The Death of a Farmhouse

A sad event is upcoming.  In about a month, my grandpa’s farmhouse will be torn down.  According to one professor, the house appears to have been built circa 1840.  It is full of old timbers, with logs visible in the basement.  It is timber frame, but not log.  Other outbuildings are built with old timbers from previous structures.  With Dad’s help, we triedto salvage some pieces of hardware, such as old doorknobs and hooks.  I wish it could be saved, but frankly it is rather disgusting inside.  I found two dead mice, one dead bird, the upstairs walls were sticky-wet from humidity, and the downstairs stinks.  It is full of dirt and I changed clothes as soon as I got home.  I would like to see it preserved, but it is probably beyond fixing.  The thought of it being destroyed is also heartbreaking.  I’m not sure where I got the idea, but I think Grandpa always wanted to farm.  He bought the farm in 1961.  His father was a farmer, and many of his ancestors before were also farmers.  One ancestor even developed their type of corn, and is recognized in the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame.  It was called Leaming corn.  I suppose the upside is that it is still in the family.  Granpa deeded the farm to his grandson, my cousin, who plans to build his own home on the site.  I still hate to see it go, and I have been picking up various little artifacts from around the house and outbuildings:  a piece of Coca-Cola bottle, something plastic, a shell button, a rusty spoon, an “Indian Botanic’ bottle, a piece of what was probably a milk bottle, a piece of old crockery, and pieces of old china.  I guess it’s a final attempt to preserve and learn.

Posted in History and Places | 5 Comments

Why history?

Why study history?  One of my history professors once said he studies history for the same reason some people climb mountains – because it’s there.  Another reason given for studying history, and a popular quote, that those who do not remember the past are condemned to relive it.  Although this is partly true, I don’t think many people have taken this to heart, especially politicians.  I study history mainly because I’m curious.  I want to know why things are the way they are today.  I believe that if more people knew history, they could make better decisions, especially pertaining to things such as  government, environment, and foreign relations.  Unfortunately, most people do not want to know and do not care.  In a way it’s sad, and in a way I understand – people are busy enough with their everyday lives -there’s enough worries for today.  Why do you study or are interested history?  What uses are there for history?

Posted in History Theory | 5 Comments