South Huntsville Living
While working on an upcoming article which will focus on the history and evolution of Whitesburg Drive, we realized we couldn’t move forward until sharing The Piedmont Stock Farm with you. Once again, the always gracious, Mrs. Sally Walker kindly agreed to act as host and tour guide.
What Has More Wings Than a DragonFly?
The stone gates of Piedmont Farm mark the beginning of a journey down a 580 foot long, tree lined driveway, into a chapter of south Huntsville’s past. On a recent visit to the farm, Mrs. Sally Walker, daughter of Walton Fleming, shared childhood memories of growing up here. The more we learn about the history of our community, the more we fall in love with south Huntsville Living!
The name, “Piedmont” comes from the French term for the lowlands which abut the Alps. The word literally means, “foothill,” or “the foot of the mountains.” This name is most appropriate for the sprawling, green land at the base of Garth Mountain’s western slope.
The property was owned by Winston Fearn Garth in the early 1900’s and was purchased by Walton Fleming in 1939. Walton and his wife, Martha, lived in the home and continually expanded it as their family grew. Each time a child was born, they added a new wing!
At the time of Fleming’s purchase, the structures standing after a previous fire were the silo, glass greenhouses at the edge of the fields, and a one room home. The greenhouses were sold to Roper’s Flowers, and the small home became the center of the Fleming's additions. The silo still stands.
Today, the home is built around a courtyard with the older wings (toward the rear,) and the newest addition connected by generously proportioned, glass walled hallways. The courtyard marks the location of the original Garth home.
Please enjoy a photographic summer’s afternoon stroll on Piedmont Farm with us, but don’t wander far from our side. We were fortunate not to have stumbled across the legendary, “Granny Grunt,” or her husband, “Gonna Grunt,” but they’re always at home in the woods behind the farm. For many decades, children have bravely set out to catch a glimpse of the ghastly couple, only to flee in fear at the sound of eerie and startling noises in the woods. Just in case you get lost though, one might escape the clutches of the Grunts with a soothingly sweet song or a Bible verse.