We’re so happy and proud to be able to preserve and repurpose a small but beautiful piece of Tallahassee farm history that dates back over 150 years.
Scott Carruthers purchased the farm in 1988 after discovering a for-sale sign on a run-down old horse stable - which was then called “Double D” - while bike riding. Despite its dilapidated condition, Carruthers saw in the barn all his unfulfilled childhood dreams of owning a farm, horses and a barn. And now, for over 38 years, Carruthers has nurtured and helped breathe new life into the one-of-a-kind East Tallahassee property. The 14-acre parcel was once part of a 300-plus acre cattle and dairy farm owned by the Arvah Hopkins Family, who lost their fortune and beloved Goodwood Plantation after the Civil War. Arvah Hopkins was a young Yankee adventurer from Ithaca, New York, who came to the Florida territory in the mid-1840s and was one of only eight U.S. millionaires listed in the “Blue Book,” a popular 20th Century Magazine about the lives and adventures of well known Americans.
The Miccosukee Road farm was initially owned by Charles Hopkins, Arvah’s son who also served as Leon County Sheriff for several years. After Charles’ death, the farm was inherited by his sons Arvah, who was Tallahassee’s longtime City Manager, and Bill, who was the
longtime State Attorney. Together they were a force to be reckoned with, and rumor has it that they successfully lobbied to have I-10 run through their property in the 1970s. Bill eventually sold off his part of the farm on the west side of I-10 that is now the site of the Amazon Distribution Center that’s slated to open in 2023.
Arvah’s 120-plus acres of farmland were operated as a riding stable - named “Double D” - by his daughter Ricki for over 25 years from the 1960s to 1988. According to a retired worker from the City of Tallahassee who said he helped build the horse barn, the barn was built with material salvaged from the old centennial ball field, which was located in what is now Cascades Park. In 1988, Arvah Hopkin’s son Mike began developing over 100-plus acres of the remaining farmland into the Arvah Branch neighborhood, which now is home to nearly 100 local families.
The 14-acre parcel of Feather Oaks Farm is the last surviving piece of farmland from the original 300-plus acre Hopkins Family Farm still in agricultural use.
Today Feather Oaks is a place where memories are made ... weddings, graduations, concerts and dinner parties under the pergola. Will continue to serve Tallahassee and all of their event needs with so much more to offer.
We have added the 'Tasting Bar(n)', the bike shop and regular hours for the public to come and relax. It's the perfect place after a long day at work or a long ride on the greenway featuring a crosswalk straight from the Farm to the trail.
And don't forget the newly planted muscadine grape vineyard just outside the Tasting Bar(n). Once those grapes ripen, the muscadine table grapes will be available for the public to pick and purchase, while the muscadine wine grapes - both white and red - will be used to create Tallahassee's first small-batch winery with bottles exclusively for purchase at Feather Oaks.
Feather Oaks' latest agrotourism project is being overseen by FAMU's School of Agriculture Senior Agricultural Assistant Mike Garrett, who planted the vineyard and tends to the Feather Oaks crop weekly when he's not overseeing FAMU's 50-acre viticulture vineyard.