Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My Old House

Our house was originally built in 1901. During that same year the electric typewriter was invented, Teddy Roosevelt came into the presidency, and a little book entitled, "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz", came into publication. At the onset it did not have electricity nor indoor plumbing. Part of what was a very large, active farm, it sat empty for quite a few years before our neighbor renovated it in the 1980's. Apparently it was a mere shell of the original house and raccoons were living in it. The furniture guy was so keen to tell me this tidbit upon his delivery visit. A detail about its existence I could have done without.


The original details of the house were lost many years ago. However, we are fortunate that it is an entirely up to date, functioning older home...with all of the eccentricites that come with a home of this age. I will say that we found the original claw foot tub in the barn, where it had been used as a trough. Through the talents of Secret Agent Man it was totally renovated and brought back to life as an outdoor tub, that is terrific for summertime soaking. But, that is another post for another time.....

Several year ago a very elderly lady, named Olive, came to our house and asked to come inside. She explained that her dad had built our house. She looked around and then told the story of how she sat at the bottom of the staircase and listened in on her parent's conversation in the parlor. They were discussing their divorce, which at the time was not the norm in society. I like to think that in this old house most things work part of the time and all things work some of the time. The floors slope...just a bit and the stairs can be a smidge creaky.

She is a lovely structure that has witnessed the coming of electricity, plumbing, a paved road, and goings of many a family and time. She continues to hold up under the weight and strain of four busy people, seasonal changes, and stresses of modern life.


With only a mere hiccup every now and again...bless her heart.

57 comments:

  1. It's always interesting to get the story on old houses and buildings.

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  2. That's an old house which you've transformed into a lovely home. I particularly like the last shot with the French doors open. It looks very inviting. (And, it really is a small town with strangers knowing the history of the house -- even the delivery guy.)

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  3. I love your old house. Mine is almost a hundred years old and I love every uneven floor and strange noise I hear daily.

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  4. My old house gets the hiccups quite often! We have sloping floors too.

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  5. I used to live in a house like that. It had been built by my great grandparents and passed down through the family. It was a "town house". We built our home on 50 acres 15 years ago. I wonder if someone will be telling it's story in 80 or 90 years?

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  6. Your house is lovely, I could not imagine ever living in a house that was brand new, they do not have the same homely feel.
    and a character that can never be reproduced.

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  7. I ADORE things with a history. Your home is lovely. What a treasure to have Olive come by and give you this information!!

    NOW! I am looking forward to a post about a wonderful clawfoot tub but for OUTSIDE soaking!

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  8. I am coming to love our house after living in it for almost ten years. Kind of crazy, but it hasn't felt like mine. Tall Guy has lived here since the day he was born, so it's been a bit of a struggle to "Make it my own." Every day gets a bit better, and the sun room helps ;-)
    Thanks for letting us take a peek inside your home!

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  9. I think an old house's value is in its stories--and the renovation skills it teaches its owners.

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  10. Love the stories around old homes. I bet your home is so cozy. We live in a new house that we built and my husband has this crazy fantasy to buy an old farmhouse and fix it up. Crazy man.

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  11. These photos in black & white are wonderful! Makes us remember we're looking at history as well as today's every day life. :)

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  12. Our house was built in 1905 and has seen many changes since then.

    Love what you done to your old girl. So happy she has found you and vice versa. :)

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  13. What a gorgeous house... and even more gorgeous home.

    I love how that older lady stopped by... but sad that it was sad memories she had :(

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  14. I love your house! Old houses have such charm and character.

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  15. Great story. When you get some history of a place it certainly does add dimension to it. I'm sure that old lady has good memories and feelings that are impregnated into the walls along with the sad.

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  16. A house with a story. Very nice. :)

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  17. I just love old homes and their histories. I have never seen one like this though. I love the design. Must have been nice to just sit on the front porch and watch the day go by.

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  18. I would love an older house with some history and charm. If I could guarantee it had no ghosts. I watch wwaayyy to much ghost hunters. And, I am insanely jealous of your outdoor tub!

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  19. A lovely old home, with an interesting history! Excellent finding the tub and cleaning her up to be used!

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  20. A beautiful house you have I'd give them stairs a run for their money ;)
    See Yea George xxx

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  21. Pictures are nice but your post of your house is written very well.

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  22. So much history your house has! I think it's great that Olive came to visit and told you more about the house:)

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  23. Ahhh -- what a wonderful history of your old house. Your sepia photos of the interior and exterior are beautiful. I can tell you like old things as do I. Wonder, Wonderful! -- barbara

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  24. What a treat it must have been to meet Olive!

