There hasn't been much Mildred Nixon hasn't tried over the past 40 years to make money on her 129-acre sprawl of rolling hills and trees in West Friendship.
It has been a country club, a summer camp for children, a restaurant, and now it serves as rural corporate meeting spot, netting about $500,000 last year. The 68-year-old originally from Charlotte, N.C., hopes to expand a one-house assisted-care facility for the elderly to four to six more houses and possibly a group home for disadvantaged children.
Tonight, in celebration of the farm's 40th anniversary, she and her son, Randall Nixon, are wining and dining about 100 area business owners, County Council members and community leaders to gather their support and get their ideas for the next endeavors.
"It's not been easy to keep things going, but I always did want to have a big farm, and I'll do whatever it takes to get there," said Mildred Nixon. "We've hung on, and now we're ready to develop this a step further to things that will help people."
She and her husband, Roosevelt, bought the farm just off Route 32 in 1956 for $129,000 -- an amount she said seemed high at the time. But the property has doubled in value, she said.
Working the land in soybeans and alfalfa proved unprofitable. That lead the couple to seek other uses for the farm.
After Roosevelt Nixon was shot and killed in 1972 by a robber in a Baltimore liquor store he owned, Mildred Nixon decided to offer corporate functions, picnics, school field trips and family reunions. Word-of-mouth endorsements and repeat customers have lead to about 125 events a year -- enough to pay bills, she said.
Pub Date: 11/21/96