Those that truly know me know that my only passion in life isn’t just writing, it’s also history. Each time I pass by an old, run down home, shack, or even a pile of wood in the woods, I want to know, who lived there, what their family was like, how they came to be there, and what kind of struggles they faced there.
Recently we had the opportunity to explore a home that I actually grew up next to. Often when taking a walk down to the creek to play we would study this house, wonder who lived there, and why they left such a beautiful location. Luckily my dad is friends with the owner (who lives further down the road now). The home was his growing up, built in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s, it was their homestead. The early was settled in the late 1800’s so they would have been one of the first settlers in the area. The family lived in the home until the 1960’s and then moved into a different home. The home and area was then used for calving and they would come stay in the home during that season. Eventually it fell into disrepair and was completely abandoned. It’s become a dangerous structure and the owner has asked that it be torn down.
Since my family will be doing the demo work, the owner has given them all possessions they find during the demo. And since we are the kind of people where nothing of use goes to waste, the wood is going to be re-purposed to build new buildings on my own family’s ranch. This weekend we had the opportunity to give the home it’s last photoshoot. These pictures and more will be given to the owner so he can remember his family’s homestead and how beautiful it used to be. Enjoy the photos.
The driveway to the house which sat just upon the top of the little hill of land. Can you imagine all the different kinds of vehicles drove up this road over the last 100 years?
The outside of the house. I’m guessing the square part of the house was the original and the other part was an addition added later as they needed it (It added a bedroom and a living room). The fence went around the house making a little yard with nice trees. (And a tire swing!)
This was another building on the property, the hired hand’s house. It consisted of one large room and livable attic space. The entryway and door on the side went into a cellar. There were several other buildings on the property including a smokehouse, several large barns, and a big chicken coop.
The last hired hand must have been a reader because we found books upon books in his home. Unfortunately almost all of them have bad water damage and will not be salvageable. These 2 books in the front of the picture are a Bible and The Complete Works of John Bunyan.
I have something of an obsession with old doorknobs. This house didn’t disappoint me in this area! Each screen door still attached had a door pusher on it and the doors were still somewhat whitewashed. The doorknobs were either porcelain or ornate metal work.
They just don’t make them like that anymore! Beautiful.
Ok, here’s a public service announcement. We believe this house has not been lived in since the 60’s according to the papers we found in the house and a calender on the wall. These cookies were STILL in the kitchen cupboard and STILL look like this. I saw mold, dead creatures, and all other nastiness in the house and I’m pretty sure this was the grossest thing we came across. Don’t buy store bought cookies.
This was in the cellar we went into under the hired hand’s house. It definitely appears to be the food pantry! Jars laid all over the messy floor and the walls were filled with shelves, most with jars still on them. The room was nice and cold so I’m sure it served it’s purpose well.
We found this jar in the hired hand’s house. I collect unique jars and I hadn’t seen this type of writing on a Ball Jar before. And if we check out the image below…
We can see that this jar is from 1896 – 1910! At least 100 years old, amazing. To me, the jar will never just be a jar. Or just a decorative piece. When I hold it in my hands I wonder….What kinds of foods did this jar hold? What kinds of things did this jar see over the years? Was it’s contents used for a special family meal? Or maybe just simple dinners? Maybe it held food that nourished a little child? So many things to ponder in just this little jar that now sits proudly on my counter top, holding some flowers.
Are you into history too? Do you wonder about the stories of old homesteads?