalgia and swayed gently for a while, watching the sky fade from cyan to magenta, then saffron to lavender. The temperatures dropped, and my stomach rumbled, so I made my way back to the house to settle in.
The two-story home has been divided into three apartments. My lodgings for the evening were on the first floor, through the grand front entry. There is a cozy sitting room with large screen tv, a fully stocked farm kitchen, two beautifully curated bedrooms, and a large bathroom with laundry. I pulled on some slippers and shuffled into the large eat-in kitchen to warm up some dinner. While my chili heated on the stove, I wandered around the house: photographs, literature, and artifacts scattered through the home hint at the 200 years of history. To my delight, I discovered a book about the Underground Railroad. I mixed some Trinity Valley's garlic cheese curds into my steaming mug of chili and settled in for a good read.
A route on the Underground Railroad ran from Binghamton to Syracuse in the early 1800s. The Farmhouse, then owned by William Gillette, bravely functioned as a halfway point along the route, hiding those on their way to saftey. Long since collapsed, The Farmhouse once bore a tunnel linking it to The Cowen House, which stood across the road. Nods to this history can be found throughout the property, honoring its abolitionist roots.
Engrossed, I didn't look up until nightfall. The entire farmhouse was aglow. Warm flickering string lights and table lamps thoughtfully placed throughout the home created a cozy atmosphere. Curious, I poked my head out the door to peek at the stars. The Milky Way was on dazzling display, precariously hung from the house gables to the barn peaks. I wrapped myself in a throw blanket, poured a glass of wine, and made my way to the bench swing to star gaze. It's hard to believe these inky skies are just a few miles from downtown Cortland. I searched for shooting stars until my toes were cold and then made my way back in for some popcorn and a mystery movie. Sated, I tucked myself in and drifted off into a deep sleep.
I awoke just as the sun began to rise and brewed myself a cup of coffee, topped with a splash of Trinity Valley's signature chocolate milk (best poor man's mocha ever!). Grabbing my mug and a black and white cookie, I made my way to the front porch to take in the show. As the sun poured over the hills onto the corn fields below, it released a thick layer of lingering fog, settling like whispy smoke capturing the sun's colors.
You can't help but feel a deep sense of peace and relaxation here at The Farmhouse. No creature comfort was overlooked, and the ill forgot remembered. From local honey to fresh baked cookies, q-tips to phone charges, it really is like coming home. Large enough to fit a family but cozy enough for one, I can not recommend a stay at The Farmhouse more. A perfectly preserved haven just minutes from the hustle and bustle, The Farmhouse is exactly the getaway we all need.
Getting Off the Farm
The Farmhouse is conveniently located on NY-Rt 13, just one mile from Highway 81 and 2.5 miles from downtown Cortland. If you're looking to add a little livestock to your farmhouse stay, head over to Trinity Valley Farms (5 miles away) and spend an afternoon touring the farm, sampling some fresh cheese and milk, snuggling some fuzzy friends at the petting zoo, and shopping their country market. In the evening, catch a live performance in downtown Cortland at the Cortland Repertory Theater or The Center for the Arts in historic Homer. Both venues are just minutes away from The Farmhouse, and each downtown has an array of restaurants bound to satisfy the pickiest of pallets. The 1890 House Museum and CNY Living History Center are perfect for a rainy day, each less than 10 minutes away. If embracing the season is more your style, head over to Lime Hollow Nature Center for year-round outdoor activities and education, just 7 miles from the Farmhouse. For a list of events happening during your stay, visit our events page.
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