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Sandy Mitchell

Louis Bromfield and Malabar Farm

By May 21, 2013

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In the mid-20th century, Mansfield native Louis Bromfield was one of the country's best selling authors. Winner of the 1927 Pulitzer Prize (for his third novel, Early Autumn), Bromfield wrote 31 novels and non-fiction works, four of which were made into movies. Although most of his work is still in print, he hasn't kept the notoriety of his contemporaries Ernest Hemingway or F. Scott Fitzgerald (maybe because he was a lot less self-destructive).

After a stint as a WWI ambulance driver (for which he was awarded the French Legion of Honneur) and a "between the wars" residence in France, Bromfield settled on 1000 acres, just outside of Mansfield, Ohio. The estate, which he dubbed "Malabar Farm" (the main house of which is pictured above), became a working farm and early example of organic and self-sustaining farming. Many of his Hollywood friends visited him in Ohio. In fact, Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart were married in 1945 at Malabar Farm.

The estate, now an Ohio State Park, remains a working farm. Visitors can tour the house and the estate as well as partake in the many activities offered there, including fishing, hay wagon rides, or shopping at the farm market. Other facilities include a restaurant, housed in an early 19th century farmhouse; primitive campsites; and a 19-bed dormitory-style hostel.

Read more about Louis Bromfield's books and biographies.

(Photo Courtesy of Malabar Farm)
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