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Just catching up a bit....


groupw
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I feel I know many of you from elsewhere. Some of you may remember my dad's health issues. We had been trying for around 5 years to convince my parents to move from their place in the country into town. It was just too much for them to care for and the house was deteriorating. They had sold the property so there was no sense in us putting money into the house. Finally, after 3 falls this summer, Dad stopped arguing. We helped them move to a nice single-level duplex in town very close to doctors and shopping. Mom is very happy! Dad won't admit it was a good idea, but I am pretty sure he wouldn't be alive by now if they had stayed in the country. Mom agrees with me. 

 

His kidneys are starting to fail. They are running about 20% right now. One doctor would like to get him on dialysis. The other is trying to hold off because he doesn't feel Dad will survive long once it starts...

 

The new owners of the farm property really only wanted the land. They made no secret that they were going to tear down the house after my parents left. It was a good, solid frame. We had a photo of it from 1880 so we know it was at least 135 years old. Mom and I stopped going for things on Jan. 8th. You know those photos of abandoned houses and you wonder why people left behind the things they did? I kind of understand it now. 

 

On our last visit, we asked the new owners if I could have one of the main entry doors that was original to the house when they were ready to dismantle. I just wanted something tangible from the house and with my photography, thought it might make a good prop. 

 

They called my mom last week and told her they took out the door and I could pick it up any time. When I arrived, there were smoldering piles where the house, the garage, and 2 chicken houses had been. They said they felt bad that I had to see that. I was polite, but just wanted to get the door and go. We had planted pines for a windbreak on the north edge of the property. Dad planted fruit trees and decorative trees among the cottonwoods, elms and mulberry trees. When it matured, my kids and my brothers' kids used to love playing in "the forest". As I was getting ready to leave, I heard the new owners kids saying they were going to play in "the forest". I told him our kids called it that and I was glad at least something from our days there would live on. Probably not the classiest thing to say, but it was all I had...

 

I took some photos the last time I was there including 1 of my mom in front of the house similar to the 1880 photo. Dad refused to come back to the farm for it. I plan to do a first last resident thing at some time. I have the photos saved to a folder on the PC, but right now, it's just not comfortable to look at them. 

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Yeah. Sorry for the downer. Just had to vent a little bit. 

 

I can understand the downer, although I didn't take it that way.

 

My grandparents owned a country property.  The house had been built in the late 1700's, with a hops barn, cattle barn, and a hay barn following sometime in the 1800's.  One of the previous owners built two fieldstone dams in the small creek on the property behind the house, created two small ponds and two waterfalls.  An ancient apple orchard of about 25 trees spread over the hill above the house.  I'd go there in my youthful summers to help my grandfather reforest some of the property by planting pine seedlings.

 

A number of years after they sold it - for much the same reasons your parents did - I drove back to see the place.  The new owners had ripped down all the barns, and bulldozed the ponds and the waterfalls.

 

And put in three mobile homes.

 

My point being I was exceedingly disappointed in how they'd treated the property, and I never went back. 

 

But -

 

I keep some exceptional memories of the times I spent there.  My sisters and my parents still talk of the place, the things we used to do when we visited and how beautiful it was.  I don't have any photos, though.

 

I'd suggest you use the photos you have to help recall your own memories.  While it is sad the structures are gone, I hope - with time - it doesn't overshadow the happier memories of the place and the people who lived there.

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Places change, and those changes seldom feel good.

My grandparents' former house in Abbotsford had a lot of memories for me. It wasn't a heritage house and it wasn't anything fancy, but I remember many summer vacations there as a kid. In recent years, if I was going to Vancouver, I'd often take a short diversion and drive around in the neighbourhood a bit, just remembering.

Two or three years ago, the new owner tore it down and built a much larger home on the property. The same thing has happened to many of the houses on that street. There's no longer any reason for me to go there. It feels like a completely different town now.

But I still have the memories and a few pictures. The house, with all its quirky charm, will probably make its way into a story or two in the future.

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My aunt inherited my grandmother's place, but since she was in NJ and the house was up here, she sold it. I kind of don't blame her, but was/am pissed that she never offered it to me or my sister.

Last time I went by, the new owners had trashed the place - snowmobile and lawnmower parts everywhere..... Made me sick, I told my sister if she went by there not to look - she didn't listen. We spent many happy summers up there.

There was some sort of "family legend" that two brothers got in a battle over timber rights and pissed away all their money and property in court so nothing in the family was to be handed down to the men. The women didn't do so well with it, either. My grandparents' home has been white-trashified, my cousin let the little camp next door fall down and then she sold the property, part of the land I own was lost for taxes, part was sold off... It was my grandfather who bought those two pieces back and reunited the original 50 acres that I now own - the only part of the original property that's still in family hands. Worst part is, through all my genealogical research, if find no basis for the legend....

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groupw,

 

Though the house no longer stands the memories you and your family made will live on. It is a shame that someone would tear down a piece of history. Do your remembrance project, it will be cathartic.

 

It is stories like this where I can seewhat I missed. My family never put down roots anywhere. When I moved to FL after graduating high school it was my 19th move. We moved so often I hardly remember all the homes or neighborhoods. We have memories of that summer in the blue house, the brown house in Utica, the yellow one in Warren, old one in New Baltimore.... and so on.

 

 

Anyways, tell stories of living there over a fire with the folks.

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