JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – This community is full of history.
“We want to make sure people know that this is a family farm that has been here for over 100 years,” Paradise Acres owner Eric McCarty said.
Eric and Laressa McCarty are opening Paradise Acres, a new family entertainment park in Johnson City. Their new piece of land is certainly full of history.
“We fell in love with the property at first then we got to know the Barker’s through the communications purchasing the land and kinda hear more and more of their story and we just love them to death,” Eric McCarty said.
This was James Barker’s farm. It ran through the Barker family.
“My parents inherited it in ’41 and I was born in ’43 in this house and we’ve been here basically ever since,” James Barker said.
James and his wife Dianne live just down the road; he’s maintained the farm for years so he can’t help but stick around and help out.
“I keep thinking they’ll run me off I keep coming back every day and checking on everything it’s amazing to see what it’s gonna become,” James Barker said.
The McCarty’s are welcoming his help. They want to open by the end of September. They’re quickly renovating the old farmhouse into the new main office. They’re also keeping the old barn.
“We’ll have a drive-in theatre on the side of the barn so you’ll park in the field and watch the movie on the side of a barn,” Eric McCarty said.
Their friend, Roddy Flett is helping out with that.
“I’m trying to put the ol’ barn back to life so putting in a lot of supports and stuff and we should have it as good as new in a week,” Flett said laughingly.
They wanted to keep these buildings here, keep the history here, and show it to the new wave of farm-goers at Paradise Acres.
“We’re talking about naming the barn the “Barker Barn” so people will see it and realize some of the family history here