Lavender Fields History

History of the Farm

Lavender Fields was part of a 1000-acre patent made by William Penn in 1684 to Molestine and Kipstaven.  In 1685, Molestine sold his share to Thomas Fisher, whose son Joshua sold the property to Reverend James Martin in 1736.  The Fisher house (later the Martin homestead) stood near the intersection of Cool Spring and Fisher Roads and is now know as the “Fisher-Martin” house which serves as the Lewes Chamber of Commerce office after being moved to Savannah Road in 1985.

Over the years the land was handed down to family, sold and subdivided in 1973 to the current five acres.  The property has always been a producing farm, starting as a major fruit grower in the late 1850s with 3,400 peach trees as well as apples, pears and other small fruits.  Grain and sugarcane were also grown and sorghum was manufactured.  The old house was demolished and the new manor house built around the turn of the century.

In 1958, W. Weldon and Elizabeth Brittingham, dairy farmers who owned Lewes Dairy, purchased the property and added the silos, corn crib and milking shed where they processed their milk prior to transfer.

After they sold it to the Heikels, who lived on the farm for 21 years, Pauline Petitt purchased the farm in 1994.  Her father was a well known lavender grower in England and Pauline renamed the farm “Manor at Cool Spring Bed & Breakfast and Lavender Farm” and became known locally as the “Lavender Lady”.  She planted the first lavender plants and sold the first lavender products.   She sold the farm to the current owners in October of 2002.  After several years of hard work, many updates and projects Lavender Fields at Warrington Manor has become a popular year round agri-tourism destination for visitors and locals alike.  Centrally located in between Georgetown, DE and the Lewes, Rehoboth DE beaches in Milton, DE.

 

 

The Tea Room

Built in the 1980s, the building/station was not an actual railroad station but served as the office/station for a commercial venture that included a train ride, dinner and sometimes a murder mystery. The company went out of business in the 1990s and since then, the station has sat empty in a parking lot near the railroad tracks.

The owners of Lavender Fields, Marie Mayor and Sharon Harris, with the help of Rowland Bradley and Nancyfaye Autenzio, restored the station to what it looked like decades ago. The old Queen Anne’s Railroad Station in Lewes was rescued from a bulldozer’s wrath and found a new home, thanks in part to an event sponsored by the Historic Lewes Farmers Market. 

Part of the restoration included the addition of large cupola like one that once towered over the station and the building now serves as part commercial kitchen and part tea room for small parties. 

The Drying Barn

The Drying Barn is a two story shingled building between the Cottage Store and the Tea Room/Kitchen.  It dates back to the mid 1950’s, when this was a dairy farm.  After lots of work and renovation, it now serves as a small meeting room, art gallery, and is where we dry our hand cut lavender bundles upstairs.

The Labyrinth

The Labyrinth is located behind the barn within a circle of trees and is an exact duplicate of the Labyrinth embedded in the floor of the Cathedral of Chartres near Paris, France. Like the Chartres Labyrinth, it has eleven circuits, is 42 feet in diameter and a one-half mile journey to walk both in and out. The entryway pergola is heavy with blooming wisteria in the spring.  

The meditation labyrinth is one of the oldest contemplative and transformational tools known, having been used for many hundreds of years for prayer, ritual, initiation and spiritual growth. Like the Labyrinth, each of our lives is a sacred journey. It is about letting go and continuously expanding one’s vision of what is possible. We are all on the path…exactly where we need to be. The Labyrinth is a model of that path. There is only one way in and one way out. However, there is no right or wrong way to walk a Labyrinth. Every way is a good way. Walk the labyrinth with a quiet, open mind and heart, focusing on the Spirit.

                                                      

 

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