Finding Vintage at Spring Hill Farm
I think I first met Emily on Instagram (it is 2021 you know) and then at Brimfield. You meet lots of people at Brimfield but right away I knew Emily was authentic and is doing what she loves. A farm girl, raising chickens and running an antique business where she carries pieces that showcase her style of "clean country" antiques.
In 2010 Emily started her business. She had always been collecting, because her mom had and still has a passion for antiques. Emily grew up going to auctions and antiquing with her mother who has also been featured in Country Living. So, it was inevitable that Emily would fall in love with the lifestyle.
After joining forces with a friend who was hosting a garden sale in 2013, it was game on. They sold out of all of the pieces they had been collecting in only two hours. Lightbulb moment. As her business evolved she continued to host the annual garden sale at her barn and in 2019 moved on to exhibit at the Profound Market with great success.
It's a story many of us in the antique business are familiar with. The part where you grow up with parents who love antiquing and the love of this life becomes ingrained.
What's different about Emily? She's not just a picker or a dealer. She's a farm girl.
Let's go back a bit because this story evolved with a love of antiques but started in an awesome barn and everyone knows I love a barn story!
In 2007 Emily and her husband purchased their amazing property in Rhode Island. The history of their property "Spring Hill Farm" is large to say the least. The history of Spring Hill Farm goes deep in Rhode Island where she lives.
Quick history of the farm:
Spring Hill Farm was originally called the Paul Spencer house. Spencer and his brother-in-law Lodowick U. Shippee first owned the farm together. Paul Spencer married Susan Bagley in 1829 and the renovations began. Additions to the house and work on the outside. In 1884 the house and property were purchased by Albert and Harriet Knight. They hired boss farmers to run it and milk, wool, cheese, fruit and lamb were produced. It was named Spring Hill Farm. Stones on the property were used to create walls, trees were sawed into lumber to create more buildings. After a 1938 hurricane the sheep barn and hen houses were destroyed. The wagon house and original barn still remain today, along with apple trees and stone walls.
With a stunning dairy barn (the real deal, huge, beautiful barn), carriage house, charming Cape style main house, original root cellar, pear and apples trees and stone walls Emily and her husband were immediately smitten. This 1820's dairy farm needed lots of work. Lucky for Emily, her father is a builder and her husband an engineer so she didn't have to look far for support. They renovated the home, removing panelling, updating the country kitchen, painting, redoing bathrooms, etc. Over the years the barn and the carriage house have needed work and shoring up but the structures remain the same.
Emily always thought she would be a farm girl so she was destined for Spring Hill Farm but let's not forget about the chickens. Brahmin, Wyandotte, Easter Eggers. The chickens are not just a charming part of the story. They are cared for, they provide eggs to her family and they are a part of this lifestyle. While I was there and we were talking chickens, how to raise them, what they need as far as care, how to keep them safe from coyotes, Emily let them out to stroll around the yard. They all have names and personalities. She called them back after a little bit and they came running for the coop like pets except for Violet who refused to come back in and hung around as we walked and talked.
If this is giving you farm girl vibes it should but let's get back to the antiques. Emily's business has grown. She has appointments at her carriage house but because it's their family homestead it's not a shop with open hours. If you're lucky enough to know her you might get a peek inside her awesome collection and like I did leave with a huge pine cabinet that wouldn't even fit in my car but I had to have. (You know the feeling). It's a pandemic but she's still selling and planning on more events in the future. I left feeling inspired to raise chickens, jealous that her barn is three stories and gorgeous, and happy to have spent a couple of hours at Spring Hill farm getting to know her story.
Visit her website: springhillfarm1820.com
Follow her on Instagram @springhillfarm1820
Better Homes and Gardens Kitchen & Baths 2014
Featured in Country Home Summer 2020