Natchez Trace stand-keepers were often women. Buffalo River Farm‘s Donna Branch is a testament to Trace history. On the Tennessee frontier, the Trace meandered through creeks and soared over rocky crests. The men who made it that far often carried shredded shoes to the next stop, hoping for repairs with their meal and bed. Maybe a few weary wanderers crossed the land of Donna’s ancestors, a couple of miles east of the Trace.

Donna Branch would’ve welcomed them.

Donna is one of the most versatile people I’ve ever met. She is a certified cattle rancher. Black angus dot the grassy expanse between her place and the Buffalo River.

An award-winning artist, she crafts glass-bound books with coptic binding, and she holds classes in her spacious studio. I treasure a piece from her collection, black glass and cream paper, braided with ivory-and-red thread.

Her kitchen at Buffalo River Farm is a culinary haven. Bubbly frittatas, pillowy biscuits and creamy grits all preen alongside local Amish honey, churned butter and homemade preserves. Donna makes breakfast something for which even I will crawl out of bed to enjoy.

She makes Buffalo River Farm’s three rooms and shared spaces a haven, a retreat from the noise and craziness of Life. It’s a place to Make a Memory.

donna branch

I admire Donna’s versatility. Her grit. And her grace.

When I wanted a special place to celebrate MTM’s recent birthday, we holed up at Buffalo River Farm. For two days, MTM got to know Donna, and I deepened my friendship with her. She is a giver, a champion for others, a tireless worker and a delightful host. A testament to the history of hospitality along the Natchez Trace.

I’m grateful we chose to
Make a Memory with Donna.

To find out more about Donna’s artwork, click HERE.

To visit Buffalo River Farm, click HERE.

NWMY mastheadThe Huffington Post calls it “one literary ride you don’t want to miss!” What are you waiting for? Read Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace. Be inspired to Make a Memory of your very own.

Maybe you’ll Make a Memory at Buffalo River Farm!

Click to read a sample of Not Without My Father

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