Transformation and Community Relations
About Eight Years Ago the Lane Family charged Art Schiller, their trusted attorney and advisor of some 40 years, with the responsibility of preparing Eldon Stock Farm for the 21st century. In turn, Mr. Schiller wisely invited John Genho, who had been managing all aspects of the Farm’s operations for six years, to join him in “thinking out-of-the-box”.
This remarkable pair launched into this campaign with both thoughtful creativity and committed enthusiasm. Creativity and enthusiasm which will be of great
benefit to the next deserving and appreciative owner of Eldon.
Hosting a community event at Clover Hill.
Everyone in Rappahannock carefully watches change at the Farm – after all, it is the largest land holding and many are proud of its presence. Whenever an old home is torn down or a new building goes up, the level of wonder increases.
While the cattle herd has been improved, hunting leases tightened up, and timber is harvested in a more orderly fashion, one of the most visible activities is turning Clover Hill into the Farm’s business center and a location for events in its bowl-like terrain. An attractive pond, a remnant of the orchard days, has been fully restored in an environmentally sound manner and spacious parking areas have been developed.
Besides the more noticeable changes, many smaller, yet very thoughtful, projects are in process. One is the replacement of the Farm’s tired old gates – all of which will be affixed with name and number signs. This alone will enhance operational ease, personal enjoyment, and provide important information in emergency situations.
In areas which are quite accessible, several walking trails have been developed for employees and guest use. This gesture has been well-received. It should be noted that none of the Farm’s more private interior areas are affected and that no long-term agreements or permanent easements are in place. Further, all trails are limited to guests who register their presence through an online system. The Farm reserves the right to curtail or end access at any time.
Eldon is very much a part of the local community supporting the local schools and 4-H Clubs, reviving and hosting an annual picnic for its Woodville neighbors, welcoming the Rappahannock Hunt and, most recently, hosting a concert in September 2019 portraying the talents of musicians who have kept the revered culture of Rappahannock’s indigenous blues music alive.
This event honored John Jackson an early and beloved musician in the “Piedmont Blues” genre. Born the son of a tenant farmer in Woodville in 1924, Jackson received a National Heritage Fellowship in 1986, and performed for Presidents Reagan and Carter and in many high-ranking venues throughout the world.