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January 7, 2014

The Old Farm, A Shadow Of What It Was

Come take a small tour with me of my husband's family's farm.  
Back at Thanksgiving I took a walk outside and captured a few pictures.  It's very basic, no frills, and just a shadow of what it was.

A gate opening to the west field

 His sister Clara created this gate and added some garden art

His Mom always joked and called it "green acres" after the tv show because of the cobbled way things were put together.  It's a little home all of about 800 square feet.  Can you imagine raising 4 kids in this tiny home!  They did finish the attic and made extra sleeping room up there.

 She's always had some kind of flower gardens around the place.  These days they are scaled back to manageable areas that she can maintain. 

 The old work shop in the background. Off in the distance there was an apple orchard and there was fencing for the cows.

Free post World War II materials were acquired to build it (definitely not glamorous but as you see it's stood the test of time).  A lot of hours were spent in there fixing broken farm equipment and repairing cars. 

It's a quiet space now and a bit dilapidated on the interior.  After his father passed it was gutted and it now represents only a fading memory of all that took place in there.

 This old door had a lot of time put on it.  I told my husband I want to bring it home with us.  It would be a piece of the old farm to hold on to for nostalgia.

This used to have doors covering it up and an old 53' packard sat quietly in there for years and years.

The big John Deere farm tractor always resided in this spot.  Now his brother uses it on his property nearby.  This old Massey Ferguson still runs.

The old barn is tired but the roof is still good. 

His sister Clara created this barn art along time ago.
The 1950 date represents when his parents bought the farm.  "Old Doc Smith" as they always called him helped them get their start.  He owned the property and rented it to them in the beginning.  

The milk house.  I can still remember the big shiny milk tanker truck backing in to collect milk.
They haven't been active as a dairy farm since 1985.

I can still see the black and white Holsteins standing there.  Holsteins yield the highest production of milk.

 His brother sells a bit of hay to locals and stores it in the barn.  He's the only one who stuck nearby and has tried to keep some farming in his blood.

  There used to be a silo at this end but it's long gone.

This was the grain room.  The silo would have been full of silage that they fed the cows through the winter along with the feed grain that was stored in here.

This is inside the milk house where the big stainless steel milk tank sat.  

When they first moved here there was a very old farmhouse that stood closer to the road.  Doc Smith decided a new home should be built for them and the old place was demolished.

When I was dating Dan we spent a lot of time here. He always had a motorcycle or car that had some work that needed to be done.  Someone was always dropping in and visiting his parents.  A tractor could usually be heard in the distance somehwere, music played on an old radio from the barn, farm cats and a dog ran about and on occasion they even had a pet raccoon. The fields were full of corn, hay and oats.  A vegetable garden was always planted and his mom canned lots of tomatoes, cucumbers and more.
These days it's only a shadow of what it was, but I like think of it like it used to be. 
When you drive by an old farm try to imagine all that might have gone on there before....running a farm is a life in itself.  

I'm joining 
Have A Cup of Mrs. Olson 

Jann Olson


  1. It's a beautiful story and property.
    I'm glad you have lovely memories and photos.
    Thank your for sharing a piece of your family history.
    God bless your mother-in-law too.

  2. Liz, I love that big old barn. So many wonderful and interesting features. Great memories you've shared. I could imagine the dairy farm, busy with activity. laurie

  3. Lovely presentation of your husband's family farm that once was. The pictures are beautiful but the story is sad. Times have not been good to farmers and their land and so many have disappeared. You brought back a lot of memories of my father's family farm. No one is working their dairy farm either, but fortunately for the family, the farm and land was designated an historical landmark dating back to the civil war. After my dad passed I went back once but the memories are too sad and I can count on my hands the number of family members left who care.

  4. What a great story of the old family farm. I can imagine how it must have been. The barn is great. So many memories and farm equipment. Love the funky gate too.

  5. I so enjoyed Reading about your in law's farm and all the nostalgia inbolved, wow! I also can imagine all the fun the four children had there, even if it was small, I'm sure filled with love, baking and good cooking too and you were part of it for a while. Thanks for sharing dear Liz.

  6. Thanks for the trip to the farm Liz, what wonderful memories. Is this farm up in your area?

  7. Thanks for the history of your in-law's farm. It's fun to hear the stories from those old farms. Lots of good times were had there I'm sure. I love the barn and the barn quilt. And as for that old door, I would love to take it home too.

  8. Liz, this just brings back such great memories for me about my paternal grandparents' farm. The farm was sold and all the stuff auctioned off years ago after Grandpa Wilson died. I was really young...probably 15...so it didn't even occur to me to grab a little somethin'-somethin' to keep as a nostalgic reminder. I regret that to this day.

    You got some really, really great pictures! For us city folk, this tells the story: There's a reason why there are so many out buildings on working farms! The milk house is really cool! I'm glad Dan's brother is still into the farm life. It's nice to have at least one person to hang in there with it. (It's my sister in our family!)

    Beautiful look at the other side of life that urbanites don't get to appreciate!

