Friday, July 12, 2013

Trying to Capture History!

Heroes in history seem as poetic because they were there.
But if we should tell the simple truth of some of our neighbors,
it would sound like poetry.
                        George William Curtis


I have never been surprised with the generosity of the people I meet when I go to these farm auction sales. I always try to get permission from the owner or in the case of an estate sale the permission of a family member before I take any photos or write my version of a story. I offer my Blog address if they know what a Blog is and yes it is true not everyone knows. This auction family was I must say one of the largest I have ever encountered and very friendly and I am extremely grateful for them letting me have this peek into their world.



This particular auction was Up North a very long drive for us because we took the long way, I love that. We passed a farm that had strange animals (at least to me) walking around the barn yard; I could not believe it …. wait for it…. a herd of Water Buffalo. What are the odds of that after I had just finished up their yogurt that very morning? Oh I so wanted to stop but My Hero wanted to get to our destination and as we all know those whizzing by photos of barnyards far away never turn out, I could not believe I seen this and now you will not believe it either. Drat. I do know if I had driven myself I would possibly have not made it to this auction because I would possibly have been brave enough to walk up to the farmhouse and asked if I could see one of those fascinating animals then I probably would not have made it home till darkness fell.



On arriving at this farm I could see that it had at one time been fairly isolated and my imagination went back to a time when there would have been no one around but the original settlers in what would have been very thick bush. I walked up to a group of people who I just knew were the family, there was a lot of chatter and an obvious love of things that were being bought by other family members, and the happiness that came with that. I asked a woman if this was her family’s auction.

This lovely woman told me it was indeed, I then introduced myself to her and shared the reason I had approached her. I explained that I would like to take photos of the barn and some of the old equipment and share it with others because it is a shame if they are never seen nor remembered, if she did not mind. I explained to her that it breaks my heart to see them disappearing at an alarming rate, she was happy to oblige. Actually the surrounding family that overheard our conversation were happy too and I felt that these people understood what I have been trying to do.



 I shared with this lovely woman the fact that this was a beautiful house and must have been a beautiful place to grow up. She pointed to a bedroom on the top floor of the house “ I was born right up there in that bedroom” Wow, I had heard of that and it makes perfect sense since the people living this far away from anywhere would have been completely on their own to handle any situation and they usually did it well.

 Can you imagine our own modern day lives like that, relying on ourselves for everything?  We are indeed very lucky and that is why these stories should be shared so we will never take that for granted and never forget our history. I said thank you and hiked off towards the barn with the sound of laughter coming from the auction crowd after the auctioneer no doubt shared a joke. He has always been very entertaining, making a sometimes difficult situation easier for the family involved. I love that.



While walking down the grassy lane leading to the barnyard that familiar smell of fresh cut hay surrounded me I could see round bales sitting in the field behind this amazing barn and smiled, it made me wonder when we will start cutting and baling our own hay. I was secretly grateful for the rain we had on the Friday allowing me to make it to this auction, if not for it I would be home baling hay. This barn was massive and in reasonably great shape for its obvious age. I inched closer snapping shots as I went trying not to miss anything.

The history and stories this barn could tell had my imagination going wild and as we all know most times we never really get to know the true stories that come from these homesteads or the buildings, that is where imagination and a little mingling with older farmers comes in for me. That is the key, the farmers that actually lived it or have listened to their parents or grandparents. I am lucky enough to know many people like this and those stories they have shared with me since I started farming long ago have stayed with me.



 I think with the size of this family and everyone being so close the stories and history will continue to be passed on from generation to generation long after that beautiful barn is gone. This barn is lucky that there are people who know these stories and will indeed pass them on, most barns I have seen lately are not as lucky, they are lying on the ground in a big heap forgotten much like the generations of farmers who have long ago passed.

This barn was the lifeblood of this farm, this was where the money was made and the family sustained themselves, where all their hard struggles were experienced and they learned how to survive, oh yes indeed the stories this barn could tell. After taking a photo of every possible space without actually going inside and at every possible angle I headed back to the auction.



