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. Members of the Warrington family owned the farm from 1770 to 1946. 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 by Joe Hudson 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.
Marie Mayor and Sharon Harris purchased the lavender farm in 2022. In 2003 they established Lavender Fields at Warrington Manor LLC and began planting what would become 2000 lavender plants. After purchasing the farm they invited their friend Mary Ann Etu to become a business partner and the three friends worked together a build a unique agritourism retail business in Milton Delaware.
Mary Ann retired from the business in 2015.
Sharon’s management and administrative experience at the US Health Care Finance Administration (now U.S. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services) and Marie’s experience with state, local and federal education policymakers formed the foundation of the skill set to develop the Lavender Fields at Warrington Manor LLC business plan. Neither had farming experience so the early days of business development consisted of visiting over 18 lavender farms in the United States, building a library of resources for growing and using lavender, and meeting with Delaware farmers, nursery owners, and business leaders.
They enjoyed creating both a new entrepreneurial opportunity for southern Delaware’s economy and meeting the challenges of starting a business as new retirees in Milton.
Sharon served as general contractor for the restoration and renovation of the farmhouse and outbuildings on the five-acre property.
The farm attracted guests and customers from throughout the United States, including many tourists visiting southern Delaware beaches. Visitors came to enjoy the dahlia gardens, herb and flower gardens, and to walk the 11-circuit labyrinth. It became a site for weddings, parties and family celebrations in 2005.
Over the years Lavender Fields at Warrington Manor LLC has become a destination for high quality handcrafted lavender soaps, lotions, scrubs, creams, eye pillows, sachets and crafts. The business was awarded the Delaware Small Business Administration 2012 Women Business Award. The growing enterprise also developed culinary items such as blended teas, herbes de Provence, Tuscany blends and began offering English teas to small groups by reservation in 2014. The business also welcomed nonprofit businesses and Delaware Chambers of Commerce to enjoy the farm as a site their meetings and fundraisers.
The farm extended its reach in 2014 by starting an eCommerce business for the products made at the farm. The site proved particularly helpful to customers during 2020 as the nation moved through the challenges brought about by Covid-19. Hand sanitizer and related products became featured market items for customers.
In June 2020 Sharon Harris died of complications from multiple myeloma. Marie continues to serve as the LLC managing partner and welcomes opportunities to work with gardeners and new entrepreneurs in southern Delaware.
The Zen Garden is one of our owner’s favorites and is a must-see when visiting the farm!
Marie Mayor is the owner of Lavender Fields at Warrington Manor LLC, a farm in southern Delaware that grows lavender and makes handcrafted soap, lotion, and other bath and beauty specialties. The farm also specializes in blending teas and developing culinary lavender and herb products for sale in the cottage store. She has welcomed guests and visitors at the farm for over 20 years.
Marie is a graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park with a BS degree and a Masters Degree in Education. Prior to purchasing the farm in
2002 Marie held administrative roles in Baltimore County (MD) Public Schools, the Maryland State Department of Education and the US Department of Education. Her interest and support for public education continues today through the farm’s on-going relationship with the Sussex County Consortium, a K-12 program for students with disabilities.
As an owner of Lavender Fields at Warrington Manor LLC Marie has also been an active member of the community. In addition to responsibilities at the farm she served as President of the Milton Historical Society Board of Trustees and past Chair of the Southern Delaware Tourism Council. She is a supporter of locally-owned small businesses and nonprofit organizations such as the Milton Garden Club, Milton Chamber of Commerce, Historic Lewes Farmers Market, Rehoboth Beach Farmers Market and the Bethany Beach Farmers Market. Marie looks forward to continuing her active participation in Sussex County’s thriving agritourism industry.
Hi all! I’m originally from Severna Park, Maryland. Maryland is where I went to school, started a career with Usairways and met my husband Will. Maryland is where we hoped to raise our two children Collin and Claire. Unfortunately, due to the events of September 11, 2001 our jobs at US Airways came to an abrupt end.
After 18 years working at US Airways we decided to embrace the idea that change can be a good thing. We sold our house , packed up the car with our kids and the dog and we moved to the beach to “live on love!” Yes, everyone thought we were crazy. In 2005, I met the “Lavender Ladies” at the Lewes Historical Society Craft Show and like they say, “the rest is history.” Today, I am currently the Farm Manager where I oversee the day to day operation of this beautiful five acre lavender farm. When I’m not on the property you can find me set up at one of the many local farmers markets. Want to hear more of the story? Stop by the farm and say hi!