Earlier this week I shared the first part of the history of our farmhouse, make sure you check it out first before reading today’s post!
In 1893 a small family of 3 moved into the farmhouse. Soon thereafter they became a family of 4, then a family of 5, then a family of 7 (twins), then a family of 9 (twins again!), then a family of 11 (twins yet AGAIN!), and finally adding one more to become a family of 12.
Now I feel like the farmhouse is pretty large, at least for us since moving out of the rv, but I can hardly imagine a family of 12 (!!!) living in here!
After we discovered this information I had to walk through the house many times over to try and figure out how they all fit in here. Since I’m sure the home’s interior has been changed since they moved here in 1893, it’s hard to tell for sure but here is my guess…something to think about as you look at the rest of the renovation pictures I will share over the next few weeks.
I would guess that the second story (a half story) was originally the bedroom for the children. The master bedroom is a fairly large room so it could have been divided (boys and girls) fairly easily. I believe the parents slept downstairs next to the kitchen in what is now the bathroom. The current kitchen was not added until the 30’s so what is now the dining room was once the kitchen. We know this for sure because when we redid the floor we can see a part of the floor with some water staining and oil stains and right below this area in the basement is the old well so the owners were able to pump water directly into the kitchen sink. A pretty nice feature for back in the day!
From the census we discovered that this family also had a young man and a girl living with them. I would guess the girl was a helper for the mother and the young man would have been a hired hand for the farm that the family owned. We might be able to confirm this when we have more time to explore the outbuildings but I would guess that they hired help lived in one of those. I’m not sure where they would have stayed in the house!
In the info I have found about the family we’ve discovered that they were well respected in their community and church. They loved singing and making music together in the home. In the obituary for the father it says that in the house the family endured sickness, grasshoppers, droughts, and were still able to succeed through it all.
Sometimes when I’m sitting in the living room I think about this not-so-little family that once called this house their home. I think about them playing music and singing together.
Then my mind wanders to the neighbor’s homes….all 3 homes within a mile of ours are abandoned, 2 of them long ago, the other I haven’t explored much yet so I’m not sure how long ago it was abandoned. I think about the families that once gathered in those homes. They would have most likely been friends with the family that lived in our home and watched after each other, as was more of a custom back in the day. There was a little school not even a mile from our home once so all the children would have gathered there for class each day in the winter. When I walk down the road I can picture a time when it was just a 2 track with a small bridge over what was once a creek between the houses and I think about the children doing this to visit each other.
It all brings you back to a simpler time doesn’t it? A time when the families had little more than each other and didn’t put much stock in material items. They worked hard to survive and provide what they could to help their families grow strong.
I’m glad to have discovered this in this history of our home and I hope we are able to continue that legacy as we live and grow here.
(There was around 30 years in between this family living in the farmhouse and the next owner that stayed a decent amount of time. Unfortunately during that time it looks like the house may have been abandoned for a while and most likely fallen into disrepair. The exact timeline during those years has been hard to discover so far but I’m working on it!)
Check back on Tuesday for the next part of the series and make sure you are signed up for my weekly newsletter so you don’t miss any farmhouse renovation posts!