The Farmhouse Story
ONCE UPON A DAIRY FARM...
The Farmhouse Café may be brand new but the property has a history that goes back to the early days of Greenville. The Muzzy family ties to the farm go back to 1911 when Luke’s great grandfather, Simeon Leslie (better known as S.L.) Muzzy, bought the farm and moved his parents and family there.
Prior to that the farm was owned by a number of folks including William Haines of Waterville who went on to become Governor of Maine. The farm was used in connection with his lumber operations and was known as one of the finest farms in this part of the State.
S.L. started out by growing potatoes but after a disastrous year when most carloads were frozen en route to Boston, and with everything heavily mortgaged to pay fertilizer and shipping bills, he branched into the milk business in 1913. This small beginning with three or four cows would become a business which continued for many years and was improved and expanded upon by his son Edmund.
A go-getter and a hard worker, S.L. built his dairy herd until Indian Hill Farm became the source of nearly all of the milk in the town of Greenville. To supplement his income, he combined his dairy farming with lumbering — hauling logs for several winters for Shaw Lumber Co.
In the early 1920s S.L., who had a true pioneering spirit, began a tourist business with two small cabins and a remodeled roadside stand. As travel increased and more people came to view the beautiful Moosehead Lake Region, the business grew to a cluster of housekeeping and overnight cabins on the hill overlooking the lake and the town.
In November of 1929 a fire wiped out the entire set of farm buildings on Indian Hill. The fire started in a hay loft of the dairy barn and spread unimpeded through that building, the two-story farmhouse and another large barn and out buildings. Only a wagon shed and a small building were saved. Some of the furniture in the house was removed by neighbors (some of which is used in our Café) but all the personal effects of the family were gone.
A week later rebuilding on the old site at Indian Hill commenced and with the generous help of townspeople the barn was completed in thirteen days and the cows which were temporarily housed in the Crafts barn on Eveleth Hill were moved back home. Work on rebuilding the farmhouse started in the spring and the family moved back to Indian Hill in July, 1930. The new farmhouse with its numerous upstairs bedrooms and its large downstairs dining room operated in the summer months as the “Bed & Breakfast” at Indian Hill. The home is basically the same now as it was back then. Indian Hill Farm became and remained for many years a prominent dairy farm with tourist lodgings located on the hill entering the village of Greenville and encompassing a breathtaking view of Moosehead Lake and the surrounding mountains.
S.L Leslie Muzzy died in May of 1952. His funeral service was held in the big front living room of the farmhouse, the place he built with hard work, love, and pride. By now the farm and cabins were being operated by S.L.’s son and daughter-in-law, Edmund and Elaine (Bartley) Muzzy. After Ed’s untimely death in 1959 (at the young age of 49) Elaine and their son Bill (Luke’s father) carried on at Indian Hill.
Bill, just 26 at the time, took over the farming operations. In 1961 Elaine removed the tourist cabins and built and managed the Indian Hill Motel, the first motel in the region.
By now the farm had grown into one of the largest in Piscataquis county, complete with a dairy in downtown Greenville (now the home of the Maine Guide Fly Shop). The farmhouse was constantly a beehive of activity with Bill’s wife, Callie, being the queen bee! Callie was always cooking! If it wasn’t for her three boys then it was for the farm crew or the overnight guests.
By 1970 the farm was the last of six dairy farms left in Piscataquis County. The modernization of the milk industry changed things to the point where the small farms could no longer compete and Bill made the painful decision to sell the cows and to begin a new career in construction. For the next 20 years Bill and Callie raised their boys and stayed very busy. In the mid 70s Callie took over the motel from Elaine and then in 1978 Bill and Callie built the Indian Hill Trading Post.
In 1991 Luke and Laurie purchased the Farmhouse and motel and moved their family in on Thanksgiving Day. Their children, Susan and John became the sixth generation of Muzzys to live at the farm. For the past 26 years the farmhouse has been used as a residence and has etched memories that the family will have forever.
In June of 2018 the Farmhouse made its transformation into the cafe that welcomes people today from far and wide. In November of 2018 the Muzzy Family will welcome the 7th generation as Susan and her husband Todd welcome their new baby.
In a way, Farmhouse Cafe is part of the "farm to table" movement because what once was a thriving dairy farm is now a cozy cafe where friends meet across the table. The Muzzy Family and Farmhouse Cafe await your visit and invite you to experience the next chapter of her history for yourself.