A Harrisonburg family legacy continues at Creekside Farm
The Barn at Creekside Farm in Harrisonburg is a shelter for antiques. Since 2016, the Cline Family, who bought the property in 1967, has been hosting monthly events for customers to explore refurbished goods. WMRA’s Chris Boros recently spoke with Tami and Sydnee Cline, two members of the team at Creekside Farm. Chris asked Tami to talk about the barn’s history.
Tami Cline: My mom and dad bought the farm in 1967 and then when I was 12, we've decided to go into dairy farming and we milked cows there to 2006 and the barn set empty. And then I guess in 2014, I kind of took a liking to refurbishing and creating and we started the barn in our own heads. And then in a 2015 we started the construction on the old bank barn. And so the place basically had to be completely gutted and redone. So now we have vendors and in there and us.
WMRA: So tell me about the current barn. What is it all about?
Sydnee Cline: The barn is the bank barn, it was built in the 1800s and then we renovated it to be a vintage market. So it's open monthly or random dates throughout the year and the entire downstairs is sectioned off to have vendors in it and there are vendors outside. And then there are also a few vendors upstairs with us where we decorate and have a vintage display section ourselves.
WMRA: When did this concept happen?
Tami: I took my mom up to Maryland to another barn and I said, oh wouldn't it be great to turn our barn into something like this? We all love the fact that you can take something old and make it into something new. That you don't just have to throw it away and destroy it. You can create something in your own mind to where it would fit into your life style and the girls got a hankering for doing that too. It’s a family thing.
WMRA: It sounds like you really built a community with this barn and farm and these people coming in, do you feel like that's what's happening?
Tami: I do feel like that was part of the reason that we had done it was because we wanted to be involved in our community.
WMRA: Is there a mission that you are working on with this project?
Tami: We want the barn to bring joy. The world is so hard and so crazy right now that if we can spark joy, even if it's just two or three people, we've accomplished what we're going to do. Somebody said, we built this business, are you making any money, and we're like, nope but we’re having fun. Sometimes it's not about the money. Sometimes it's about just making enough to get by, but you're making joy and sparking something in another individual.
WMRA: It sounds like this project has brought joy to the family.
Tami: Oh most definitely.
Sydnee: We get to work together every day and that’s super fun.
WMRA: Has it brought the family closer?
Tami: Sometimes yes and sometimes no. It's hard working for family. We've all been fired several times.
WMRA: What's the future look like for the barn and the farm - where do you want to go from here?
Tami: My mom just passed away in June, it's hard. It's hard to decide what she would want. Regardless, she's not here and it is a what we want now. We want the barn to grow, but we also don't want the barn to be so big that we can't have that one-on-one with our customers.
Sydnee: It's a very personal connection when you come to the barn. It's very often that you can catch one of us alone and like have a conversation about something or be out on the porch enjoying the view. It’s a really personal experience that a lot of people come just for that.
Tami: A lot of bank barns are torn down now. They're outdated and we didn't want to tear our barn down. We have a lot of great family memories and fun.
WMRA: So your mom still had an opportunity to see what happened with the barn and she was involved?
Tami: She was very involved. She was one of my main [partner].
Sydnee: It was the two of them in the beginning.
WMRA: So, it's a sort of a legacy for her?
Tami: It’s definitely a legacy for her.
Sydnee: That's why spreading joy and love is I guess our mission statement because that's who she was as a person.
WMRA: Is that the reason you're doing it?
Tami: I think it was a rush. We were the first vintage market in Harrisonburg and it was an adrenaline rush. Like we're going to make this go, and none of us have really run a business. I mean, we've run a farm but not a business and I feel blessed that my mom gave me the opportunity to do the barn because it was just a dream. And I think she realized that with this dream we could reach other people and make people realize that the world isn't full of hate – it’s full of love.