  9. I absolutely love this.
    I love empty places that keep the soul in. This is certainly one of those places.
    I feel so honored that you share it with me. I want to move there and drink an all the feelings your pictures suggest.
    Blessings on all of you on Happy New Year!

  10. Loved the tour Liz. The barn is pretty amazing. Can't imagine raising 4 kids in a tiny house like that, although my parents had 5 kids in a 1200 sq ft house before adding on a 2nd story when my mom was pregnant with my brother (#6).

  11. What a beautiful post and walk down Memory lane!

    Thanks so much for taking us along...
    Thanks for stopping by!


  12. Oh I can just imagine the farm in yesteryears…so many wonderful memories…love that gate your hubby and his sister embellished!!!…that is a treasure!…and when I was growing up, there were 5 kids and we all shared one bathroom and it worked…Hope you take that old door home!

  13. Oh my gosh Liz, I have always dreamed of living on a farm! I would move today if I had the chance. We are so spoiled and live in houses much larger than we need. I myself am guilty. The closeness of a family on a small farm can not be denied! I can just imagine the stories that this farm could tell. I hope that you get that door someday. It would be a wonderful tie to your husbands heritage! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  14. Liz, I absolutely loved this post! It so reminds me of growing up on a small farm. Our house was two schoolhouses that were joined together. It was burned to the ground about 15 years ago. So sad. I am glad your hubby's old homestead is still standing. What a great trip down memory lane. xo Diana

  15. Hi Liz, what a beautiful look back! So glad you have such wonderful memories. I, too, remember going to my father's aunts farms in South Carolina, only they were tobacco farms. So much hustle and bustle going on, and they are quiet now as well. I loved looking at your pictures, thanks for sharing.

  16. Hi Liz, what a beautiful look back! So glad you have such wonderful memories. I, too, remember going to my father's aunts farms in South Carolina, only they were tobacco farms. So much hustle and bustle going on, and they are quiet now as well. I loved looking at your pictures, thanks for sharing.

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  18. HI Liz! I love this. I'm sure this was a hustling bustling place in it's day. It's always a bit bittersweet looking back when things change in life. I do wonder about the families who lived on those old farms we pass on the backroads, what they did, where are they now. Such a sweet post.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  19. Our old farm is definitely a shadow of its former self...subdivision now.:-( We took one drive to the back pasture where we lived, about a year after the farm sold. Our home was a pile of rubble under a pile of dirt...the pond is gone, no resemblance of the farm at all. I don't know what it looks like now, since we refuse to return.

    Your photos are beautiful. I loved this post!!

  20. Such rustic beauty here! I love all the photos. My grandparents were farmers, and your pictures bring back lots of memories. Lovely!

  21. What wonderful memories you have shared. Since, I was a surprise in my parents later years, I don't have any memories of my grandparents or their farms. I did go back and was taken to where they were but, of course there was nothing but, the land. This is so great to be able to preserve those memories in pictures!
    Great post!

  22. Hi lovely lady.
    Loved the tour of the old farm. The barn is pretty amazing. I can see the 800 sq ft. house with 4 kids at the kitchen table eating breakfast. My grandparents had a lake house but it was sold and a 40000 sq ft house was put on the land a long time ago, I have no memories from it so sad for me and my son's. Thanks so much for the great photos and sharing with me.

  23. I really enjoyed your story and photos. They brought back memories of my grandparent's farm. Thanks for sharing your husband's family farm. I like the gate, too.

  24. What a beautiful gate!!! I absolutely love it. These pictures remind me of Bill's family's farms and it sure brings back some good memories.

  25. Hi Liz, just hoping by to let you know that I will be featuring you at SYC later today.

  26. A beautiful and sad post ( sad because the loss of family farms across America and even farmland, forests, etc. is just heartrending ) Yet so much to smile about in the post as well.. the happy memories, the creativity...the artwork and gardening that went on..very, very touching post

  27. Enjoyed reading your post/seeing your photos. Sharing memories.

  28. You're right, you need to take that door home. Just as it is, propped up in a room in your home. Wonderful. I enjoyed your story and the photographs. I grew up on a very simple Midwest farm. It's a great way to grow up, and I think the love of that lifestyle never leaves ones heart. That barn is in amazing shape, by the way. Thanks for sharing this lovely farm. I love the little house. Perfect.

  29. Oh wow, Liz! That barn is utterly amazing! I truly enjoyed taking this walk down memory lane with you. I could hear the sweetness of the memories that still linger in your heart and mind through your prose. What a blessing that your brother is carrying on the family tradition and keeping it going as much as he can. That is so very special!

    xoxo laurie


Thank you for your comments! I don’t always get a chance to reply but I do read them!


Welcome to Home and Gardening With Liz. I have combined my previous blogs “Infuse With Liz” and “Sit With Me In My Garden” into this new blog. I love interior decorating and gardening. I enjoy redefining interior spaces by moving things around and reusing decorative items already found in the home. I also enjoy creating tablescapes and an occasional crafting project. I'm so pleased you've stopped by. I invite you to follow me and I do hope you will keep coming back! Liz
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