The origins of Mather’s Mill Farm predate the year 1800. In 1798, one of the founding families of LaRue County, which was then part of Hardin County began operation of a grist mill on the south fork of the Nolin River, approximately 3 miles south of present-day Hodgenville.
In 1802 Richard Mather acquired some 15,000 acres of the larger 30,000 acre track. The holdings of Richard Mather stretched south to the Tanner Community, in an area sometimes known as the “Barrens” several miles south of the grist mill to some 15 to 20 miles north of present-day Elizabethtown, KY.
One of Richard Mather’s sons, Carey Mather, married Elizabeth, the daughter of Gabriel Kirkpatrick, owner of Kirkpatrick’s Mill December 15, 1841. They had 14 children and resided in a substantial brick residence erected close to the mill site which later became known as the Mather Mansion on a 60 acre portion of the original Richard Mather acreage through the 1930s.
In 1917, the approximately 60 acre farm passed into several hands before it was purchased back into the family by Madison and Mary Mather in 1949. Madison and Mary, after purchasing the farm, never moved into the old brick mansion as Madison had promised Mary a new home as they had spent many years living in other homes on tenant farms that were old and drafty. Madison and Mary began the construction of their new home in that they lived in the rest of their lives, and which is now part of the Mather’s Mill event venue.
The Mather Farm has always been known for being rich and fertile and a good tobacco farm as well as a dairy and beef farm. During Madison’s time on the farm, he had a small dairy, where the cows were hand milked until an electric milking parlor was completed. Until that time milk was stored in large cans, several of which are in our inventory of décor, until the cans were picked up to be taken to the Carnation Creamery. The farm produced corn, soybeans, hay, wheat and straw. The farm is grew speciality crops such as sweet potatoes, strawberries, blackberries, and annual gardens which produced produce for the family and local grocery store, Houchens. The farm was home to chickens, hogs, and two wonderful draft horses, Nell and Bess, who were used to plow the tobacco, the gardens and it pull various farm implements including mowers, tobacco setters, garden plows and other draft horse work.
The tobacco barn is believed to have been built in the 1947 time period. It was used as a tobacco barn for well over 60+ years. It was constructed of oak, with a separate attached stripping room. The barn annually housed around 1 acre or 3,000 lbs of green burley tobacco prior to it being cured. The tobacco was sold at various of the regional markets ranging from Greenburg, Horse Cave, Springfield, Lebanon, Lexington and Louisville tobacco markets. It housed some of the finest burley grown in LaRue County. Sale day at the tobacco market is when farmers paid off their operating loans. A trip to the market with your crop was a big day as it helped to provide money for the entire year. An interesting note of the farm, although it produced some of the best burley tobacco in the central Kentucky area, Madison was never known to have smoked.
The house used for the wedding venue was added onto at least twice, a small addition to the left and a larger addition to that section in early 1970s. The house was initially heated by a “warm morning” fuel oiled stove, later a coal stove in the basement and eventually modern fuel oil furnace. Air conditioning was not installed until the early 1980s. Many nights the family would stay outside during the summer until the heat dissipated. The original back porch was a framed up to about waist level with screens on the upper level. The kitchen area of the venue was the home to thousands of cakes baked by Mary Mather as a sideline business. She created anniversary, birthday, wedding cakes, cookies and candy beginning in the 1970s. Mary could make almost any type of cake and decorate it to fit any theme of your choosing. This was on top of her ability to milk cows with Madison in the mornings and evenings.
The property has undergone a complete remodel for its next chapter and is a beautiful combination of historic charm and modern amenities.
The event barn has been fully insulated, lined in cedar, with beautiful wood beams throughout. The space also boasts a prep kitchen, fridge, bathrooms, and concrete floors. Our barn can comfortably seat 130 while also allowing space for catering, bar, dance floor, cake table, and more.
We also have fully renovated the 2 bedroom/2 bathroom farmhouse available for your wedding party glam sessions. Our groom’s lounge is slated for completion by Fall 2023.
The grounds are a perfect for ceremony, cocktail hour, lawn games, or a tent to accommodate higher guest counts.
Mather’s Mill offers full weekend rentals to allow for decorating, rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception, and clean-up. We know that weddings are intricate and the exclusive access for three days provides the time to accomplish all of those final details.