Where Old Farm is now, there actually once were old farms.
Some current residents who grew up in the neighborhood in the 1960s and 1970s remember the Prichards, a link to the area's past. The couple, Mason and Ann, owned about 60 acres, most of which they sold off piecemeal, mostly for the development of Hickory Woods.
Ransom Ratcliff, for example, recalls shoveling snow and doing handyman work for them, and being rewarded with hot chocolate, corn bread and stories about the area's history. Myles Taylor, Tim Mertz and Bruce Werber remember the donkeys the Prichards had.
The Prichards originally used their house on what is now Dinwiddie Drive as a summer home and moved in year-round in the 1960s. But the house's pedigree goes back more than a century: It stands on the site of a log cabin built in 1857 as a wedding present for a Mrs. O'Neill.
That cabin was replaced in 1918 with a farmhouse that had neither electricity nor running water. The Prichards updated the place and added two wings, one of which was remodeled by the current owners, Phil Cantelon and Eileen McGuickian.
Ann Prichard got several other bids when she put the house up for sale in 1983, Cantelon said, but chose his because she trusted him--a historian--to take care of the place. Even so, she used to stop by occasionally, just to make sure all was well, McGuickian said.
The only vestige still standing of another nearby farm is its smokehouse, a Montgomery County Historical Society landmark. Now the 10-foot-by-10-foot board-and-batten structure nestles in the back yard of Ed and Emma Michaels, who have lived at Old Farm since 1967.
The developers were going to tear it down, but Ed Michaels insisted on preserving it. He, his son and a carpenter provided much-needed repairs and painting. The little building's construction dates it to the early 1800s, he said.