The land, farmhouse, and ancestors that have made Curtin Farms the property it is today can be traced back to the Civil War Era. Through the years, many generations of family and farm workers have contributed endless hours of labor, sweat, and love to preserve one of the most unique establishments in Clover, South Carolina.
The land was a part of the Alexander Hamilton Barnett family estate from 1867 until the mid 1980’s. In 1985, Hugh (Doc) Curtin purchased the house and 57 acres, which began his stewardship of restoration and preservation of the Barnett family homestead. It is truly a blessing to call Curtin Farms home and be able to share it with generations to come.
Alexander Hamilton Barnett was the first Barnett to own the land. In 1867, he purchased about 167 acres from Dr. Blair Hunter for the sum of $220.44. Alexander Hamilton Barnett and Jane Meek Adams Barnett had eleven children, including Rufus Meek Barnett.
Rufus Meek Barnett was born in 1859. We are not sure how Rufus, being the ninth of eleven children, came to be the owner of about 110 acres of the family farm. We do know Rufus built the farmhouse, which still stands as part of the current Curtin family home, between 1887 and 1888. Rufus married Mary Catherine Caldwell, who died in 1890 during child birth. In 1894, Rufus Barnett married Mary Rebecca (Mollie) Campbell. Rufus and Mollie Barnett had two sons; Arthur Campbell Barnett, born in 1895, and Thomas Meek Barnett, born in 1912. Rufus Barnett died in 1934.
In 1940, Tom Barnett married Emma Maude Cox and they lived with Tom’s mother, Mollie Barnett, in the farmhouse. In 1951, Mollie Campbell Barnett gave half of the farm acreage to each son. Tom Barnett received the half with the home (55.7 acres) and Arthur Barnett received the back acreage (54.7 acres). The land was divided at that time, rather than at Mollie’s death in 1963, because Tom wanted to borrow some money to build a milk barn and had to own the land in order to borrow the money.
During Tom Barnett’s steward of the land, he ran a dairy farm along with growing hay, cotton, and a variety of other crops.
Tom and Maude Barnett had two children; Joseph William Barnett, born in 1940, and Marianne Barnett, born in 1945.
In 1985, Hugh L. Curtin, “Doc,” purchased the Barnett home and 55.7 acres. Doc’s love of farming the land stems from his own boyhood adventures while growing up on a farm in rural Pennsylvania. He dreamed of the same life with his future family.
In 1994, Doc Curtin married Cathy Comer. They have two children, Katelyn Elizabeth Curtin, born in 1996, and Hugh Laird Curtin, IV born in 1997.Both Laird and Katelyn have graduated from college, Penn State and USC respectively, and play a vital role in continuing the farming tradition.
Doc and Cathy began restoring the farmhouse, originally built by Rufus Barnett, along with restoring the original barn and milking parlor. The originally big red barn is believed to have been built around the early 1930’s and the milking parlor was built around 1952 when Mollie gave Tom Barnett his half of the Barnett estate.
Curtin Farms started raising beef cattle in 1985 and over the years has added many more animals including chickens, pigs, ducks, horses, turkeys, peacocks, goats, and our newest addition, alpacas. The farm has now grown to over 320 acres to house and care for the large variety of animals.
In 2008, Doc purchased a portable band saw. He began harvesting select trees from the farm and milling the lumber in his own sawmill. He used the lumber from the farm to construct additional barns and various storage sheds to house the animals and farm equipment. More recently, Doc designed and built a covered bridge using all milled wood from the farm. The Camp Run Creek meanders under the covered bridge and throughout the bottom pastures.
Curtin Farms also plants and harvests a variety of crops including hay, corn, pumpkins, and numerous vegetables and fruits that are preserved through canning and freezing. The work required to keep the farm running is all done by Doc, Cathy and several trusted farmhands. There is always something to be done! These daily chores are a labor of love for this property and its history, which we hope to keep alive and pass on to future generations.
Every day is a blessing at Curtin Farms, as we are