family farm series, autumn of 1900--picture

egyptianonion(z5 central IL)February 19, 2004

I forgot to load the blankety-blank picture! Please check out the narrative of the same title.


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egyptianonion(z5 central IL)

(Duh! it occurred to me that I should just cut and paste the narrative so it doesn't get separated, so here it is. Sorry for confusion.)

This is the house that was torn down in 1922 in order to build the new brick-veneer bungalow. (Also please see my other picts, as well as the thread, "1922 farm house landscaping," for history.) Much of this old house was recycled into the new house, as we have seen in the plaster wall lathing, some structural wood, and the upstairs doors. Plus, I'm still finding foundation rocks and bricks and even parts of teacups as I work my "rainbow garden" soil (which see), that I located on the slope of the lower terrace that they built up by filling with sand and all manner of things.

Not much time or money for landscape gardening back then. I'm sure they had their "garden," meaning the vegetable garden, and they also would have had fruit trees and bushes (not considered part of the garden), but if they wanted beauty, these people as they sit here would have been viewing their own time period's version of my present-day view from the porch (which see).

The elderly lady in the rocker on the left is my great great grandmother; the 15-year-old boy on the far right is my grandfather. His parents are the couple in the chairs, and his three older sisters are shown with their children. (The great great g'mthr and her son, my great g'fthr, would die six years later, putting the responsibility of the farm onto my grandfather.) The picture was dated by deducing who the babe-in-arms on the porch was. These folks are Germans, by the way.

A bough from the black pine can be seen on the left. The tree can be seen in other pictures in this series. My father said that my grandfather reported that the tree was always pretty much that same size all the years he was growing up. Once it gets to a certain height, it just flattens out on top and grows only wider and wider. (I've planted several more black pines in recent years scattered here and there--partly for sentimentality, and partly because white pines aren't an option with my penchant for planting different varieties of gooseberries, which are known in some regions to become co-hosts for white pine blister rust.)


    Bookmark   February 20, 2004 at 12:38PM
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charlottev(Zone 4-4b)

That's a wonderful history. It is really too bad that the original house is no longer standing. That would have been awesome.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2004 at 2:55PM
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have just read thru all your wonderful history and photos. nice work. my partner and i have restored four old houses, the one we live in now was built in 1878. we have kept records of our restoration and found out the history of who has lived here on various occasions. we have just bought another cottage, built c.1860's and have started to restore this one. it has been in the one family all of its life until we bought it last June. we have found that one of the occupants who lived here was killed in the first World War aged 29. a friend in England has visited his grave in France and placed a nail from the cottage and a piece of a tree growing in the yard, into his grave there.
keep up the good work. i think i prefer the first house. why did they pull it down?
cheers Jan

    Bookmark   May 8, 2004 at 10:24AM
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egyptianonion(z5 central IL)

Thank you both for your comments. Jan, that's a very moving story about the WWI soldier.

Also, Jan, you might want to check out the "1922 farm house landscaping" thread that I posted on Feb. 18 for more of the family and house history. It might shed some light on why the new house. Basically, though, I imagine the frame of mind was in favor of "progress" whenever affordable, and the old house was probably pretty worn out, on the small side, and not up to the fashion of the day.

Just as today, "old" wasn't always valued. One time my mother as a treat took my grandmother (her mother-in-law), who was by that time in her later years, for an ice cream soda at an old timey soda fountain all decorated in antiques. When my mother described to her on the way over what the place was like, my grandmother replied soothingly, "Oh well, that's all right. As long as it's clean."

Not that she would throw away old things just because they were old. She had a great many old favorite things in her new house they retired to in town. As long as the things were in good shape and functioned. One particular measuring cup that she always used for measuring sugar had a big dent in it. That meant she always had an excuse for heaping up the sugar in order to make up for the dent.

I suspect there was a little bit of competition, too, among my grandmother and her sisters (see "'seven sisters' rose" thread, Feb 27). The house was considered to be a grand thing at the time. Plus, she was a party animal and liked to throw big card parties.

I have to confess, though, that I love the now old craftsman house that I grew up in, with its ten-foot-long oak buffet, maple kitchen cabinets, built-in ice box, etc. It needs a whole lot of work, but it's a labor of love, as you can relate to, I'm sure.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2004 at 5:50PM
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egyptianonion(z5 central IL)

(Clarification: those two threads alluded to above are in the "discussion" part of the garden rest. forum.)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2004 at 6:23PM
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I just came upon this Forum quite by accident---I love this series about your family. We lost our old family home during the Depression (in the 30's) I alway wanted to buy it back and raise my family in it but it never worked out.
I still love that old house.

my painting of same house

My father is the boy with the leather pads on his knees---He had polio when he was 9 months old and had to crawl until he was 18.----As you can probably guess I'm very proud of him.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2005 at 6:15PM
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