Historic farm retreat

Historic farm retreat

When one of your best college friends buys a farm and invites you to come hang out for a weekend and reminisce while you also get to commune with nature and horses, well, you get out your calendar and find the time. And so it was this past weekend that my dear friend Dawn Dixon and her sister, Gail Holt and I found ourselves in Hillsboro, Missouri on Rock House Farm.

Located about 45 minutes from St. Louis, this little piece of heaven was originally a working dairy farm. The storybook stone building you see in the picture above was actually where they kept the milk before delivering it to the area residents way back when. I’ll be jumping around from building to building as I give you the tour, but I have to show you the original stone house that Dawn and her husband Tom have restored.

This is the view from the road. The house sits on about fifty acres of rolling farm land with various sheds and barns.

The blue back door and old stone grill had me at hello. There were also lilac bushes bursting with blooms and filling the air with their sweet scent.

Inside are original floors and lovely antiques that really work in the home.  Dawn had open shelves made with pottery that reminded her of one of Martha Stewart’s kitchens.

The Dixons took what used to be a screened in porch and turned it into the casual dining area with wooden walls and a great ceiling.

Below is the view from the dining room looking into their living room. The antler chandeleir is the real deal, not a faux fixture.  Dawn had alot of the chairs reupholstered with fabric that fit the farmhouse look and Tom hunted for old horse prints that work so well.

This is the master bedroom. There is a second one used by their daughters when they’re home from college.  Both have antique beds and beautiful old rugs like the rest of the house.  But most of the time isn’t spent inside. It’s outside with their beloved horses, Legacy and Miracle.

Riding instructor and trainer Brittany Kupferer from Peace of Heaven Farms works with them often.

I have to say that Miracle and I had a connection right away which Dawn said was unusual. I’m not saying that I’m any kind of horse whisperer, like Brittany, but it was a sweet moment when it happened.



Legacy is a younger male with a mind of his own who was a bit more unpredictable but what a personality! Gail hit it off with him. Maybe because, she, too has a great personality!

Tom showed me several of the buildings they hope to restore in the future.  One area is the upstairs of the large barn which has great bones.


Another cool spot is the space where the cows were milked back in the day.

We were only at the farm for two days which gave me a taste of the simple life that’s alot of hard work but for us, it was mostly play.


Gail Holt, Dawn Dixon (sisters;Dawn-farm owner)


I’m so grateful for the time with these sisters who I share so many memories with, and we promised not to let so much time go by without getting together again, whether it’s down on the farm or some other retreat.

Here’s hoping you, too, have dear friends you can catch up with in a rustic, wholesome environment like Rock House Farm.

Hope you reach out to your college or high school friends and make plans to get together and share your retreats with me!  amy@stylishretreats.com   You can also follow me on Instagram  @stylishretreats

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