History of the Farm
Willard D Hamill was born in 1932 and grew up on Vinyard Avenue exploring the outdoors along nearby Glade Creek.
Drafted into the Army, Willard Hamill narrowly survived the Korean War, having two grenades thrown into his bunker - neither exploded. The war convinced him to make full use of his life, and he attended Virginia Tech. His first choice of majors, Forestry, required calculus so he instead majored in business and became an investment broker in 1958.
In the early 1960s he bought land in Bedford County and planted Christmas trees.
Working as a broker, he called on a law office in Marion, VA and met a legal secretary, Jeanette Martin. In the late 1960s they got married and later had two children. The whole family got involved in growing trees. In 1974, the family started selling trees from the front yard of the King St home. In the 1980s they bought land behind the house, connecting with the Hamill homeplace on Vinyard Avenue.
In the early 2000s the younger son, John, took over the business.
Older tree customers tell stories of King Street used for moonshine transfers during Prohibition. Several Native American artifacts have been found on the property, likely from a hunting camp. Located on a shelf overlooking Glade Creek, a good water source, the place was downwind from the salt licks near modern downtown, making hunting easier.