 I walked around the old equipment that many a man or possibly a woman had sweat and struggled with through long days and years on this tree covered rocky land trying to keep a huge family going. We should NEVER forget that. They are the sometimes forgotten Heroes of this country.



More to share later. Part 2

 Later.

47 comments:

  1. I'm kind of glad it was raining, too - this farm is a great find. I can't imagine a life so far from others and having to rely on,ourselves for so much. Will anyone be moving I to this farm - or will it be abandoned?

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  2. What a wonderful path you have set for yourself Buttons; I'm so glad you have become a rural historian!

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  3. Would love to walk around inside that barn for awhile. :)

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  4. Jacquelineand - says it best - "a rural historian." That's perfect.

    Thank you for capturing and sharing these stories. Often you remind me of my aunt & uncle - living so far out in the country . .

    More often you give me greater insight into rural life - the way it was and should be - full of heart - and joy -

    sometimes, reading world news, it seems we are losing touch - losing heart and integrity -

    Thank you for saving these bits . . it might be YOUR Stories will show "the way home" - someday.

    love & love,
    -g-

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  5. I like that this barn is still in such good shape. You're right that so many of them are now lying in heaps.

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  6. You are doing such a valuable thing in preserving these treasures for the generations to come.

    I love that you saw the water buffalo. I drove by a herd of zebra and impala in a pasture near here the other day, and I had the same brain boomerang.

    Don't you just love this world?

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  7. I hope the family finds your blog! You do such a good job of preserving memories, through your pictures, and your stories!

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  8. Water buffalo! Well you don't see them around here. I love all the rustic farm pics.

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  9. I love that you are documenting these places. It breaks my heart to pass derelict barns that are just being allowed to soak back into the earth. Those buildings were erected with blood, sweat and tears...they deserve some respect.

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  10. I am glad you are gathering history.

    Our barn at the top farm disappeared one board at a time...to the ground. Had to be someone who knew our schedule. sincerely hope they choke on the barn wood.

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  11. Another interesting story about your area and its living history. Great barn shots too.

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  12. This inspires me to take some photos of the inside of our barns in the loft areas. Thank you for sharing these photographs.

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  13. i have the same kinds of thoughts when i see an old house! i would love to go to a farm auction with you, wish we were neighbors!

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  14. All old barns fascinate me ... this big tall one looks like it has many stories to tell.

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    1. Also meant to add the reflective figures in that window are are quite fascinating and get your mind wandering quite a bit.

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  15. You're doing a great thing, B, to gather these memories and keep this history. So much will be lost if we don't share our stories and save our treasures. Those barn shots are great--that is a big barn, and you're right--that was the center of the farm living. I like the photo of the corner of the house, too. It's hard to imagine living so far away from others that you must depend on yourself, even when giving birth.

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  16. B,

    I always love all of your photographs and the stories behind them.

    Can you imagine if these barns could talk what stories they would tell?

    Have a beautiful weekend!

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  17. Oh, Buttons, the stories that old barn could tell. And how lucky it is to have you to speak for it and show off its beauty here.

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  18. I'm glad you got to attend the auction so that you could share the barn with us! I really like that old window too. :)

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  19. Such a true thing you said about the forgotten heros of this country - those who grafted before us and helped build this relatively easy World we now live in. Go out and buy some water buffalo!!

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  20. love the old gray barn. blessings to that family...

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  21. i'm particularly attracted to those with stone foundations, even after the wood is gone, i'm drawn to them.

    wonderful quote today too. :)

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  22. I love your imagination. I love your heart. I like to take the long way too....and you are so right...no one and no thing should ever be forgotten. Oh my brain is getting cluttered with rememberances so we remember and relish and let it go for awhile. Thanks for this old stuff that was/is so precious to some of our fellow souls. Sandra

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  23. B, my parents were just at my house for the past three days. Both my Mom and Dad shared some family stories I'd never heard before! What treasures indeed, those stories! Wonderful post today!! xx

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  24. It is so awesome that you take photos at these auctions to share with all of us. I bet that most people are so happy for you to do so when you ask their permission. I can't imagine having a place with so much history like that!

