The Old Homestead

Discussion in 'Places I Have Lived' started by Dave Sun, Aug 26, 2015.

  1. Dave Sun

    Dave Sun Veteran Member
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    image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg West Hill, about two miles out of Norwich, NY. Lots and lots of hills, woods and fresh air. Took a ride to the old place last summer and was so sad to see the place in disrepair. No one living there now and it is overgrown with grass and weeds. Took a few pictures and just a matter of time before someone tears it down.
     
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  2. Ike Willis

    Ike Willis Veteran Member
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    It's always sad to go back to a happy place of one's youth. The farm I spent a part of my childhood on is long gone now. The big old farmhouse and all the barns have been torn down. The fields, orchard and pastures are now a housing development, complete with paved streets and newly built homes. The back part of the farm is a golf course. Sad.
     
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  3. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    When I decided that I wanted move back into snow country after living for more than thirty years in Southern California and the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, I considered buying a place near home, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. My home town had changed so much though, that it saddened me to be there. It wasn't that it had turned into a horrible place but it wasn't at all what I had remembered, with golf courses where people used to farm and houses in what used to be forest land. The best blackberry patch that I have ever heard of had been cleared so that someone could have a larger lawn. The county had cut the trees back so far from the road that they no longer looked like country roads. Instead, I decided to move to Maine, which is more like what I loved about the UP of Michigan so many years ago.
     
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  4. Dave Sun

    Dave Sun Veteran Member
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    In the house picture, the window upstairs was my room. I use to sit out on the porch roof and watch the stars, or at daytime, I would fly model airplanes off the roof.
    The second picture was the chicken coop, upstairs and the bottom part held junk and garbage. After the chickens were gone, I made the coop into my clubhouse. Had a secret knock and no girls allowed.o_Oo_O:rolleyes:
    The bottom picture is the spring house that my relatives built. Water would run down hill and fill the spring house. A pump in the cellar would bring it to the house.
     
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  5. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Veteran Member
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    I am awed by this thread because I am not familiar with America. This is like a lesson in geography to me or about culture maybe.

    I opened this thread because of the word homestead in the title. We have a family friend named Eddie who was a homesteader. The government awarded him 24 hectares of raw land in the mountains. When I went there some years back, their property is already a quarry - the small hill is composed of marble and they are earning from that. It's quite modern with electric installation although there was no water supply. Eddie has a jeep that he uses for fetching water in the town proper.

    According to stories told to me, Eddie and wife lived in that homestead with nothing. They subsisted in anything they could find and their abode was a hovel made from coconut fronds. I could imagine the life of Robinson Crusoe. But after a year, life got better. They had free range chickens, some goats and 1 cow plus vegetables, plants and fruit trees. My husband had actually experienced that situation when he was 12 years old. He had tasted fresh milk from the goats and the chicken dish from the chicken they caught. Well, time really changes.. continuously and those are just memories now.
     
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  6. Dave Sun

    Dave Sun Veteran Member
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    The house was built by my great grandfather and uncles in 1900. In fact, all the houses on West Hill, but one, was built and lived in by my relatives. When we moved in, in the late 40s, there was a hand water pump in the kitchen and no inside toilet. After many months of hard work, we had those put into the house. A lot of memories were made there.
     
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  7. Jenn Windey

    Jenn Windey Veteran Member
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    Nice area in that part of NY. I used to drive my son out that way to go to PA for his summer camp and decided that I liked the area so much that I have been looking for either an older homestead like this, or at one of the hunting lodges that are in the mountains closer to Troy NY which is just outside of Elmira. I am starting to feel that land might be a better option. I like the Amish cabins and am thinking that's the best way to go- cost wise. I do like that your house has the field stone cellar (?) Reminds me of my grand mothers place in Renova PA, it looked very similar and yes I recall having to pump water still back in the 60's.

    There is sadness in seeing a place you once knew that was full of life left to waste away. I have a sense of relief knowing that the home I grew up in was finally torn down. At first it bothered me, but now I am glad. I saw a picture of it on Google map right near the end and I think I saved it on one of the external drives. You know though, the picture of the exterior, or even the interiors never seem to harness the same feelings that one had when they lived within the walls. If it had not been for that house I grew up in I would have never developed so many of the things that make me who I am.

    One thing that stands out in my mind is the love for gardening. This came from that house, mostly because we were never able to have a garden because of a very large Maple tree infested with ants. In hindsight it is amazing that tree never fell on the house. Yet year after year all that would grow under that tree were a few bulbs here and there and a wild rose bush. More likely a sucker rose then a real one, but just the same I loved it and would always dream of a time when I could have a real garden.
     
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  8. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Today, a lot of people use the word "homestead" as pretty much of a synonym for "home," particularly when they are living off of their land, in some part. Traditionally though, a homestead was a part of the various Homestead Acts which awarded 160 acres of 320 acres to a qualified person, and they would have to build a dwelling and live on that land for a period of time (I think seven years) in order to prove up their homestead, and have the land deeded to them. I believe the last of the homestead lands were given out in the early 1900s, so anyone who still lives on land that was homesteaded by one of their ancestors can correctly refer to their land as their homestead but, for the others, I think it's pretty much of change in the meaning of the word. For the most part, homestead lands were taken from the Indians during the European-American settling of the West.
     
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  9. Dave Sun

    Dave Sun Veteran Member
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    Stone work yes. I forgot to mention that most of my relatives, three, maybe four, generations were stone masons. This house had a metal roof that needed painting every few years. Bright red. Always had a large garden and all types of berries, plus a beautiful Concord grape vine. Last time I check Zillow, it was listed for $33,000. Heck the land is almost worth that.
     
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