Yes, I really just typed OMG.
Shalom and I stopped at the Windham Historical Society last weekend after visiting the Heritage Festival in Newfane. I’ve been meaning to stop in there to see if I could get any information about our house, and since they are closed all winter I thought it was a good chance to get in there before it’s too late.
About all the woman there could do was provide a stack of photos from our town, but we were able to find one photo of our house that’s about 100 years old. The unfortunate part is that the only option she had for us to get a copy was to bring in our camera and take a picture of it. Of course we didn’t have ours, so I have another week to get down there before it’s too late.
The lightbulb goes off.
After drooling over that photo for a while, on the way home I remembered that our neighbors once told me they had at least one old photo of our house. Our neighbors are the pastor, and his family of a church just down the road. The church recently celebrated its 200th anniversary, so they collected many pictures from the area. So today I decided (after cleaning up the mess from our firewood pile) to walk over and see what they had. Below is what I found. It’s not the same exact photo we saw at the Historical Society, but it’s from almost the same location, with a slightly different angle. I’m assuming they are both from the same photographer.
Our house in all it’s glory.
Please click the image to see it full sized!
The picture was taken from what now is a beaver pond, but used to be part of a farm’s field. I’m not 100% sure if this side of the road was part of “our” farm, but the brook that feeds the beaver ponds runs right below the road, at the bottom of the hill.
What have I learned?
What really has me excited is that the photo shows what the original porch looked like, wrapping all the way around the front of the house. The porch no longer exists, except for a small section alongside the road. From what I’ve heard from others, the porch was torn off only within the last 10 years or so. I’d love to rebuild it, because Shalom has become addicted to buying rocking chairs at the auction, and we really need a place to put them. It’ll also help reshape the house. Right now the front facing roof looks out of place. It’s very large, and throws the proportions of the house off. Also note the tree in the middle of the porch. The tree is no longer there. I don’t know which went first, the tree, the porch, or maybe the tree took out the porch, but I really like how someone obviously wanted the porch, but didn’t want to cut down the tree to build it.
We also have now confirmed that our garage wasn’t always positioned as it is now. The far left of the house in this photo shows a blank wall. After repeatedly shoveling out the snow that was plowed in by our town road crews, I wanted to put the garage doors on the North side of the garage. (Basically just around the corner from this photo.) Now I have evidence to prove that doing so would help bring our house closer to its original look.
Bigger and better!
One thing we’ve always know is that our house once stood on a working farm. I’ve had all sorts of ideas for building a barn. Whether it’s for actual farm use, or as a workshop, there have been plenty of ideas in my head. What I never envisioned was a barn as large as the one behind the house in this photo. Did you view the large version? If not you probably didn’t even notice. Look closely above the house. Just to the right of the tree in the foreground you can see the barns peek sneaking into the shot. Now my mind is really running wild with my dreams of a barn!
This is a photo I took in May. You can see what I meant about the garage doors. Also, there is a new chimney on the road-side of the house. The cookstove chimney has also been relocated, amongst many other small details. The final image below from April shows the big ugly roof. A porch along that side of the house would definitely help out.
Please share other changes you notice. I’ve been looking over this photo quite a bit to find things, and have a good list going, but what else do you see that has changed? Share with us in the comments below.
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