MERIDIANVILLE, Ala. -- The Tate Farm family continues to recover after a weekend fire left the popular fall destination with a destroyed animal barn and a damaged playground.
Despite the fire, the Tate family is not wasting any time. They're already moving forward with bigger and better plans. Of course, they're the first to say none of it would be possible without the overwhelming support they're receiving from the community.
The progress Tate Farms has made in just a day is proof of the hand print the Tate family has left on the community. "We knew we had an impact but we had no idea the impact we had," said Stewart McGill, Managing Partner for Tate Farms.
A mechanical arm carried away the last bit of the fire debris today, while simultaneously, loving friends cooked up a barbecue feast for the family.
"I think we've got lunch taken care of for the next four days," McGill said. "That's why we're able to do this, people want it to go on."
McGill said that when an event like this happens it's overwhelming to realize how much good is in the world.
Despite the hurdles the fire presented, the family recognizes this is only a hiccup in the grand plan that is the future of Tate Farms.
"You have to step back and you have to remember that this is just an animal barn," McGill said. "It can be replaced. Somebody's life, somebody's livelihood, the hurricane in Texas...this is nothing in the grand scheme of life."
With plans to have the fire debris completely removed by the end of the day Monday and new structures being up by the end of the week, what can the public expect when they open for the season on September 25th?
McGill only had one thing to say about that: "We're gonna have an animal barn that's three times the size of what burned up. The greatest Tate Farms you've ever seen. We're gonna use this as a blessing."