Built in 1874, The Willet Family Farm has served as home for several generations of the Willet Family. Once known as “Sunnyside Farm”, “Willet View” and the location for the “Barnstorm Festival”, the farm was instantly recognizable by its large red barn, squeaky windmill, and daffodil fields. Everyone was always welcome on the property, and the thousands of guests that did visit left knowing the land as “sacred ground”.
The Willet Farm survived many hardships including The Great Depression, the 1999 tornado that destroyed the barn, and cancer that claimed the life of family members too early. In 2006, The farm had to be sold outside of the family, but in an effort to honor past generations and preserve the heritage of what the farm stood for (faith, family and hard work), the farm was purchased in 2017 by Jeremy Willet (Grandson of Robert Willet who grew up on the farm) & his wife, Kathleen Willet, placing it back into the Willet Family. The 13 acre farm is perfectly located in the middle of Sonshine Acres; over 50 acres of farmland owned now by Jeremy’s parents, and adjacent to farmland owned by cousins Jesse & Josh Willet.
On October 30th, 2017, the newly restored farmhouse burned down due to the improper installation of the fire-insert by a local company earlier that summer. What appeared as a major set-back to the vision of the farm, the family persevered believing the words found in Isaiah 43:19, “For I am about to do something NEW”, and began to rebuild in 2018.
In 2019, the new farmhouse was complete, along with a renewed commitment to create an inclusive environment where neighbors are invited to gather together as a holistic solution to poverty and injustice. Through partnerships with local and global organizations, a peaceful homestead is being established with an organic community garden, pond and stream, pasture for small livestock, walking trails, campsite, and a gathering space for events that inspire change.