What is now known as Grazelen Farm was
originally established by Crawford Simms
about 3 miles NE of New Hope, Va. Mr. Simms
operated a self sufficient farm selling only
what he did not need to feed his family and
animals. He had the main house built by Eutsler Brothers of Grottoes in 1900 and
then added the barn, hog house, corn crib,
chicken house, brooder house, buggy shed and
smoke house. All the buildings still stand except the
chicken house which blew over in a 1971 wind
storm. Because of excess heat from summer
cooking and canning, he also erected a
summer kitchen adjacent to the house and
which still stands but is used as an office
by Senator Frank W. Nolen. There were 6
cisterns and no well. Sanitary facilities
were a two holer out house which still
stands and a wash tub for bathing. Some
tenants added a bath room on one of the side
porches during the 50ís.
The house has Eutslers Brothers signature
Gingerbread trim on the outside and ornate
window and door trimmings inside and out.
The roof is Virginia Slate and still
It is believed to be the only house in
Virginia that has been occupied by two
unrelated state legislators. Mr. Simms
served as a Democrat in the Virginia House
of Delegates and Frank W. Nolen served in
the Virginia Senate.
Frank W. Nolen purchased the farm in early
1967 and named it Grazelen Farm combining
the word graze and the last 3 letters of his
last name meaning grazing farm. Frank
married Nancy Weese, a school teacher, of
Old Fields, West Virginia on the front lawn
in June of 1967 and they raised three
children, John, Will and Amber.
A well was added in 1969 and new bathrooms
and laundry room added in 1971 and the side
porch was restored to its original state.
The house caught fire in 1972 in an outside
wall behind a fireplace. The fire was
extinguished without major damage and a new
chimney and fireplace design by Architect
Goodloe of Staunton was constructed that
year. A family room was added in 1973.
Frank, son Will and grandson Lee operate the
farm today raising beef cattle, hogs, corn,
barley, wheat, soybeans and all kinds of
hay. They have for sale straw, hay,
soybeans, wheat, market hogs and feeder
They are also a dealer for Newmart
Buildings. See the
Farm Buildings page for
inexpensive farm buildings.