For the last four years, the arrival of fall has also meant Apple Cider Days at Donaldson-Bannister Farm. This year, Dunwoody Preservation Trust continues the tradition Saturday Nov.14.
This year is particularly significant for Donaldson-Bannister Farm, marking 150 years since the home was built by William J. and Millie Adams Donaldson. The land was acquired from Jesse Adams, Millie’s father. Six families called the farm home through the years until it was purchased by DeKalb County in 2006. When Dunwoody became a city, Donaldson-Bannister Farm became a city park.
It is always fun when animals return to the farm, and Apple Cider Days will include a petting zoo. Other activities include crafts for children and a self-guided apple scavenger hunt around the farm. A display of vintage farm tools and home goods gives adults and children an idea of what life was like on the farm and in the farm community of Dunwoody.
A new addition this year is Scarecrow Row. Schools, civic organizations, athletic groups, neighborhoods, faith-based organizations and families are invited to submit their family-friendly scarecrow by Nov. 10. Go to appleciderdays.org to enter the contest, then look for your scarecrow on display in the meadow. Prizes will be awarded in the categories of Best in Show, Scariest Scarecrow and People’s Choice Award.
Walk around the farm and picture Millie Adams Donaldson managing the 600-plus acre farm as a widow after William J. died in 1900. Imagine children Fred and Fletcher Donaldson in 1930 being pulled in a cart by a goat or trying to throw a ball over the house in a game called Annie Over. Picture widow Lois Pattillo (later Bannister) meeting with her architect Francis Palmer Smith in 1935 to plan her remodel of the home from farmhouse to Colonial Revival style.
Visualize the Ogden family in 1949 swimming in the creek down the road, back when the property was 29 acres. Or multiple greenhouses on the land in 1960 when nursery owner Frank Smith lived here with his family. You may still remember the horses and donkeys the Chesnuts had on the farm through the 1980s and 1990s.
To accomplish social distancing, three time slots are scheduled for Apple Cider Days, noon until 1:30 p.m., 1:45 p.m. until 3:15 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. until 5 p.m. Face masks are recommended, and hand sanitizing stations will be located around the farm. Go to appleciderdays.org to purchase tickets for your time slot.
Chick-fil-A will be there with food and beverages for purchase. Craft beer will be available from Moondog Growlers.
Free parking for Apple Cider Days will be available at Independence Square office park at the corner of Peeler Road and Chamblee Dunwoody Road.