This has been a working farm for a long time. My earliest memories of it only go back to the mid-60’s. We were able to save some of the old buildings–the main part of the “home house,” which dates back to the 1880’s, a couple of barns and a cabin. There are some other cabins and barns which we haven’t tried to restore, but which are still standing. And of course I can remember barns, houses and other outbuildings that are now gone.

But I often see evidence of life here that predates my earliest memories. This stone foundation in the woods is an example.

Look carefully and you'll see it.

Look carefully and you’ll see it.


I don’t know what once stood there.

Maybe someday some future occupant of this place will see some remnant of our time here, and wonder what it was. I wonder what they’ll think of what we leave behind.


9 comments on “Foundations

  1. shoreacres says:

    I love finding foundations, old walls, wells — everything like that, in the country. Sometimes the trace of human life is naturalized amaryllis, or a windbreak that’s been planted. It’s like being in a cemetery, and thinking about the lives respresented by the stones.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      I do too. If I find fruit and nut trees in the woods, usually along with flowers that I wouldn’t expect to be there normally, a careful look usually reveals that there was once a house there. As for the old wells, they can be dangerous of course. Good to keep close look out for those! Another sign is the dark green vining plant (the name escapes me) that was planted as a ground cover on old cemeteries. Those kinds of things do make me wonder about the lives lived there and now long-forgotten.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. avwalters says:

    I’m from an area that mined copper way back when. My favorite is to encounter old foundations, the buildings long since rotted away (or more likely the wood scavenged and re-purposed) surrounded by lilac bushes, the remains of their backyard raspberries and an apple tree, or two.


    • Bill says:

      Yes! As I just wrote in response to Linda’s comment, fruit trees, nut trees and flowers are often given aways that it’s an old home site. Neat to find those and to imagine the lives lived there.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. nebraskadave says:

    Bill, I did some landscaping in the front of my house. When the house was built, the dirt bank was held back by a limestone rock wall. I removed that wall and put in a new wall by using retaining wall blocks. While I was removing the old wall I kept thinking about the men that built that wall. What were they doing some 45 years later. Were they even still alive. I really thought about putting together a time capsule with pictures and comments about the replacing of the wall and building of the patio next to it for the next person that re landscapes the front door area. I’d seal it up in a PVC pipe and write on the outside of the pipe what it was and bury it behind the wall. I haven’t done it yet but still think it would a awesome if some one long after I’m gone found it and read it.

    Here in Nebraska when I bought my first house, part of the process was to update the abstract. An abstract was a document that have the history of the property all the back to when it was stolen from the native Americans. Well, back to when the 160 acre grant was given to the first settler. Today abstracts are gone and only titles are required. The abstract that I had for the first house was amazing to read. All the divisions over the years, law suits, sales, gifts, etc. It was a big old yellow papered document that weighed at least a couple pounds. It was filled with a lot of legalize but fascinating to read. It recorded all the houses that were built and where they were built for the whole neighborhood. I kind of wish I had kept that document but I thought it should stay with the house. The house I live in now never had an abstract so I don’t know what the history of the land is. Some folks are interested in American history which your area has much to see. I love to walk through derelict farms and see the remnants of a garden with the rhubarb and asparagus still growing or see an orchard struggling to still produce fruit. It’s some what sad to think that some one actually put much effort into maintaining gardens and orchards but now that they are gone, it lies in neglected ruin. I often think about my gardens when the time comes that I can’t garden any more what will the surrounding neighbor hood remember about the crazy old coot that once gardened there. I know in a matter of just a couple years it will return back to a wild weeded mess. So I’m just taking care of the land for a short time. I don’t really own it.

    Have a great day exploring your property ruins.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      We’re all just stewards and temporary caretakers of the land we presume to “own.” Nature will quickly reclaim anything we surrender back. And that is true of everything from our gardens to Mayan cities.

      When we ripped out the plaster wall in our old farm house, I was hoping to find that someone had left a date or an old newspaper in the wall, as so often happens. But sadly the original builders didn’t leave us any message like that. Now that I think about it though, neither did we when we rebuilt the walls.

      Tracing the history of property is fascinating. I actually hired someone to do that for this farm (just tacking it onto some title work she was already doing for us) but she couldn’t determine ownership prior to the 1870’s. It was likely carved out of a larger tract but it wasn’t possible to figure that out. That’s too bad. Most of the county (including our farm) was long ago part of a land grant to an ancestor of mine. Way more land than he could have possibly used, but it was all wilderness back then. As you note, no regard was given at all to the natives living here.

      Liked by 2 people

      • “We’re all just stewards and temporary caretakers of the land we presume to “own.” Nature will quickly reclaim anything we surrender back. And that is true of everything from our gardens to Mayan cities. ”

        I appreciate your perspective on this Bill.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. bobraxton says:

    besides tart “wild” plums, this is about what remained of what people these parts (in 1950’s childhood) called “the Sam Stone” place.


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