Friday, September 23, 2011

Ralph Barker Richlawn Farm film

The MediaPreserve at Preservation Technologies just delivered another amazing digitized film! This is just a brief clip of the original 19 minute amateur film.

In 1879, Myron Barker, a major tobacco broker, set up residence on land that he called Richlawn Farm in Carrollton, Kentucky. He raised tobacco and operated as an independent broker until 1902 when he sold his interest to the American Tobacco Co. In the early 1900’s, after Myron’s death, the farm land was owned by Adelaide (Barker) Fisher, Myron’s daughter. She and her husband, William Fisher, built a summer home on the property. In 1918, Adelaide and William lost their house to a fire and they began a rebuilding process over the next five years. Sadly, nearly one year before the home was finished, Adelaide became ill and passed away. At that time, William Fisher sold the land along with the nearly completed home to Adelaide’s brother, Ralph M. Barker (married to Nell Long Barker), whom completed work on Highland House in 1923. Richlawn Farm was significant to citizens of Carroll County as it was a place of social events and gatherings. During holidays such as Christmas and Fourth of July, the Richlawn yard would be elaborately decorated. Ralph M. Barker owned the R.M. Tobacco Company, started the Carrollton Phone System, the Carrollton Cannery and was a prominent local businessman. In addition, he was known for his love of dogs and at one time owned 37 Great Danes.

The Ralph Barker, Richlawn Farm Film Collection, ca. 1935-1964 consists of 121 films; 47, 8mm films and 74, 16mm films. The bulk of the collection is amateur home and vacation movies in color and black and white; there are also two Castle Films News Parade reels. The amateur films document the family life of Ralph M. Barker, his friends, and family on Richlawn farm in Carrollton, Kentucky. Common scenes include: Mr. Barker and his dogs; visiting friends; scenes around the home; floods and high water; the Kentucky River and river transportation; Easter activities; Christmas scenes; farm work and activities; setting tobacco; Birthday parties; and Fourth of July celebrations.

The films also document Cincinnati Reds baseball games, Florida training sessions and other baseball games and players including: The 1939 World Series; Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh; Boston Bees vs. Brooklyn Dodgers, 1940; the Yankees and Cardinals in 1940; Cincinnati Reds’ Johnny Vander Meer, Don Lang, Whitey Moore (Lloyd Albert Moore), and others.


The Banker said...

I'm hoping someone might be able to shed some light on a curiosity for me. I recently came across a 1906 letterhead from the R. M. Barker & Co. in Carrollton, Kentucky. It states they are the makers of "Barker Brand Rye and Bourbon Whiskies." On the illustration is a portrait of an English bulldog. I can't help but think this R. M. Barker is the same one referred to in your blog post, but I didn't see any mention of his owning a distillery in Carrollton. I've also searched online and can't find any mention of the "Barker Brand" whiskey. R. M. Barker's name is always attached to the tobacco industry, but not whiskey. Any light you can shed on this?

The Banker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
das said...

It does seem that this is the same Ralph M. Barker and I know that he owned a cannery in Carrollton in addition to his tobacco interests. I don't recall anything in his film collection documenting bourbon though. I'll have to do further investigation.

John Hargenrader said...

Ralph Barker paid for my mother to go to college. She grew up in a very poor family near Worthville.