Country Living in
a boy reared in rural central
One of my fondest memories comes from a long solo, exploratory, hike that I took along one of the many creeks that flow in the hollows between ancient hills that push the skyline high into the air. The sun had dipped below that skyline by the time I found my way back to familiar territory. With still plenty of light, I left the creek to take a shortcut across a flat field of perhaps 5 acres that likely had been the bed of some ancient lake. To my surprise I came across a section of an old log house. All the walls were gone except a single partial wall made of huge square logs that sloped from the remains of a stone fireplace to the ground where once side-walls had stood. I was standing what had been the inside of the house. My surprise gave way to fascination for a gray-stripped lizard that watched me from his perch on one of the logs. This ruin was now the home of a lizard.
While the sights of that afternoon froze in my memory, undoubtedly helped by the experience of seeing the lizard, it was not until many years later that I realized I had come upon a scene from a long past era. When I described my discovery to my grandfather that evening he responded with, “Yes, that was the old home place.” That was the first time my attention was focused on the existence of a past in which people did not live as we do today.
As I reminisce about that snapshot in time I can now piece together other information, stories, pictures, and facts from then and from decades preceding and subsequent – knowledge gleaned from my genealogical research. My mother had been born in that house, as had her father and her grandmother. The 80-acre farm had been purchased by my 3rd great grandfather in 1853, inherited by his son and kept in the family for the succeeding decades.
“Improvements” would continue with the construction of roads, homes, barns and granaries as the population grew until it finally arrived at the point of the “modern” homes and roads of the 21st century. Modern plastic-covered, air-conditioned houses filled with appliances and all sorts of electrically powered devices for communication and entertainment now dominate the landscape.
While change is inevitable, it leaves in its path an eclectic assortment of the past. Memories and pictures made at various points along the 200-plus year time-line freezes the respective eras in their time. Nostalgia drags those that remember those scenes of not too long ago to a longing for the good-old-days. Although we can not turn back the hands of time, one of the things that we can do is collect, assemble, and try to present tidbits of history that both help to quench nostalgia and communicate to those who do not have such memories.
the pages that follow an effort has been made to bring you pictures and
information about some of the 1900 era history of
This picture trip begins in the late 19th century with the building of the some of the farm buildings. It continues through much of the 20th century with several of the pictures being taken in the early 21st century.
Provided by Monroe County Historical Society