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  25. Buttons, I love the second image - that not quite square window with the reflection!!!!
    And your appreciation of the past!!!

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  26. Thank you Buttons for your nice words. I know you were referring your blogger friends to feral woman's site and I had thought to do it as well, but have felt so sick this past week. So you inspired me, and also, your writing is very, very special. I hope you know that. It's sort of in a class of its own and I read a comment on this post I think where someone called you a rural historian. So true.

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  27. Love that window with the reflection.

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  28. I've always loved barns, they seem to be a touchstone of history.

    Sad to see them deteriorate like they do.

    Jen

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  29. You've done a great job so far with this piece of history!

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  30. What a beautiful barn. I'm glad you take the photos at the auctions. My dad had a tear in his eye when I took the photos of the abandon farmsteads where I grew up. It made him happy to think that they would be remembered. Good job. What you do is more important than you would ever know.

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  31. What a wonderful story. We saw so many old Barns on the way to Oregon. I would have loved to have stopped and heard there story. And a lot of them where in pretty bad shape. So sad..

    Hugs~

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  32. Old Barns, great to photograph as it keeps how they looked at time of said. It's good that you are keeping the history and I bet they can tell some stories, if only barns could talk..hugs M xoxox

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  33. Absolutely!! I so agree with you and your thoughts. My husband often talks of his youth and when he had to get up at 3am to set the horses to before the flies started blighting. There are so many stories lost. thank you so much for caring enough to take photos and write the stories down! Joan

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  34. You got some beautiful photos.... I also run into a lot of people who have no idea what a blog is. Kind of funny but I can remember when I had no idea what a blog was either.

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  35. Water BUffalo are shjowing up everywhere in your world of late :) and I LOVE barns. They remind me of where I grew up. Such wonderful memories.

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  36. Too bad about not getting pics of the water buffaloes, love the barn shots!

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  37. Its you, YOU! you little farm angel reporter - you and your reporting skills are making sure that the world never forgets how it became civilized - without the farmer, there is no consistency in feeding the world...without food, we perish.

    HUGS!!!! XOXOXOX

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  38. Great post. I often wonder at the stories the abandoned farmsteads in our neighborhood have to tell....

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  39. None of us can really understand what our early settlers went through just to survive. They went through so much and I believe had a joy of living many of us (me) miss. Loved this post girl!

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  40. Yes, what Feral said. And your photos are art.

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  41. i love the old barns, houses, structures...stone, wood. they make me wonder...and wander.
    i also love all your pic's...and especially the window reflection!!

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  42. Wonderful pictures, tough to imaging how it was for folks without all the modern convenience and comunication

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  43. This was such a lovely post; well written and deep from the heart. Thank you.

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  44. Great story. I want to see more of that house too. In my mind when I see places like that, I go back to the days when families got together for Holidays and Sunday dinner and what have you....families were friends....and I think of the laughter, the tears, the joys that were shared. I even think of the clothes. Growing up, our family got together a lot. I miss my Aunts and Uncles terribly.

    Cindy Bee

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  45. So often I read the words "We must never forget" ~ someone is generally referring to a horrific event where lives were lost... and I certainly agree, we should not forget.
    But as you point out, how many people remember, or care to learn about the people who came before us... that struggled with next to nothing compared to our pampered lives, and made a home in what was previously a patch of forest? We would not be here were it not for those incredibly hard working, brave folk who built those huge barns, after they cleared the land and after they turned the trees into lumber.

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  46. What a wonderful story! I love that old house...

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The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

Thank you so much for your comments, they mean more to me then I could ever express. Hug B

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