In August we had a ball celebrating the 55th anniversary of Farmington Presbyterian Manor with a Fun, Food and Fenders party. Lots of local residents joined our residents and staff members to reflect on our past and dream for our future.
The festivities opened with the planting of a dogwood tree, anchored by a commemorative stone at the base. We chose a dogwood because, as Executive Director Jane Hull said in her remarks, “The flowers on a dogwood tree form a perfect cross, which is why the tree is a sign of renewal and beginnings. A perfect way to commemorate Presbyterian Manor’s past and plan for the future.”
The Foothills Car Club brought a fleet of more than 30 antique autos for a car show. The People’s Choice award went to a 1931 Model A Ford. Every registered guest received a 55-year commemorative coin. Our youngest guests enjoyed hunting for colorful rocks painted by residents and hidden around the grounds, and we also had fun with lawn games, a photo booth, and music from the 1960s.
Guests could also take a guided tour of our campus, which officially opened in 1962. The first Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America community in Missouri, Farmington Presbyterian Manor came about through the efforts of the Presbyterian Synods of Missouri and was originally called Presbyterian Homelife. The project was spearheaded by Dr. Fred Walker, superintendent of the Presbyterian Home for Children, with support from the Rev. Edwin Short, chairman of the committee on schools and homes for the Presbyterian Church; and Grafton Lothrop, chairman of the executive committee of the Children’s Home. Lothrop envisioned “gracious living and a home with a heart” for seniors; he was the first president of the board of trustees.
The first two residents accepted to Presbyterian Homelife were Laura Waters of Farmington and Mrs. B.C. Hardesty of St. Louis. They lived temporarily in the Presbyterian Children’s Home until construction was completed. The first employee was Edith Wilber.
Health care rooms were added in 1965, and in November 1967, several private homes were purchased to accommodate the community’s 75 residents. In 1974, more health care accommodations were added. Over the years, the community continued to grow and modernize, responding to an increasing demand for high-quality senior living alternatives. In 1996, Farmington Presbyterian Manor added a 90-bed skilled nursing center including a secure, 20-bed memory care wing specializing in care for those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
We’re proud of how far we’ve come, and we’re grateful to everyone who supported us along the way. Here’s to the next 55 years!