Friday, June 12, 2009

Once upon a time...

There was a family who were so fortunate as to purchase a bit o' earth.
It was only after many back breaking days, weeks and years
that the money was saved to obtain this precious piece of earth.

President James Madison made it official.

It belonged to a family for 4 generations

(back row far right: Great Grandma Minnie and Grandpa Johnny)

Upon this piece of rich soil, the family put down roots,
and watched them grow.
The family took much pride in its Amish roots,
and the Home Place was built by Amish workmanship.
They took pride in the value of a meticulously operated farm
that raised corn and all sundry of farm animals.

They took official photos of it (below)

With much blood, sweat and tears
this place was built from oak trees cut right from the property
by Amish craftsmen. They cut and lumbered the precious wood
They stacked the milled lumber in the order
of which each would be needed
The foundation timbers on top,
followed by the wall timbers and flooring, etc.
until the bottom layer contained the roof materials.

Being of Amish decent (and that's another story for another time...)
it was a good house... transformed into a home,
the house became know as "The Home Place" to the family.

It was a place that was passed down from generation to generation,
(where my dear daddy was born...
and I'm sure so many other family members as well)

Until one day Harold fell in love with Zella Mae

He asked her to marry him...
He was a handsome hard-working man, and she accepted.
He took her home ... to the Home Place,
which at the time in 1933, belonged to his own parents.

The two lived happily for a few years
in the one room summer house behind "the Home Place"...

...until one day Harold realized his family was growing.

(my own dear sweet daddy is on the far right... the eldest son)
Harold worked hard, until one day it was time for his own
parents (Minnie and Johnny) to retire
and pass the Home Place on to their son.

They built a new fangled home just up the road...

and Harold and Zella Mae moved their little family into the Home Place.
When they first moved in... the house was not "electrified"
and it needed two more bathrooms... instead of an outhouse.

Within the Ohio farming community of the late 1800's,
the Home Place was considered to be a rather up-scale house.
At the time of its building, it cost approximately $10,000.00
(perhaps comparable to a $4-5M in today's money)
How Grandpa JM did that, none of us know...

It was a place where grandchildren of 4 generations came to visit.
(Me (middle), my sister and brother in 1966)

It was a place where Harold and Zella grew older

...until one day they were too old to continue managing such a large farm.
All their children had gone to college and on to other careers...
leaving the farm and Home Place physically behind...
but always and forever kept dear in their hearts.

None of the family members were in a position to keep the Home Place
and it was sold to a company who didn't care for the house.
They used the land, and the house was left empty and alone.

It fell in to disrepair...
and no one lived in it for a number of years.
It suffered...
and the company wanted to tear it down...

...until one day a woman came along who saw it for the grand old house it was!
She bought it... falling down roof and all...
She worked hard and made it liveable again.

Again, with much blood, sweat and tears the Home Place
was refurbished and built up...

Unfortunately the barn was too far gone, and had to be torn down.
I have a piece of that barn sitting on my hearth (photo sometime later)

So the Home Place lives on a bit pink!
But the family doesn't care about the color!
The family only cares that the Home Place is now another family's
Home Place...
its loved
and its cared for

The Home Place still houses a family
My family in front of the Home Place
February 13, 2009
following the funeral of my beloved grandmother,
Zella Mae

~And it lived happily ever after~


  1. WOW! That's such a neat story! I see a strong resemblence in the face of you and Zella Mae! Is it just me or is that something others think, too? Beautiful story! Aren't you glad the someone saved that beautiful old piece of history!?

  2. Standing Ovation!
    What a sensational post.
    What a history of family, love, generations and legacy.
    What a shame it had to be sold but at least it was not pulled down.
    I love how u have presented this post, you are truly a gifted story teller.
    The first image wonderful.
    Heritage, the knowing of our own is truly a wonderful thing.
    Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. what a sweet adn wonderful story. thank you for sharing it here...

    i LOVE that Home Place is now PINK!!

  4. Oh Vicki are you sure you don't have a book inside of you...I love how you put this together...the history of it all!!! And how wonderful the Home Place lives on...even though it is pink. It does look much loved...and I bet it is fun on the inside too. I wonder if you were able to have a tour of it while you were there? Long live the Home Place...Dzintra♥x

  5. Vicki,
    As you know, there is gypsy blood in my body but in my soul I am a farmer's wife. Reading your story of family history (please write about the Amish connection soon :)made my toes tingle and how I wish I had a tie to land (any land) somewhere. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.