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  25. Even the new ones have a hiccup every now and then... Houses are just a 'constant maintenance needed' machine.

    Di

    Lovely house!

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  26. What a gorgeous house!
    BTW: I saw an old shed this morning and thought of you. In fact I told my hubby, "Farmchick could make that shed look awesome!" He said come on over!

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  27. McVal!!!!! - I love the fact that old, rusty stuff makes you think of me! It is truly my favorite kind of thing!

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  28. Tania - You are so right, character cannot be reproduced. Houses are not built the same as they were years ago.

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  29. Randy - I sometimes think it might fall into the Folk Victorian category, but then again sometimes not!

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  30. loved this. I love buildings and their stories and I am always so excited when I hear of buildings that are preserved and continue to be in use - my husband the modernist laughs at me :) but I love it.

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  31. What a wonderful story of your old house! It is so special that a former resident came back to visit.

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  32. Outstanding entry of yours ! Impressed.

    Please have you all a good Wednesday.

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  33. I love your home! Old houses contain so many stories, secrets, and whispers of the past.

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  34. So interesting! And I am smitten with that staircase!

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  35. She's a treasure. :) Wouldn't you love to be privy to all that she has seen?

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  36. What a wonderful post! I loved hearing the story of your house. I love to shoot old barns and houses and always wonder what their walls would say if they could talk. This is really lovely hiccups and all!

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  37. Looks classic and so elegant, It seems to ooze out so much of warmth and affection too! Sure it must have many stories to tell!

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  38. A very interesting story, it seems that houses have lives of theit own... The house where I was born was demolished a few years ago and it was quite sad.

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  39. This post so reminds me of that song by Miranda Lambert- i think it was called House of Memories or something. Loved that song and I love seeing your old house. What a sweet story!

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  40. I do so like old houses and their stories. It's even nicer when someone who lived in one long ago can come around and tell something of it. Don't know of any old home that doesn't have from hiccups to earthquakes that need fixing from time to time. :)
    As a child, my family lived in a very old brick house that was downright scary for me. Way too dark inside and creepy stairs. I see those a little differently, now.

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  41. I too live in an old homestead. I marvel at the thought that it stood prior to any Civil War skirmishes.

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  42. Your house is lovely-and the history is just precious : )

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  43. your home is awesome....don't you just love how everyone feels the need to tell you everything they know about your home..

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  44. we have slopping floors too...just adds charachter..

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  45. you have a lovely home!

    the picture at the top of your blog makes my bones ache for spring. it's slow to come to the dakotas, as you well know. :)

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  46. I understand the sloping and sqeaky floors. We've got some of the same!
    Looks like you've done a great job of making that old house a home! It's beautiful!

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  47. My grandparents live in the house my great-grandfather built, where my grandpa was born. I know those stories and how much they mean, even the sad ones. They are a part of the character. I loved reading about Olive's tidbit as it reminded me of the Miranda Lambert song "The House That Built Me". Makes me tear up every time.
    Katie

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  48. Bless her heart indeed! What a treasure to know so much about its history. She's a beauty and I just love the corner porch, very unique, at least from my parts. And on outdoor tub? How neat! Can't wait to hear more about that!!

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  49. So interesting. I've always thought it would be nice to live in an old house, without any of the problems you can have with them, or should I say 'hiccups'. But then, newer houses also have 'hiccups.' I think it is wonderful that Olive came and visited and shared her stories. (My mother's name was Olive, when I was young I thought it was an old fashioned name, but I now think it is a lovely name)

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  50. My youngest step daughter lives in an old home with similar stories to tell. She has folks telling her about it's past life quite often.It's 100+ years old.

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  51. How wonderful to hear stories from someone who called your house home.
    I agree about the "racoon" stories though...not a "need to know" story. You have made your beautiful old house into a home for your family and that's all you need...creaks, and all.

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  52. I've seen a lot of houses lately, and I definitely can say with confidence that I absolutely love it! She sure has been through a lot!

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  53. Wonderful pictures and stories. Inspired choice to do this post in black and white... gives it so much more meaning.

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  54. thanks for sharing luv those old homes.

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  55. We have homes with similar history. In fact, last fall, an elderly gentleman stopped by to look at the farmhouse his grandparents built. I lost my voice earlier that day and encouraged him to stop back another day, I would love to talk with him more to learn more of the history of our old house!

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