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The History of Our Homestead

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Learning The History Of Our Home

One of my favorite things about our home is the fact that we are fortunate enough to be able to learn so much of it’s history!  Our home was built in 1920, and we are the third family to own it.

Physically the history shows in the little details.  The original doors, cabinets, archways and trim.

In the yard you find little bits of history too!  Original apple trees, an old garage foundation that we are transforming into a patio, and amazingly a section of an electric trolley line that used to run all the way to my home town 35 miles away!

But what is even better than that?  The son of the original owner, who was raised in our home and we had never met before buying our property, comes home to visit his childhood home once a year.

He doesn’t mind walking around the property sharing stories with us for as long as we’d like to hear! (And usually we’re not ready for him to stop!)

 Tom has shared so many memories with us.  And to me, adding our memories to the list that his family started here all of those years ago is the biggest perk to our home!

The day we closed, Linda (the most recent owner) told us that one of the reasons she accepted our offer was that Nick and I reminded her so much of her and her husband Bill when they bought the house as a newly married couple.

As I’ve mentioned before, Nick is an electrician.  Linda’s husband, Bill, was also an electrician!  We have a Puggle and they had a beagle.  And we also learned that Tom’s father (the original owner) was named Nick.

It’s so fun to learn these little coincidence!

A Long List of Memories


The History of Our Homestead ~ A Chick And Her Garden

Our backyard, the day we closed on the house.

This past summer, when Tom came to visit, we took our annual walk around the property and back to the paths in the woods.  He loves visiting with his childhood friend and finding the trees that they had a tree house in, all those years ago.

And up until this summer there had still been one step, nailed into the tree, that was used to climb into the tree house.  He talked with us about the chickens that he and his family raised when they lived here, the different fruit trees that scattered the property, where they kept their garden and the little pond that had been off the back of the house.

Last week, when Nick and I were digging out the Christmas decorations from the crawl space in our bedroom, we found little chalk drawings still on the wall.  Tom’s name was signed next to them!

I remembered him telling me that this had been his bedroom and he loved playing in the crawl space!  I hope to find a way to preserve this and make it a permanent fixture to our home.

Another memory that he’s shared with us, is the tree that used to grow outside that bedroom window.  He used that tree to sneak out and get into trouble with his friends, that is until his dad found out and chopped the tree down.

Continuing The List


Every time I expand my garden, or update the house I know I’m adding to the list.  Family dinners and milestones in our life continue to enrich the history in this tiny space we call ours.

Nick and I love that the life we chose is so similar to the lives of the previous families!  Each time I hear a new story, from Tom or one of our neighbors, I’m driven to continue living this simple life.

It can be hard.  But I look at how happy and fulfilled the families here before us were and I know we can do it!  I know that the stresses can wear us down, and I also know that it will be worth it!

All I need to remind myself, is a moment of sitting in the backyard with a good book, picking an apple from our trees, or sitting in front of the fire with my family.



I smile while I write this, hoping that someday soon we have children of our own that will be just as mischievous as Tom and his friends were.  And while I’m sure I’ll curse myself for saying this later, I’ll also know that they will be creating more memories to be ingrained in the soul of this homestead to one day be shared with another young couple looking to start their perfect little homestead.

Do you have a piece of history that makes your home feel more like a home? Share with us in the comments!

The History of Our Homestead ~ A Chick And Her Garden

Joanne Knoedler

Thursday 2nd of March 2017

I enjoyed reading your story. Tom and his friend Larry are good friends of mine. Larry and I graduated from Cambridge Springs High School in 1953. We were the last class to graduate from the old High School downtown but were able to hold our graduation exercises in the NEW High School which was built on our farm.

Staci Samuels

Thursday 2nd of March 2017

Hi Joanne! It's such a small world! Tom and Larry are so great! I love visiting with them every summer and am so happy that we live in such a great community!!

Katy SkipTheBag

Monday 26th of December 2016

How special to know the history of your house and to find reminders of it. Thanks for sharing on the Waste Less Wednesday Hop!


Wednesday 14th of December 2016

Oh I love learning history like this! We bought our farm in May. It is a small piece (about 50 acres) of what used to be my husband's great aunt and uncle's farm before they passed last year. On our piece sits a log home built in 1830. 2 floors, 4 rooms, 2 fireplaces. They bought it in 1965 and, apparently, there were renters in in it until then! There is no water, bathroom, electric, etc.... But that is pretty much all I know. I can't wait until I have time to dig in a learn more. We plan to live in it!


Wednesday 14th of December 2016

That is amazing!! I'm a little jealous haha! Fill us in on any of the treasures you find!! (Aside from the fact that the cabin is a treasure of it's own!)


Sunday 11th of December 2016

I love the history you can find in old houses! Unfortunately there's no original buildings left on our property but there's some really cool old coal mines and the stone base and hand dug well from an old moonshine still.

Kimberly | My Frugal Farmstead

Friday 9th of December 2016

Have you discovered anything in any walls, crawlspaces, or floor joists? We found lots (LOTS) of old postcards, letters, newspapers, empty liquor bottles (that were "not" liquor... prohibition era), random old bottles. There was a phone book from 1922, a really old book from the mid 1800s written in old Norwegian, and some old board games. We know they daughter that grew up in our house, there was a tavern in our basement in the 1940s and she gave us a photo of it. It's so much fun discovering all those old things and learning more about our house and local history.


Friday 9th of December 2016

We haven't yet! We do still have the old coal chute in the basement that I use as a root cellar, the canning closet and canning stove in the basement! Tom likes to send us photos too every year for Christmas! :-)