ROGERSVILLE — Tammy Kunselman is a Kingsport native with family roots in Hawkins County in Carters Valley, but when she was looking for a family getaway, it was her husband, Bret, who picked an old farmhouse at the end of Carters Valley Road.
That was four years ago, and now the Knoxville elementary school music teacher is glad she listened to him.
On Saturday, April 10 the Kunselmans will host their fourth annual Spring Vendors Market Day at their Farmhouse at the Valley.
The farmhouse, which was built in 1881, is located at 573 Carters Valley Loop Road near the Highway 11-W intersection on the far eastern outskirts of Rogersville.
The couple have converted it into an event venue that hosts parties, weddings, reunions and other get-togethers, as well as a variety of art classes.
The Market Day will feature 40 arts and crafts vendors outside on the grounds and several consignment booths inside the farmhouse.
Braeden’s BBQ will provide a picnic lunch including a pork sandwich and choice of two sides; there will be beverages from Java Bean in Johnson City; Church Hill bakery the Wired Whisk will be serving treats; and Mowdy’s Fruit Butters will return with an apple butter stir and an assortment of canned fruit butters for purchase.
There will also be live music and a featured local artist showing her work.
“My husband picked that farmhouse”
Four years ago, Tammy and Bret were looking for a vacation home for family gatherings, but what she had in mind was a Smoky Mountain cabin.
“My husband picked that farmhouse,” she told the Times News on Tuesday. “We were driving by one day and there was a for sale sign, and he wanted to see it. After we looked at it, he said, would you consider this farmhouse instead of a cabin? My family is in the Tri-Cities, and I taught school in Kingsport for years. He said, it’s a lot closer to your kids.”
Tammy added, “I said, sure, if you’ll let me open it for fun. So we compromised. I agreed to the farmhouse, and he agreed to let me do my thing. That’s how Farmhouse in the Valley came to be.”
Tammy’s ancestors are from the Carters Valley area, and her childhood dream was to live in a big farmhouse on farmland. That never happened and she’d given up on that dream until Bret told her a few days after they toured the house that he really wanted it.
“I immediately thought of my grandmother being from a farm there. I thought, ‘Yeah. Let’s do it.’ ”
Initially, they were just going to make it a family reunion house, but she realized that left a lot of weekends when the farmhouse wasn’t being used.
“More of an art venue than anything”
That first April after they bought it, the Kunselmans decided to host a Spring Market and run a seasonal shop.
The response was so positive, they decided to keep it open to the public. Since they both work full time, the farmhouse is open only on Saturdays.
They have merchandise that’s sold on consignment, and they occasionally host public lunches.
The farmhouse used to be a restaurant and has a health department-approved commercial kitchen. Eventually, it evolved into an event venue hosting weddings, receptions, parties, clubs and other gatherings.
Last year, the farmhouse started hosting art classes taught by professional artists.
“We have turned into more of an art venue than anything now because we have two or three art classes just about every Saturday,” Tammy said. “Those don’t affect the public coming in for shopping because we have the cottage studio at the back of the property. Arts and crafts classes have been a major thing for us during the pandemic, and we’re going to continue with that’s where we’ve gotten the most attention.”
She added, “We have a waiting list of artists wanting to come teach there, and we have a waiting list of artists wanting to sell their work on consignment there. We don’t do booth rentals, but we do take consignments.”
Robin Wilbanks-Hillman presents spring show
The 40 vendors who will attend on April 10 are from Florida, Kentucky, Virginia and North Carolina, as well as Hawkins County, the Tri-Cities, Smoky Mountains, and Knoxville/Maryville areas.
There will be an assortment of merchandise, including candles, handicrafts, landscape, yard art, pottery, boutique, antiques and vintage items.
Featured local artist Robin Wilbanks-Hillman will present her first spring show on the porch of the Cottage Studio located at the back of the property.
Live entertainment will be provided by Benny Wilson and Quentin Horton from 12:30-2 p.m. Attendees should bring a lawn chair.
Admission is $3 to the Farmhouse Spring Market, but children under 12 will be admitted free. The hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine.
If you’d like a BBQ lunch for $10, you must reserve it by Thursday, April 8, by calling the farmhouse at (423) 956-3074.
Check the Farmhouse in the Valley Facebook page for event updates and other information about the farmhouse.