Because you asked…

Many of you have asked for pictures and I wanted to oblige you.  However, it was a long journey from finding the Mountain Farmlet, to finally signing on the dotted line, and then being able to set to work.

You will recall that we had said the Octogenarian could take as long as she needed to sort out her belongings,  and then have her Estate Sale.  It took a good while, but we feel better for having let her take her time.

This is the nutshell version of what we know about the Octogenarian and her husband’s history.  Some of it may be a bit off, I was, after all, catching it in bits and snaps at the estate sale, but I am trying to be as accurate as memory serves.

~*~

Her husband was born there in 1920.  His family owned, if I recall correctly, 300 acres back then.  (Some of which, I believe,  is still owned by descendents.) They bought the place from the *(1) original builder of the one room cabin.

Living in “Rock Creek” was a hard life.  Plowing with a mule, walking or riding by horseback on a *(2) “pig trail” through the mountain.  When he was a teenager, he would leave the mountain to make a new life in Ohio.

In the 1940s when WWII began, he signed up and was shipped off to Arizona, and the Octogenarian followed him via a train that was carrying more troops to AZ.  She was accompanied by her mother for propriety, and they were married when she arrived.  Then, it was off to war for him, and back to Ohio for her.

After his return from the war, they raised a family there in Ohio and when the children were grown, and off beginning their own adventures, her husband wanted to return to the family home.  That was about 20 years ago.

Mtn Farmlet thenI have no idea when this photo was taken, but she did say it looked pretty much like this when they got here 20 years ago.

In their time here they patched, painted, cleared the property of weeds, and forged a trail on the southern end of this twenty-five acres.  They dug a pond, stocked it with fish, planted a wonderful garden below the home, and beautiful flowers around the front entrance.  They wanted it to be a garden spot up here in woods.

It is so different now, and of course quite a bit older too, but I would say that they had accomplished their goal.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m sorry I don’t have the same view as above, but at any rate, you get the idea.

~*~

So now it is our turn, and there are a lot of repairs to do to an almost 175 year old home.  We know many of them: plumbing, foundation, electrical, and roof repair/replacement…  and others, of course, that will only reveal themselves as we set to work.  😉

When I talked to the plumber, the first words out of his mouth were:  “You’re gonna get rid of that shower too, aren’t ya?”  

Me:  “Yes, it was in the plans…”

So our journey begins in the bathroom.

We intend to remove and replace the rotten sub-floor, put in a plank floor, straighten/lift the ceiling (there is room up there for that now) put the bathtub where the shower once was, and if possible, move the water heater over near the washer and dryer.  Also in the plans are a new window in the far wall, and an exhaust fan in the ceiling.  (I neglected to mention that, so thank you, Deb!)  I have been gathering up some really fun and unique ideas for the walls and the sink…

But, you will have to wait till we are done with the reconstruction for those pictures!

I am certain that there are some of you who will not understand what we see in a place with uneven floors, and that leans just a bit.  A place where nothing matches and all was hand hewn…

Well, I understand it is not for everyone.

However, when we first saw it we knew it was for us.  We may very well be tinkering on it till we are too old to do so, but I think that the work will keep us fit and healthy along the way.  And no, we do not intend to try to make everything look like city living, or to change things out to make them all “matchy-matchy.”  That would simply be too boring.

Old-plank-doorsBesides, would new matching doorknobs on both of the plank doors to the bathroom make them look any better? 

Not to our eyes.

~*~

NOTES:

  1. I am uncertain at this point as to the original owner/builder, or about when it was changed to a “dog trot” and then later enclosed.  But I understand that there are public records that can help me to find out!
  2. Her husband’s words for the little horse trail up to the cabin.
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42 thoughts on “Because you asked…

  1. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Hey Lynda, guessing the Pig Trail was created by wild boar (escapees from settlers’ farms)?
    Re “dry rot”… You probably already know this but, if present, you need to stop further moisture from coming in and improve ventilation before replacing damaged wood, otherwise the cycle simply starts again.
    And, hmm, if you could only find another of those gorgeous oval knobs… But new? No way!!
    Speaking of vintage/antique parts and repair… I foresee attending a lot of yard/auction sales in your future; )

    • Lynda says:

      No actually. It was an early horse/mule trail used to get up to the top of the Rock Creek area from when it was first settled. At that time the man who settled it picked it because it was “The furthest ‘West’ that you could go and not be in ‘Indian Territory.'”

