This original architecture was constructed in 1941, during World War II, though the barn that stands off to the side of the house was built in 1907 and was bought with the property. This land has historic family value, transforming from an orchard to a playground for children and grandchildren of the owners and finally into tree farm where trees are grown and sold for a small profit. When the land was bought there was hardly a house in sight and the land stretched on untouched for miles.
As the family began to grow in size though, more money and bigger extensions onto the house were needed. So small portions of the land were sold off one by one to surrounding neighbors, until eventually it was down sized to its present state of being. Through the long years that have passed since the house and barn were originally built, alterations to both have been needed and repaired as necessary while still keeping the basic and traditional structure in place.
The rickety old barn behind the house has served many purposes during its long life. It has housed the family farm animals in the stalls, of which remnants can still be seen there today, and wildlife as well. Wild animals such as pigeons, owls, foxes, and cats have taken refuge in and under this tilting and creaking barn. Along with the barn are two fascinating structures that reside behind the house in the backyard that are as old as the barn itself.
These too have served their purposes over time, one a storage and pump house, drawing water from the well privately owned by the family, and the other a milk house where the cows would be milked and fed the livestock for not only the family but it was sold in the local market as well. The only reparations that have become apparent to my partner and myself are the repairs done to the barn such as the new aluminum roof that was added later when the original wood roof began to crumble and deteriorate. The stalls to house the livestock were added as well.
The house was built with three stories in a bungalow fashion with a basement and attic included into the construction of the house. It was an ongoing project for the man who built the house and it took several years to fully complete. Each following generation has lived in the house and made their own additions to make it more unique to their specific needs. Inside the barn there are two stories. The bottom floor is mostly storage now and acts a garage of sorts for an older looking tractor and a shiny new car. The above floor though used to be a basketball court for the children that used to live in the house. It became a pigeon coup though once not occupied by disruptive kids. The basketball hoop still has its place on the wall above and it is evident that it has not been used in many years.
The orchard was a family business as well as the tree farm that is still there. Pickers were hired to pick the fruit and transport it to the market to bring in a small, steady income. Once the orchards resources were exhausted, the trees were cut down and replaced with farm animals like chicken and cows, and later after that again replaced by the tree farm. The last remaining cherry tree was cut down approximately two years previous to our interview with the current land and house owners.
Since the current residents have owned the house it has been refurbished to fit more modern styles such as the new wood flooring in the kitchen, the new furniture in the basement and the new paint on the outside of the house that was originally gray but is now a soft yellow. The original fireplace has remained intact, though the surrounding mantle has been remodeled. The goal when renovating this older styled house was to keep the original and unique taste and feel of the house without it falling apart from the old and rotting wood. To date it without taking out the older essence that still lingered in the décor of the house.
My partner and I enjoyed interviewing and learning about this house that has had a lot of family history and value physically built into it, by the sweat and blood of the family itself. We loved hearing all the wonderful and hysterical stories that the owners had in store for us, ranging from childhood memories, tragedies, and simple life changes. This house has a story of its own to tell. All you have to do it scratch off the new surface paint and delve deep, head first into its ancient past.