Rural idyll

The farmhouse where my father grew up. (The satellite dish is new and the siding is different — when I was little it was straight white wood siding. Sorry about my hand there in the left margin.)

~ by Servetus on August 19, 2018.

15 Responses to “Rural idyll”

  1. It’s very pretty. Do you know who lives there now?

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    • Yes; my dad owns it. The old house is rented to a tenant, the fields are rented to a farmer, my brother built a house about ten years ago on a corner of the property where he lives with his family, and dad occupies the outbuildings (storage, and he built a kind of ingenious deer blind in one of them).

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  2. Just exactly as I imagine rural America…

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    • I should have posted the pictures of the outbuildings, too — they completely fulfill the stereotype. This is a very basic farmhouse; my grandparents had zero interest in schnick-schnack and they didn’t make any improvements when they bought it other than adding indoor plumbing in the 1950s and a garage for their car in the 1970s. I think it got propane heat sometime in the 90s (it had always had a woodburning stove).

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      • Do houses in WI also have porches and those swings? That’s another thing I always associate with American farmhouses. BTW, that whole “no schnick-schnack” approach is sooooo proddy 😉

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        • Some of them do — that’s a bit what I mean when I said this farmhouse was very basic. This house originally had a small porch that wouldn’t have been big enough for a swing — to the side of the entry at the right margin of the picture (so behind it from our perspective), looking out onto the yard toward the outbuildings, but they enclosed it and my grandmother used it as a sewing / household task room. My grandparents didn’t have a lot of patience with the notion of leisure (indeed, very Protestant). There’s a quote attributed to my grandfather — in the 1960s when they got grandchildren my grandmother wanted a picnic table, which he built for her, supposedly saying “we used to eat in the house and shit outside, now we eat outside and shit in the house.” So anyway some did originally have porches, but many of those were gradually enclosed as people needed the space. Most of the houses around here that have unenclosed porches tend to be in town. And some of them do have swings.

          I think most people who now own original farmhouses are not farming anymore and they tend to restore the porches and add swings. The issue around here is that during the parts of the year that are pleasant to sit outside, there are a lot of bugs. It’s a bit different on the plains and prairies but Wisconsin was always wooded and somewhat swampy.

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  3. very pretty, how old is it?

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    • I’ve never looked at the title — my grandparents bought it in 1935, but I think it’s probably about twenty or thirty years older than that.

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      • It looks well-maintained, I wouldn’t have guessed it was that old.

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        • I haven’t been inside it since the late 1990s, but I’d guess that the inside is probably somewhat less maintained.

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      • i’m fascinated with architecture (live in a Victorian house myself) -so really nice to see good old buildings in good shape. There’s a US programme i really enjoy called Restored with Brett Waterman which is about restoring old properties-nice to see the differences in style between UK and US

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        • I think the only thing that makes this house somewhat unusual is that it has a fieldstone foundation and a poured cement basement (most of these houses originally had cellars — you had to have them around here because of the storms — but they were usually dug and not finished). It would have been a lot of work when this house was originally built to make a cement foundation as it is / was quite remote. I don’t know more about it than that as that was all in place before my grandparents bought it.

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        • So, do you restore your own house? My first cousin on the other side is a historic preservationist but she doesn’t like working on her own Victorian at all.

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  4. I love older houses they always have fascinated me. They seem to have such character, and most were built to last. It’s lovely and I would not mind living in it.

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    • “character” is one word for it, lol. I am not sure I’d want to live in this house, but mostly because of where it’s located. Although at least it has internet now.

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