      In the early 1800s many of the horse trails, were begun by the natives and we were allowed to use them by the Native peoples here. I do not know yet if that was the case for this trail, but it was common to much of the area.

      Yes, I did know, but neglected to include it in my summary of what needs to be done. Thanks for the reminder, Deb!

      As for the knobs, well when the doors are closed they are on separate walls and you really can’t look at both of them at the same time. LOL! They are both vintage, and the oval one sports a small black box to encase the workings on the other side. 😉

  2. Littlesundog says:

    Lynda, the Mountain Farmlet home sounds wonderful to me! FD and I would take on such a place… it is a jewel; different and unusual with loads of character and beauty. Many people want to impress others with eye appealing homes and expensive landscaping. I never cared about other people’s views or expectations on impressing society… I wanted a “home” that was special, functional… and simple. It’s what we have here on our little 10 acres.

    And you are correct, it is going to take hard work, but it will keep you both fit of mind and body. I see it as a wonderful project… one that you and Bob can work on together and feel proud of! Thanks so much for the photos and update! I’m so excited for you!

    • Lynda says:

      Lori, I kinda figured you would get it! And yes, it certainly does have character! So long as we can keep it warm and dry in winter, and cool enough in summer, then the rest of our time can be spent enjoying the property! (Even with ticks, scorpions, and all the rest) 😉 Thank you!

  3. Na Na says:

    Oh my goodness Lynda, I could be so very happy in a place like that. It reminds me so much of the home I lived in with my grandparents long ago. Their home was a genuine log cabin from about the early 1800s and I do miss it very much. The house was burned down during a drug deal murder while everyone was away on vacation. That was in the 1990s.

    • Lynda says:

      Looking into the bathroom (the first picture) would place the original log cabin to your left. It is still there, but buried behind plaster board, particle board, paneling, wallpaper, and paint. There is some extensive repairing needed in and around the fireplace. I expect that we will have a chance to see the original log wall at that time. I am hoping it looks good enough to leave it open. Just that one wall… 😀

      Oh, Anita, I am so sad about your grandparent’s house! What a shame! 😦

    • Lynda says:

      Yes, it does sound similar, Tom. Homes this old are very rare here in the states. We are excited to keep it going for a few more years!

  4. victoriaaphotographyictoria says:

    The original photo looks very much like an early Australian settler’s cottage with the verandah and stone chimney at the end of the building.

    Certainly it’s not for everyone, but surely you wouldn’t have bought it unless you were going to try and keep some authenticity in the repairs. A ‘city slicker’ wanting all mod cons would not have bought the property.

    I admire your plans and think they will look wonderful. Looking forward to seeing photos as you progress from repair to repair.

    • Lynda says:

      Thank you, Victoria! You know, there actually were some other bids on the property. Two from Texas, and one or two from New York. They wanted the property “sight unseen.” They would have bulldozed the house, and built a new, bigger home with all the “mod cons.”

      Thankfully, our bid was accepted!

  5. Margaret says:

    If I weren’t so old, I’d like to do that. Work yes, but so satisfying when you’re done. Please keep posting pictures so we can enjoy it with you.

    • Lynda says:

      I will, Margaret, I promise! I was a little bit inhibited to show the worst of the ‘before’ shots, but then I thought, “Hey, these things happen in newer homes too!” 😉

  6. petspeopleandlife says:

    Lynda, this is a wonderful post. I don’t think there is any need for explaining why you have found this little eden jewel appealing. If I were much younger and did not have the property where I am living, I would move in a heart beat to a place like that. I think if it great that you want to live there and to keep its character. All you need do is what you are doing now and that is to replace and repair things which will only make the house better and more your home.

    • Lynda says:

      Yvonne, thank you! It took some elbow grease to get that old shower stall and the reinforcements out. Next will be the rotten sub floor. But to do THAT we need to remove all the pipes and stub them off under the house… The plumber comes tomorrow to advise… 😉

  7. dogear6 says:

    I can see why it appeals to you. Once the work is done, I bet you enjoy for a long time too. Best to do this kind of move and work now while you’re still healthy. I’m finding that the older I get, the less likely that I want to tackle those kinds of projects anymore.

