Today is a beautiful autumn day...
a good day for a trip!
So, lets take a trip back in time.
Let's walk this beautiful land that I call home and talk a little about its history.
First of all...
the farm is situated in the rolling hills of Central Pennsylvania.
What we call mountains around here... most of you would just call "hills".
These rolling hills and valleys are dotted with quaint, small family farms...
some... dairy, some... cattle, some... chicken, most... corn and soy...
and then there are a handful of farms like ours who like to think we grow "love."
As I walk the countryside I often think of the people who lived here before us.
I think about how different their lives must have been from mine...
and how difficult.
I know that the original people of the land came from various tribes of the Five Nations...
native Americans from the Algonquins, Susquehannocks and Iroquois were the earliest
tribes on record.
Around the mid 1750's the Lenni Lenape (Delaware) Indians moved west
from the Delaware River Valley due to encroachment upon them by the European settlers.
These same settlers headed west into our area about the same time.
One of the earliest structures in the county is our old log cabin.
It's origin is the mid 1750's.
I envision a small family heading west from Philadelphia...
their covered wagon filled with everything they thought essential...
coming upon this land and finding it a suitable place to settle.
|The original one-room home was the bottom left side of this picture.|
A one-room log cabin is built over a springhouse (their water source.)
The ground is tilled and food crops planted.
Eventually a small barn is built for the family's livestock.
|The original barn stood in the area that is now our bee yard. Date unknown.|
And a brave new life in a wild new world begins.
Our old log cabin is one of the earliest structures still standing in the area.
It dates from the mid 1750's.
Originally it was one room.
There was no evidence of a fireplace...but there is a small chimney;
so I assume an old iron stove accompanied the family in their covered wagon.
|You can see the original outside wall running through the center of the house...on the left of this photo.|
At some point an addition was added beside the original room,
and an upstairs as well.
We know that the upstairs was an early addition by the diminutive size of the
stairway and doorways.
(After all, people of the 1700's were smaller in stature.)
The small amount of history about this area tells that there were many
skirmishes between the Lenni Lenape and the European settlers, as they
had both come to this area seeking refuge.
A historical placard alongside the road a couple miles from the farm tells the story
of the massacre of many settlers in the area.
I was told that it was not uncommon to build these cabins above a water source
so that settlers would not have to venture outside to get water during these
times of conflict.
(The spring is dry these days...as a result of the summer's drought.. but ordinarily it drains out a pipe in the concrete beneath the springhouse door.)
Today this cabin stands as a reminder of our past.
It's last inhabitants were during the 1960's when the property was rented
by a mother and son.
There was no indoor plumbing and only rudimentary electricity...
just as it is today.
We have had much work done over the years to maintain this piece of history.
The most recent being the building of a rather large retaining wall inside the springhouse
(the foundation was beginning to buckle)
and the installation of antique gutters and
a rain chain to a water barrel...
to prevent the erosion of the ground around the foundation from rain running off the roof.
I have dreamed of using this old log cabin to open a shop of some sorts.
However, we get barely any traffic past our farm and are so very rural...
I don't believe I'd have much in the way of customers.
So... it remains just a reminder of a day long gone...
when life was very different than is is today.
One thing remains the same, however...
it stands in the midst of a beautiful land...
a land I am so grateful to feel beneath my feet each and every day!
Thanks so very much for your comments and questions.
It's always helpful to have some ideas!
The funny thing is.... I was talking with a friend the other day.
She mentioned that she just didn't "get" why people blog...and why anyone want to read blogs.
I have to admit it made me wonder if I was serving any purpose...
thanks for the reassuring!