Not too long ago we toured the ‘other’ Rockefeller estate in Carver State Park. Long Valley Farm belonged to James Stillman Rockefeller, nephew of John D. Rockefeller. Stillman bought the farm in 1937 and completed construction, on what would be his summer house, in 1938. The house was built in the Colonial Revival style. The farm encompasses 1400 acres acres and has more than 24 buildings on site including Mill Pavilion, Mill House and Gates, Pack House, Forge, Great Barn, Overseer’s House, Tobacco Barns, Worker’s Houses, Spring-house, and Water Tower.
During WWII Stillman served with the Airborne Command and developed a real passion for the military and aircraft. From a wooden platform high up in a tree, he would spend hours watching the aircraft take off from Pope AFB.
When Stillman died in 2004 he bequeathed the house and 1400 acres to the NC Nature Conservancy. The house sat empty and abandoned for more than 6 years until 2010 when the Conservancy finally accepted the donation and set about restoring it. With funding from the state and grant money they’ve restored the roof and pumped standing water from the cellar. According to the guide…there were snakes living there…probably feeding on the mice. the house is in surprising good condition for having been neglected so long, and it’s spacious, but not ostentatious. The other Rockefeller estate located nearby, was known for its opulence. It had large homes with sprawling wings, polo stables, and a fox hunting lodge. They even built a private train depot to receive guests. By comparison, Long Valley Farm is modest.
Hiking trails near the estate are open to the public during posted hours, and staff conduct regular tours of the Rockefeller House. The next tour is scheduled for Saturday, January 26, 2019 – 2:00pm
For more information call Carvers Creek State Park 910-436-4681
- November to February:
8:00am to 6:00pm
- March to May:
8:00am to 8:00pm
- June to August:
8:00am to 9:00pm
- September to October:
8:00am to 8:00pm