|As reported by Mike Naylor, in the Weirton
Daily Times September 18, 1999:
"It's not your typical
Nestled into the hills of western Pennsylvania is Weatherbury Farm, a 104-acre
vacation mecca for boomers anxious to getaway from the hustle-and bustle
of city life and get a taste of life on a working
Located just outside Avella, it's owned and operated by Marcy and Dale Tudor and
their son, Nigel.
The Tudors got the idea back in 1980-81m when Dale was on a liaison assignment
with Bayer AG in Leverkusen, Germany. Six weeks' vacation is standard for German
workers, and Dale took full advantage of it.
"Soon discovered pensiones and guest houses and loved the experience,"
Marcy Tudor said. "We enjoyed the opportunity so much that we decided a bed
and breakfast would be in our future."
When they returned to the states, the Tudors vacationed
at bed and breakfasts -- all the while looking for an old house they could
restore. They found their dream property in 1986 and named it 'Weatherbury
Farm," a nod to the setting of Thomas Hardy's
novel, "Far from the Madding crowd."
The Tudors said they chose it because the farm,
while only 20 miles from the hustle and bustle of Pittsburgh, is 'a place apart,
where life moves at a different pace.'
They're raising Hereford cattle, a small herd of
Scottish Highland cattle and a flock of registered Southdown sheep. They've also
got a flock of bantam chickens for their guests to
The farmhouse, set a mid a cluster of historic farm buildings, currently boasts
four guest rooms with private baths, but the Tudors are in the process of
transforming a barn into three suites and a guest room that will be handicapped
Marcy Tudor said they have several programs geared to teaching kids about
farming and farm animals, but said it's an experience that all ages enjoy.
This year, she said they've enjoyed about 75 percent occupancy since June.
Unlike past years, when most of the farm's guests were from the Ohio Valley, the
'Power of the Internet' had brought them visitors from all over the world.
"Everybody seems to enjoy their visit, it's such an easy place to stop,'
she said. It's location has made it a favorite of motorists making the Michigan
to Washington D.C. trip, since it's situated at the midway point.
And she said Weatherbury Farm as also been a home-away-from-home for visitors
form Australia, England, Japan and other countries.
'The best part about this business is meeting all the different
people from all over the world and all the different states,' Marcy said.
"It's particularly special when people come back time after time and you
actually watch the children grow up.'
Marcy said she and Dale want to give city dwellers a chance to experience life
on the farm.
'The farm has been very successful and I just think the whole atmosphere is
wonderful,' she said. 'It's reall9y fun and gives us something to do.'
Despite the long hours involved in having visitors in their home and taking care
of the farm, Marcy said she wouldn't have it any other way.
'This is a family business, and although we are always working, at least we are
doing it together.' Marcy said.
Weatherbury is just one of about 25 farm vacations sites in the Commonwealth.
Marcy, who heads the Pennsylvania Farm Vacations Association, said it's not a
The PFVA, chartered in 1963 as an affiliate of the Pennsylvania Department of
Agriculture, was intended to help Pennsylvania's small family farms develop ad
additional income source by bringing paying guests into their homes. Farm
vacations not only allow many small family farms to remain economically viable,
but it also helps to preserve the state's rich farming heritage.
Weatherbury Farm received the Rural Sustainable Tourism Award from the Center
for Rural Pennsylvania in 1995 and was one of six small businesses nationwide to
win Microsoft/Home Office Computing's Most Innovative Business Marketing Award
for 'entrepreneurial creativity and desktop marketing savvy.'"
This article also appeared in Pennsylvania Focus,
September 11, 1999, with a slightly different lead, as reported by Mike Naylor:
"The answer to the perfect vacation
-- a mixture of excitement and relaxation may be right before you eyes.
At Weatherbury Farm, located just outside of Avella, vacationers can
experience life on a 104-acre farm.
The farm owned and operated by Marcy and Dale Tudor and their son Nigel,
offers visitors an opportunity to savor the sights and sounds of country life.
The Tudors got the idea back in 1980-91, when Dale was on liaison assignment"
... (and continues, in general, as above).