: This subject of this color photograph is the “Big House” of Malabar Farm, located near Mansfield, Ohio, ca. 1970s. The Colonial Revival home has a white exterior accented by green shutters and a green roof. In front of the house, a dirt road curves gracefully to the right. The house was designed to look as if sections had been added to it over the years. Malabar Farms was added to the National Register of Historic Places in April 1973.
Author-conservationist Louis Bromfield purchased the farm in January 1939 and enlisted the help of Mansfield architect Louis Andre Lamoreux (1895-1975) to design and build the 32-room house. The project began in 1939 and was completed in 1940.
Louis Bromfield (1896-1956) was a successful author and strong advocate of scientific agriculture and soil conservation. He was born near Mansfield, Ohio. He attended Cornell Agricultural College from 1914 to 1916 and then transferred to Columbia University to earn a degree in journalism. Bromfield left Columbia before graduating. During World War I, he joined the American Ambulance Corps with the French Army and served until 1919. After the end of World War I, Broomfield began a journalism career. He lived in New York City and wrote articles for several magazines.
In 1924, Bromfield wrote his first novel, "The Green Bay Tree." Soon after completing this book, he moved to France, where he was acquainted with Gertrude Stein, Pablo Picasso, Edith Wharton, Ernest Hemingway, and Sinclair Lewis. In 1926, Bromfield won the Pulitzer Price for a novel called "Early Autumn." He continued to write fiction throughout the 1920s and early 1930s.
In 1939, Bromfield returned to Ohio and purchased Malabar Farm, near Mansfield. He dedicated his life to agriculture and sought to create a farm that promoted soil conservation. Famous for his conservation efforts, he was posthumously elected to the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame. Bromfield continued to write books and articles. His later books, including "Pleasant Valley," focused on soil conservation and other farming issues. He continued to socialize with prominent artists, including Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart. The two actors were married at Malabar Farm in 1945.
Bromfield died on March 18, 1956. One of his daughters, Ellen Bromfield Carson, continued her father's conservation efforts. Malabar Farm became a state park in 1976.
View on Ohio Memory.
: AL07003 Subjects
: Malabar Farm; Bromfield, Louis (1896-1956); Authors, American--Ohio; Conservationists; State parks & reserves; National Register of Historic Places Places
: Mansfield (Ohio); Richland County (Ohio)