Secluded views on pastoral acreage

Photos by Joshua Berry

Chuck and Jennifer Bashore own the Pride-Bashore Home, secluded at the end of a winding lane that accesses a farm and horse pastures.

“Madison is the typical friendly, small Southern town, even though it has grown to be a big town. Living in the Madison Station Historic District, we still have the feel of a small town,” Jennifer said. “You know your neighbors, and they know you. The improvements to the old downtown are wonderful, and I hope it continues.”

Pride Hill Farm

In 1911, Dr. William Thomas Pride and his wife, Mary Fletcher Pride, built the house on a knoll near their cotton fields. Pride was Madison’s second physician.

In 1980 the Bashores purchased the house from Ernie Raper, an electronics salesman. “We were attracted to the property by the numerous large white oak trees, with sufficient property to keep a horse for my daughter,” Jennifer said. Their property, Pride Hill Farms, covers 26 acres. The Bashores first purchased the house and 12 acres, and they later bought the adjoining cotton field from the Pride family – after making efforts to buy it for years for the pasture and the old mule barn. “I finally acquired the property, but the mule barn had collapsed into a big heap of rubble. The wood on our kitchen walls came from that old mule barn,” Chuck said.

Days gone by

Their acreage includes a hay barn, bell tower, an original tenant house converted to a tractor shed and an outhouse, rebuilt several times. Chuck converted a stone building into a garden shed.

The original house lacked electricity, central heat or running water. With high ceilings, four front rooms, two bedrooms, dining room and living room – which is now a library – the house retains much of the original footprint.

Destroyed by fire in past decades, the original kitchen was rebuilt with adjustments behind the house. The Bashores added a bathroom and family room.

“In the old part of the house, original wall stoves have been converted to fireplaces,” Jennifer said. “Trim woodwork, mostly oak and walnut, has been restored. This home is a never-ending renovation – always something to change or fix or paint.”

Town and country

The house is typical center-hall bungalow style with a brick false foundation. Lapboard siding covers the exterior. Seven rooms and 3.5 bathrooms encompass approximately 4,500 square feet.

The house has most of the original hardwood floors, found under various coverings. Today, hardwoods are restored, and some areas are carpeted.

The house mixes antiques with traditional furniture. “Some antique pieces were handed down from my family. I have either made or restored some 24 pieces,” Chuck said.

“The house was intended to be a casual, comfortable country home. To that end, I think we have been successful,” Jennifer said. “There was no grand plan for any of the rooms, but it has an eclectic feel – some old, some new and some in between.”

Talk with the animals

At dusk in summer, the family lounges on the back screened porch with guard dogs Patch and Whimsy and cat Gracie and watch their horses playing in the field.

The Bashores use the family room as living space, enhanced with expansive windows to view to their horses in the pasture. “The property is heavily wooded, but we can see the horses on perhaps five acres of land through the windows,” Jennifer said.

Chuck formerly raised Arabian horses. Now, the family owns Amigo, a thoroughbred gelding; Little-Bit-A-Gold, a Quarter Horse mare; Sully, an Arabian/Quarter cross colt; and Gabriel, an Andalusian/Quarter cross colt that was born on the farm from the Bashores’ mare in 2018.

“We have a 10-stall barn that I built years ago. Both Jennifer and I have worked with horses for many years, riding and training but no longer showing,” Chuck said. “In addition to the domestic critters, we have chipmunks, squirrels, raccoons, frogs, grey herons, red-tail hawks, great horned owls, snakes, coyotes, armadillo, opossum and several kinds of turtles and ducks.”

A wild turkey visited briefly in 2018, and foxes have poked around in previous years. “This year’s resident coyote is very red in color. I’ve never seen a red coyote here before,” Chuck said.

Chuck grew up in Wilmington, Ohio, while Jennifer was raised in Apache Junction, Arizona. “I came here in 1976 to start a business,” Chuck said. “Jen is retired but works harder than ever on the farm. I’m retired but still CEO of Label Aid Systems Inc.”

When farm chores are done, Chuck schedules time on Saturdays for flying, pursues woodworking and swimming three days each week. Jennifer works with the horses, gardens, sews and reads.