Malabar Farm4050 Bromfield Rd.
Lucas, OH 44843-9745
419-892-2784 | http://malabarfarm.org/
Malabar Farm was the home of Pulitzer-prize winning novelist Louis Bromfield. Now a state park and historic landmark, Malabar Farm offers guided tours of the restored “Big House” and the sprawling farm, along with camping and hiking.
Malabar Farm commemorates Louis Bromfield’s dual career as a writer and conservationist farmer. The Big House is a historic landmark and preserves Bromfield’s office where he authored his influential books on sustainable farming. House tours offer an in-depth look into life at Malabar Farm while the Bromfields lived there. The scenic house is famous for hosting the wedding of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in 1945. Malabar Farm is a working farm, continuing many of the same sustainable agricultural practices implemented by Bromfield. Guided tours of the farm are available, and guests may view the livestock in the barn and fields during open hours. The Visitor Center includes a museum documenting Bromfield’s career and the history of Ohio agriculture. Many details of the family’s life on the farm have been preserved, including a specialized Jeep constructed for farm work, a fishpond, and the original Carriage House. The farm campus hosts a wide variety of events throughout the year, including barn dances, hayrides, and antique shows.
Malabar Farm is a state park as well as a historical landmark. Campsites and picnic areas are open during the summer and the maple syrup cabin is available for rentals. Malabar offers several hiking trails, including Mt. Jeez, a scenic overlook of the farm. Nature lovers will enjoy over 800 acres of public land filled with wildlife and flowers native to Ohio.
Louis Bromfield gained fame as a novelist with The Green Bay Tree. Formerly an ambulance driver in World War I, Bromfield was deeply shaped by his travels through French farmland after the war. His travels there, and later in India, convinced Bromfield of the need for conservation. This spurred his purchase of three farms in his home state, which eventually became Malabar Farm. The thirties and forties were generally a time of increased farm mechanization and consolidation, but Bromfield stood apart as a pioneer of the sustainable farming movement.
Notes for Travelers
The barn, house, playground, and farm outbuildings are a short, paved walk away from the single parking lot adjacent to the Visitor Center. The house is only open to the public during guided tours. The rest of the grounds can be viewed independently.
Additional ResourcesBromfield, Louis. Malabar Farm. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1948. (Many reprints available)
Bachelder, Thomas W. These Thousand Acres: The Story of the Land that Became Malabar Farm. Scotts Valley, CA: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017.
Heyman, Stephen. The Planter of Modern Life: Louis Bromfield and the Seeds of a Food Revolution. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2020. (forthcoming)