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Exploring #Bourne Farm for Inspiration #amwriting #Ghosts #CapeCod #Falmouth #Travel

Bourne Farm, or Crowell-Bourne Farm, circa 1775
You wouldn't think a ghost mystery would require much research--part of the fun of writing paranormal elements is using your imagination.  But I've had to do research for every one of my books...some more than others.  Haunted Souls, in particular, took a huge amount of research.  The initial inspiration for that story came from a visit to the Old Jail here on Cape Cod--the oldest wooden jailhouse in the country, built circa 1690 and reputedly haunted.  For this particular plot, historical research was necessary, and also a great deal of research into the military background of one of the characters, who was an EOD tech (Explosive Ordinance Disposal).  You can read more details about the Old Jail in Barnstable Village and researching EOD in this post.

For my recent ghost mystery/romance, The Haunting of Hillwood Farm, I needed more information on historic farms located on Cape Cod.  The farm in my novel has been in the Turner family for generations, and Luke Turner is determined to save the property from development, despite financial struggles.  So I visited a few farms in person in addition to doing online research.

Crocker Pond on Bourne Farm
Crowell-Bourne Farm (in West Falmouth on Cape Cod in MA) probably served as the biggest inspiration, at least in terms of my vision for the landscape of Hillwood Farm.  The house was built in 1775 by Joseph Crowell, as you can see from the plaque on the building in the top photo.  Although there is no documentation to prove it, local lore says the structure on Bourne Farm was one of the first seven houses in West Falmouth.  This property is now owned by a private land trust, and consists of 49 acres of fields and woodlands.  It's listed on the National Registration of Historic Places, and visitors enjoy walking the miles of trails through the woods and appreciating the views.  We picked some apples from the orchards during our walk, and I'm sharing a few more pics below.

The cattle run...this used to be a passage for the
cattle to cross beneath the railroad tracks.  The
tracks above are now a bike path.

My hubby walking the trails (Otis the dog
must be further up ahead)

Otis posing in the cattle run

One other farm we visited was Taylor-Bray Farm in Yarmouth Port.  This farm was originally settled in 1639 when the area was still part of the Plymouth Colony.  I used some of the history of this farm as inspiration--specifically, Taylor-Bray was a working farm until 1941, harvesting hay and selling fruit.  The existing farm house there now was built in the late 1800s, and visitors are allowed to walk through when it's open.  The decor has been preserved, but in my mind's eye, my fictional farm house has had quite a lot of renovations throughout the years.

Sheep at Taylor-Bray Farm.  My fictional farm has horses.

While these two farms are now historic landmarks open to the public, there are a number of working farms on the Cape that still house families.  Those I researched online, or visited their produce stands to enjoy the fresh fruits and veggies!

All in all, this research was a fascinating look at some Cape Cod history, as well as inspiration for the setting.  But then my imagination took over.  Who is haunting Hillwood Farm?  And why?  You'll have to read the book to find out!  It's available on Kindle and paperback on Amazon, just follow the link below to read the blurb.  

Winner of Best Romantic Suspense 
at N.N. Light's Book Heaven Reviews!

And for more posts on historic sites on Cape Cod, check out a few of my other posts:  Historic Falmouth, Exploring Washburn Island (abandoned military base from WWII), Haunted Barnstable Village (deserted prisons anyone?), and Visiting Cuttyhunk Island (which is literally like time-traveling to a different decade!).  Thanks for stopping by!
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