Text by Lauren Eberle
On 400 rolling acres outside Franklin, Tennessee, Gentry’s Farm has been owned by the family for seven generations. From cotton and cows to hogs and hay, diversified efforts have kept the farm flourishing while summer camps and fall festivities allow the public to share in the memory making, too.
Built between 1805 and 1810, the oldest building on Gentry’s Farm is now the home of Jase Gentry, the great-great-great-grandson of farm founder Samuel Fielding Glass Jr. For much of its first 150 years, the log cabin was used to house tenant farmers and farm workers. Thankfully, Jase says, “Good old logs stick around for a long time,” and in 1984, Jase’s uncle re-chinked and renovated, adding on a couple bedrooms to the back.
Almost 20 years later, Jase graduated high school and moved in. At that point, the home was once again showing wear and tear, so Jase began repairs and updates, taking great care to build in historically accurate elements. “My main objective is to keep the home simple and timeless,” he says, maintaining the minimalistic look that fits its era.
The front door opens into the original one-room cabin, which is now a comfortable sitting space that Jase calls the log room. “I decided pretty quickly to do away with having modern items like a television in here,” he says. Rather, the room is anchored by an inviting leather sofa and an armchair you can sink into.
Ultimately, Jase says, his home tends to tell him what works. “This place seems to have its own soul. I love modern architecture and clean white lines, but that doesn’t work here. This house likes to have dark, rich colors and warm, natural textures. So that’s where we’ve gone.”
Filling in the gaps are Jase’s favorite accessory: books. “I’ve acquired a large library and could probably fill my house with shelves, but I prefer the more disorganized, organic look of the piled books,” he admits. Indeed, corners are cluttered with classics while textbooks and novels are tucked into nooks. Even the kitchen contains a curated collection of history and fiction, Bibles and Britannicas.
The house tells other stories, too. “When I was growing up, both of my grandparents had antiques booths, so whenever we’d travel, we’d always stop and pick up treasures here and there,” Jase recalls of passed-down furnishings.
His kitchen countertops are repurposed from the family’s old hayride wagons while ironwork and loads of patinaed copper complement the timeworn logs. On the walls, weathered signage sourced from family travels reminds Jase of his granddad’s collections. “He had a storage area behind this cabin where he kept signs, furniture, and what seemed to a kid to be a whole mess of cool things. I like to think that my house is a cleaned-up version of that,” he says. “I want people to walk through and be overwhelmed by all the neat things that have a history and a story to tell.”
There’s no doubt that as Jase continues to revitalize the cabin, he’s adding to that story as well. “I’m fully aware that hardly anybody gets to live in a space like this,” Jase says. “I want to do the best I can with what I’ve been tasked to care for.”