The history of Hunt Club Farm goes back to the 60s -the 1760s, to be exact, when the area was first developed as Woodhouse Plantation. In fact, the original house still stands today, and is on Virginia Beach’s Historical Register.
Skip ahead 200 years to the early 1960s, when a young military wife and mother, Mrs. Mary Vogel stumbled upon a 200-acre tract of land with an abandoned farm house on London Bridge Road and recruited 14 families to purchase it. They renamed it Princess Anne Hunt Club Properties, and subdivided it into “farmettes” that were a minimum of five acres each. The goal was to create an equestrian community.
The Vogels’ son, John D. Vogel – known as J.D. – became a farrier after graduating from Kellam High School. He started growing produce on the farm and opened a farm market at the front of the property. He grew various vegetables, strawberries and pumpkins.
J.D. attended conferences about agriculture and the developing trends in agricultural tourism (also known as agritourism). He started offering pumpkins and hayrides to school children every fall. Soon, he started the Haunted Hayride, the first of its kind in the area. Then he purchased a greenhouse, started cultivating his own seeds, and began a spring Children’s Garden Field Trip to help educate local school children about plants and animals on farms.