Tusculum Farm, historically known as Sundown Farms*, is included in the Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties and has a rich American history. The property was owned in the mid-18th century by Henry Griffith, a prominent Marylander who in addition to being a member of the Annapolis Convention that formed the Association of Freeman of Maryland, also witnessed the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Carl and Virginia Freeman became the owners of Tusculum Farm in May of 1964, making them the 16th in the chain of titles of the 500+ acre property dating back to 1747.
Virginia Freeman, who lived on the farm for the remainder of her life (1964-2012), used to say that “fairies lived in the woods” at Tusculum. That is the magic of the family farm, and that magic is something we have all discovered in our own way here. The mix of history, connection with the land, and the discovery of something new every time you visit is what makes this farm unique.
“Tusculum always feels best when family, friends, and new friends are visiting and celebrating.”- Michelle DiFebo Freeman
Aside from the gorgeous views and the historic structures and stables, there are also incredible personal touches to the farm that have been contributed by the Freeman family over the years. Virginia Freeman loved and planted flowers – red poppies can be seen around the farm as a representation of her love of Florence, Italy. There is a “Gertrude Stein Garden” because Virginia Freeman considered herself a poet and artist, as well as a remarkable collection of sculptures collected by Carl and Virginia Freeman that appear throughout the property.
Joshua Freeman, Carl and Virginia’s son, married Michelle DiFebo Freeman in Italy in May of 2001 and then came home to celebrate the wedding at Tusculum Farm in June 2001. Josh and Michelle added on the property together, including a two bedroom suite with a library and office in the main house and the renovation of The Hay Barn, as the family refers to it. With their children, Nicholas, Benjamin, and Juliana, there have been countless family events at the farm, including the yearly “Blessing of the Hounds” – an event celebrated for more than 30 years with the Goshen Hunt Club, large country thanksgivings, Virginia Freeman’s 80th birthday, Nick’s graduation party, various family weddings, and Carl M. Freeman Companies Annual Freeman Day at The Farm.
Every season holds special significance at Tusculum. Snow covered, it looks like a winter wonderland. Springtime brings budding flowers, new baby animals and the smell of rain. Summer brings long lazy days filled with swimming, riding, and fishing. Autumn is like watching a brilliantly colored painting come to life with the smell of fires burning in the fireplaces and homemade applesauce from our trees cooking on the stove.
The Freeman family lived on the farm up until 2015, when it was decided that Tusculum Farm would be opened up to all to create their own memories there. The farm will always be a family farm, and everyone who visits is family.
Pictured Above: Virginia Freeman, Carl Freeman, and Joshua Freeman
*When Henry Griffith owned the Tusculum property he referred to the part of the farm designated as his “dwelling plantation” as Sundown Farms.