*****Vintage Finds for Home and Garden*****

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A History Lesson

For the past few days, my husband and I have been working on an application to recognize our farm as a century farm. My mother-in-law had all the deeds for the farm, and we have been pouring over them trying to make sense of it all. But I must say, it has been very interesting ~ a real history lesson! My husband's great-grandfather, Theodore, purchased the home farm in November of 1883 for $4,000. That was a pretty hefty sum in those days, I'm sure! I have been enjoying looking at all these yellowed but lovely documents. All the handwriting is so fluid and pretty ~ a lost art!
Ephemera with such a meaningful connection!
Notice the different spelling of Miller? We still aren't sure when it was changed, but this spelling is very German.
Look at these gorgeous receipts that were in with the deeds!
If they weren't so important, I'd use them in artwork! I guess I could copy them!

Here is a picture of our farm taken probably in the 20's...unfortunately all these buildings are now gone! The old barn burned down in 1989 and the house was demolished in 2006 so a new cow facility could be built. The granary on the right would have been a cool building to hold sales, but I would have had to get it exterminated first!!!

Here is our farm today, an aerial view taken in 2009. Quite a change, huh? The yellow house is ours.
See all the little calf huts? Those are where my babies live.
I think Theodore would be proud!

This is my husband's grandpa, John who bought the farm from his father, Theodore in 1914. It was then sold to my father and mother in law in 1940. We bought it in 1998. Now my son in law is farming with us so the family farm continues!

Quite a handsome man, I think! He died the month before my husband was born at the age of 64.

Another fun photo that I found. Grandpa John is the dapper fellow in the middle! I have no idea who the other two gents are!

As a lover of all things old, I really enjoyed this experience of delving into our family history. I am so glad we did this, since my mother in law is still alive at 92, she can witness the farm she helped build receive this honor!

I'm linking this post to the Vintage Inspiration Friday linky party at Debra's blog, Common Ground!
Thanks for joining me as I share my history lesson!


  1. So cool! Love, love the old papers! And the history lesson too...and love old farms! My family farm is still in the capable hands of my uncle...thanks for sharing!

  2. I really enjoyed learning more about your family, seeing all your old photos and ephemera, and the photos of your beautiful farm now!

  3. Ancestry research is so intersting! The pictures are so interesting. Just became your friend and follower. Hope you will visit and consider same.

  4. Wow! How great to have all that family history in writing. Very interesting, thanks for sharing.

  5. What an interesting story! Old farms passed down generation to generation....wonderful!

  6. Love the history story and the old handwriting!!! Thanks for sharing!

  7. What a treasure! The farm, papers, pictures, everything. I think I'd copy some of those documents at Kinko's and have them framed. And also copy the fancies to use in artwork, like you said.

  8. Those are fabulous looking old documents. It's so wonderful that you have them and the old pictures. Your farm looks amazing! How lucky to have an aerial view!

  9. Wow, what an interesting post, Julie! You must be having a ball doing that research and discovering hidden secrets about your family tree. Love all of the old photos! :)

    xoxo laurie

  10. This is all so interesting!! I love stuff like this!
    I want to hear more!!!

  11. Julie I love your farm, it is beautiful. Love all the paper work and I think that is wonderful that your mil is still alive to see
    the farm get this honor. I bet that cute little
    grandson will be working on that farm real soon.

  12. I am so happy I stopped by! Thanks for sharing a little family history with us!! The documents are so beautiful!

  13. Such a great story and so much family history. Those documents are beautiful and the hand writing is an art that unfortunately isn't appreciated by most people these days. Thanks for sharing all this history.

  14. What a wonderful heritage, Julie!
    Love the pic with the motorcycle too - so cool!
    Maybe you could scan all the photos & ephemera and have a book made at snapfish.com...


  15. It looks like TheAdore on the deed as well, instead of TheOdore. My dad was Theodore and it's my son's middle name. So always a soft spot.


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