Ashbourne Farms is the agricultural legacy of W.L. Lyons Brown and Sally [Shallenberger] Brown. A wedding gift to the young couple in 1937–several Scottish Shorthorn cattle and a bull–given by Sally’s grandfather, Ashton Cokayne Shallenberger, the fifteenth governor of Nebraska, launched the makings of the property that stands today.

Ashton Cokayne Shallenberger owned a farm in Nebraska, called Ashbourne, where he bred shorthorns for a living. After his death in 1938, W.L. Lyons Brown and Sally named their budding property, Ashbourne Farms, in her grandfather’s honor.

From meager beginnings, the Browns built the farm from the ground up, suffusing the property with a deep love of agriculture and nature. This legacy is the foundation upon which the modern day iteration of Ashbourne Farms flourishes.

Years of thoughtful care went into restoring the property to the picturesque splendor of its heyday; the entire farm, now listed on the national historic register. On it, stands a restored version of the original farmhouse, built in the late 1800’s, along with a number of other revived structures. More than that, Ashbourne Farms nurtures its vision of preservation and natural conservation with intention. In doing so, its family members opened Ashbourne Farms to the public, so that its beauty could be relished by others for generations to come.

OUR HISTORY

1935

THE COURTSHIP

After a chance meeting at the Derby, W. L. Lyons Brown and Sara “Sally” Shallenberger forged their destiny. Brown crossed the seas to profess his love and they were married in Vienna, Austria.

1936

THE WEDDING GIFT

Sally Brown’s grandfather, Ashton Cokayne Shallenberger, 15th Governor of Nebraska, gifted the newly married couple with a champion Shorthorn bull and several cows for their recent nuptials.

1937

ACQUISITION FARM

In 1937 Lyons and Sally purchased their first 150 acres of land and named it Ashbourne Farms, after the Nebraska farm owned by Sally’s grandfather who passed away shortly after presenting their wedding gift. The farm name and its corresponding crest are derived from the town Ashbourne in Derbyshire England where the Cokayne family originally resided.

1945

RENOWN SHORTHORN BREEDER

By 1945, Lyons and his brother, George Garvin Brown II, became the country’s premier Shorthorn breeders.

1947

THE ASHBOURNE INN

For over twenty years, the Ashbourne Inn was a notable inn and restaurant in Oldham County, Kentucky where they served food directly from the farm. In other words, it was one of the original farm-to-table destinations.

1973

THE FARM IN TRANSITION

After W.L. Lyons Brown passes away, Sally retains 850 acres of the farm that she and her late husband amassed.

1996

SALLY BROWN PROTECTS THE FARM

To protect the land in perpetuity and preserve its natural beauty, Sally Brown places those 850 acres into a land trust, thus ensuring the continuation of her and her husband’s beloved legacy.

1998

INA BOND ACQUIRES THE FARM

With plans to keep the family farm tradition alive, second-generation daughter, Ina Brown Bond purchases the farm.

2016

AUSTIN & JANIE, A NEW GENERATION

Austin Musselman and his wife, Janie, purchase the land from his mother and expand it to 2,250 acres. The husband-and-wife partners renovated the show barn, added equestrian and eventing facilities, and have plans to bring back Ashbourne Inn.