Harlinsdale Farm

This Williamson County property is the most significant extant historic farm associated with the modern Tennessee Walking Horse industry. In 1935 Wirt Harlin established the farm, which included the historic Maney-Sidway House, on the northern outskirts of Franklin on U.S. Highway 31. Over the next eleven years, Harlinsdale Farm became a place of great renown in the fledging Tennessee Walking Horse industry. The landscaped entrance, the open fields next to the highway, and the prominent siting of the horse barn were not accidental, but part of an overall landscape design that has since become the standard pattern for Walking Horse farms. The careful landscaping and the huge horse barn told potential investors in the new industry that Harlinsdale Farm was a classy, progressive, and successful livestock farm. This image of graciousness was vital for the industry's success since a large part of the marketing charm of the Tennessee Walking Horse lies with its association with the image of genteel southern culture and tradition.

The prominence of Harlinsdale Farm in the industry was ensured when the Harlins acquired a colt that they named Midnight Sun. This famous horse took second in the Shelbyville national celebration in 1944 and then won first place in 1945 and 1946, becoming the first repeat National Champion. The success of Midnight Sun in the ring and as a sire has never been matched by any other Tennessee Walking Horse. Adored by aficionados, Midnight Sun became one of the most popular horses in history, and many champions today are traced to him. Harlinsdale Farm became a shrine to this famous horse, and a granite stone to the immediate east of the horse barn marks Midnight Sun's final resting place. The Harlin family continues to operate the farm as a showplace for the Tennessee Walking Horse.

Citation Information

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  • Article Title Harlinsdale Farm
  • Author
  • Website Name Tennessee Encyclopedia
  • URL
  • Access Date June 23, 2024
  • Publisher Tennessee Historical Society
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update March 1, 2018