About once a month, Art Kimbrough, who was born and raised in Panama City, would travel to the family farm in Jackson County.
"Whether I wanted to or not," explains Kimbrough, "I would travel to see my grandparents on the farm between Bascom and Malone and I learned how to shoot squirrels, learn how to drive a tractor, drive a truck, chase girls, and all the other things young men do in that time up in the woods and around there." Kimbrough remembers when he first learned to drive a truck on that farm. At just 10 years old, he got behind the wheel.
The house his grandparents once lived in is no longer there...but a piece of it remains close by to Kimbrough. He shows me a sandstone block that came from the old fireplace in their house. It's been carved into a face.
Kimbrough's parents later moved to the property to spend their retirement. Kimbrough explains, "Interestingly when they moved up there, they didn't move into the old dog trot house. He says they moved their house which his father built with his own hands to the property.
Kimbrough inherited the property when his mother died but lives in Marianna with his wife. He says he's not a farm boy, but rather a city boy with a farm heritage. A heritage...he hopes to keep alive for a very long time.
"Whether we keep the whole 70 acres or 20 acres, I want to keep it in my family for as long as this legacy continues because it does personally connect us back to our ancestors."
Recently, his farm was recognized as a Century Pioneer Farm by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences. The state's Century Pioneer Farm Program honors family farms that have been 'in the family' for at least 100 years. Any farm is eligible for this honor as long as one submits the original deed to the property and can prove it's been in continuous ownership. There are 14 other century pioneer farms throughout Jackson County.