    Nancy

    • Lynda says:

      We had better! LOL, Bob says, “This is THE last time we are moving. EVER!”

      I’m not healthy, Nancy. I am looking forward to the work to get back to healthy. (Remember my issues with agoraphobia? I am so far out of shape that I don’t even recall what it feels like anymore.) This whole process has been very healing for me. I haven’t been out and about (without Bob) for over two years, and it feels GREAT! 😀

    • Lynda says:

      Lisa, this future move, and all the work that goes with it are the best thing to happen to me in a very long while. (Read my comment to Dogear6) I am happy for the long days of summer, but not so much for the heat and the humidity that come part and parcel with them. BUT, I can’t complain because I am just so excited about it all! 🙂

  8. chatou11 says:

    Oh my, I understant that is “your house”… you will have a lot to do but this house has an history.. the one of the octogenerian and now i will be yours.
    A house of character ! that is the kind of challenge I always liked!
    With a good ventilation system, everything be alrignt in the bathroom.
    You will be happy there!
    Have a nice week Lynda

    • Lynda says:

      Thank you, Chantal! It really is hard work, but yes, it is so worth it, and yes, I will be glad when we can move in! I really hate having to wait like this. 🙂

  9. sheilahughes2013 says:

    You and your husband seem like the perfect people for this beautiful property. Not everyone would care like you do and take the time to listen and document this history. How wonderful! Can’t wait to join you along your journey!

    • Lynda says:

      Thank you, Sheila! I feel that if you are going to take on such an old place as this, then it is only right that you should know who came before you. I really am having fun learning about our new home! I found where the ancestors are buried today. But will need more research to find out who built the original cabin.

  10. shoreacres says:

    I’m glad you showed us “before”. I’m so bad about that. So many of my work projects look beautiful when I’m done, but there’s no record of what it looked like when I started.

    And you need the photos, too, because by the time things start changing, it will be hard even for you to remember what it looked like.

    I was telling a friend who’s been rennovating a house in Houston for about ten years what you were up to, just to give her a little assurance that she isn’t alone. She asked if I knew what the perfect housewarming gift would be. When I said I didn’t, she said, “Lots and lots and lots of vitamins and energy drinks!” 😉

    • Lynda says:

      Linda, I am glad to know that we aren’t the only ones that will be on the 10 year plan! HA! Bob says that so long as we keep working on the house we won’t die…
      😉

      (ref: Winchester Mansion)

    • Lynda says:

      Yes! It will be fun for us to have it all to look back on, Annie, and to share with friends when they come to visit.
      But, I think I will leave it in a memory book on the coffee table. I wouldn’t want our adventures in home refurbishing to replace the old “home movies”, LOL! 😉

  11. LB says:

    I love, love, love this post. I love that you waited on the Octogenarian to clean out her things, that you included the history (especially that mother moved with daughter for propriety), and that the doorknobs don’t match. You have the right spirit to take on this loving task (despite what will be tough / frustrating times). Congratulations!!

    • Lynda says:

      LB, one of the walls in the breakfast room had this really odd and rather large bow in it. I opened it up (more on that later) and I discovered the Log Cabin underneath! Seems that one of the logs was a wee bit longer than the rest and to enclose it, then it had to have a bow in it. The Octogenarian’s daughter-in-law told me this morning, that in the the older historical homes in New England that they put in a little viewing window. The thought had entered my mind yesterday, and her comment has cemented the idea today!

    • Lynda says:

      April, it is, and there will be so long as I remember to bring along my CAMERA. (!!!) I forgot last time, but we are going back tomorrow! 🙂

    • Lynda says:

      Hi Marilyn! How are you using it? As an actual door opener, repurposed, objet de’art. Or perhaps, just kept in that secret place in which you store all such treasures?

      I keep little mementos from my grandparents too. My favorite is a little squirrel that used to top a covered, glass dish as the handle. When it was broken, grandpa ground the bottom to make him sit level. Such a small trinket, and yet it’s survived at least 60 years and more than two dozen moves.

  12. garybuie01 says:

    Goodness, your place reminds me of Garybuie when we arrived here 12 years ago; start a job and you NEVER know where it will lead you! Over our years of renovations, we’ve kept a lot of the original features but this year, I’m determined to get rid of our very blue, 70s bathroom!
    Christine

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