Monday, March 20, 2017

Abandoned Farmhouses and Honoring Those Who've Gone Before

There is nothing like an old, abandoned farm house to evoke a flight of fancy in me.

Yesterday's Sunday drive found us in the Elizabeth City, North Carolina area.  The back roads in this county (once nearly entirely agricultural) are full of old farm houses, the occupants long gone. I used to wonder how folks left houses with the curtains still hanging and furniture inside.

Then I realized that there were such homes in my husband's own family; the farm house he grew up in and his grandparent's farm house.  Due to sad spouses' deaths and happy remarriages, this was the state of the house Bruce grew up in.

I liked Bruce's brother's solution.  He let us know about this first, but they demolished the old house. It lives on in our house in pictures.  My mother in law sent me the window from the chicken house, which I use to display vintage plates.

I was in that home only once, when my late sister-in-law, Margaret, was still alive. (I dislike that term late meaning deceased.  It sounds as though the person kept others waiting.) The little farm house was immaculate. When I think of the beautiful Margaret, gone much too soon, I see the round wooden dining table made of a dark wood with a gorgeous and very large cotton doily crocheted by Grandma Fodge on top.  So pretty.

England's Daily Mail had a terrific online article about an abandoned Welsh cottage nicknamed "Cloud House."  Abandoned Welsh House
Not only is Cloud House abandoned, but most of the contents are still in place, frozen in time,and looking as though the occupants just left, save for the dust.  Dan Circa, who photographed the house, thinks that the husband served in WW II.  I think the contents indicate otherwise.
Consider this rendering of Queen Mary, the former Victoria Mary of Teck, nicknamed "May" for her birth month. Mr. Circa photographed this vignette on top of a dresser. Queen Mary is a young woman early in her marriage. She was elderly when WW II started, which leads me to believe that the military artifacts are from "The Great War."

Mr. Circa relates that there is no evidence in the home to indicate the occupants' identities, so they shall remain unknown. I disagree.

On another Sunday drive last yea,  we came upon a completely abandoned historical district with an old general store, grain silos, etc.  The names of the store's proprietors were etched in stone. I researched them on, and learned all about the brothers who ran the establishment.

I wish I lived closer, because their identities and stories could easily be learned via tax and land records, British census information, probate records, local church information, death certificates, military records, and newspaper archives. How sad that these records were not pursued by Mr. Circa or the reporter, as I would love to know more about the folks who left behind their pictures, their glasses, their watches, and their lives.

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