I always found it quite intriquing that there are three different dates associated with the simple old farmhouse. One account says it was built in 1804 as part of a very large piece of land that was split into three parcels…two being sold to the two men attributed to founding the small town first platted on May 6, 1806.
Two other accounts show the house being built in 1813 or 1817.
The farmhouse was sturdy and strong and the vast scale of boards and beams attested quite clearly to the use of first growth hardwoods used in construction.
Hinges, door latches (there were very few doorknobs in the house or outbuildings) along with hand forged nails and hand-made glass were always unrefutable testiment to how long the house had stood.
Research shows that the area was initially settled primarily pioneers from Pennsylvania and New Jersey immediately followed by many Saxon immigrants.
I doubt that the house that we lived in was the original dwelling. The only surviving home from that time was a small log cabin located several miles away, and that is what I suspect stood originally at the top of the hill.
Living on the farm, we found a small ‘dump’ containing broken bottles and crockery, fire blackened bricks and old foundation stones at the edge of a tree line. I often suspected that the foundation stones and bricks might have come from the original dwelling.
Documents at the historical society supported the story of the Saxon brothers settling on the property and living there for many, many years. Perhaps that settlement occurred in 1813 or 1817. I’m not really certain.
What I am certain of is that during a horrible time of my life that farmhouse gave me comfort and the ability to find possibilities and dreams in almost utter blackness.
That farmhouse was my escape and my shelter.
I recognize intellectually that it was just walls and floors and windows and cupboards.
But emotionally I know it was more.
Living at that farm taught me that I can survive and find solutions to just about everything. Like the beams and the board I learned that sometimes enduring is just a matter of passing days…one after another…until you end up beyond the pain and the torment.
You stand bewildered and exhausted having endured the unendurable…
And you remember one of the things that horrible times makes you forget…
That you’ve really always been home in your own heart…
…and no person or circumstance can ever take that away from you.
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