Like an American Picker

I just spent a couple of days at the rural farmstead of my children’s school director. It forced me to disconnect a bit, which is why I always volunteer to chaperone when she invites students to her farm.

pullen farm

That and the fact that her home is a fantastic historic treasure – a combined 1900 farmhouse connected to a much older log home.

historic farm


The original log home was built by a soldier from the Revolutionary War on the land gifted to him for his service.

goats and chickens

This was my fifth trip to Pullen Farm, and this time I scored my own room. I slept with the windows open and was awakened by a rooster’s crow instead of an alarm clock.  Below was the view from one of the windows in my bedroom.

bedroom view

now THAT’s a view!

We always go berry picking when we visit the farm. Blackberries and blueberries are in season!

berry picking

While the children were picking berries, I snuck away to an estate sale (gasp!) that I spied nearby. I had to take a photo of the road name. Did I mention this is rural Tennessee?

2014-07-29 17.02.37

I apprehensively drove up the steep, curvy drive. I could not believe what I saw when I reached the top.

vintage car estate sale

If you could collect it, this estate sale had it. Vintage cars and planes were only a fraction of a life full of hoarding collecting – the interior of the home was chocked full of vintage glassware, cookie jars, antique furniture, etc.  I only took pictures of the most impressive items!

country estate sale

I saw something very similar, but in nowhere near the condition of this vintage fuel pump on American Pickers just last night:

estate sale

vintage fuel pump

I thought sure I might see Mike Wolfe around any corner – he does live right outside of Nashville.  Anyway, I picked up a few treasures for myself – a pair of vintage genie lamps and a freaky little gnome.

vintage lamps and gnome

After hitting this estate sale, I drove around for awhile on the back roads of town.  Whenever I’m away from home, I always imagine what it might be like to live somewhere else.  There were so many abandoned houses, which have always been fascinating to me.


I always wonder – what happened to the owners?  Did they just take off?  Die?  Is the house beyond restoration, or does it still have a chance?  So many questions.


After my solo excursion, I returned to the farm to eat a home-cooked meal and watch the kids make pies from the berries they had picked.  They divided into teams, and I got to help judge the four resulting pies.

baking pies

Two of the pies were pretty much inedible, but the other two were not too shabby.  The next day, we had lunch in the neighboring town at the Soda Pop Junction.  The restaurant has tons of history and operates out of a building erected in 1860.  Who else wants an old-fashioned milkshake?

soda pop junction

Soda Pop Junction, Lynnville, TN

If I wasn’t such a grown-up, I would have totally tried to ride this awesome vintage carousel.

vintage carousel and coke machine

The kids made some great memories.  And I didn’t even tell you about the prank where the girls put a big chicken in one of the boy’s beds in the middle of the night.  And that was the school director’s idea!  Wish I had a photo of that . . .


  1. Paula Van Hoogen

    PS: I love the photo through the screen….. Looks like intentional artwork!

    • Kristie Barnett

      I love that, too, Paula! Unfortunately, your first comment and my response have been deleted – something is wrong with my site and the blogpost went all screwy.

      • Paula Van Hoogen

        Probably ’cause I mentioned God….!

  2. Michelle L.

    Love it! And I managed to score the leftover blackberries… made myself a yummy pie from my grandmother’s recipe!!

    • Kristie Barnett

      I have had more blackberries in the last week than I’ve had in the last couple of years!!!

  3. beth lester

    What an amazing area to visit. I need to make a trip.

  4. Kath Barry

    Kristie, Love this adventure you we’re on.
    My husband is very interested in the airplane that is in this article…can you give us any info on how to contact the estate by any chance? Thanks Kath

    • Kristie Barnett

      The estate sale company is called Heritage Estate Sales – the home was on East Sheepneck Circle off Mooresville Road (I think) just outside of Culeoka, TN. About 8 minutes off I-65. Hope that helps you track it down!

      • Kath Barry

        Kristie, Thank you so much.

  5. Olivia

    I can’t wait to see what you do with the vintage genie lamps! They’re such a pretty green.

  6. kelly

    Blackberry picking and then homemade pies! Great memories of my youth. Looks like a beautiful place to spend time making memories with your girls.

  7. Lezlie

    Love the lamps but definitely not the gnome!

    • Kristie Barnett

      I almost sent a photo of the gnome to your email, Lezlie!

      • Lezlie

        I would be even more traumatized!

  8. Pam

    Like you, I have also had the same curiosity about old, abandoned homes. My grandparents lived in a very rural area down South and on our trips to see them, there were so many interesting old homes still standing – some barely. Some were as old as pre-Civil War and my grandparents knew all the people who’d lived in those homes, what happened to them and why the homes were left abandoned.

  9. Mary CC from CA !

    Thanks Kristie for sharing your vacations and adventures with us ! What a lovely school director to share her home with you and her students ! Also, what a great learning experience for the kids. The majority of Estate sales here are nothing like the one you went to. They are rather compact and boring. What a fun experience and a trip down memory lane to see all of those fun items for sale. I too always think of who lived in the homes and what their story was. Sometimes you get small inkling of the person that owned the belongings just by seeing the items for sale. #If only walls could talk. Splendid article !!

  10. Lee

    that vintage coke machine at the end is great! I was trying to describe that same thing to my kids the other day. enjoyed all those photos from life in the country!


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