Monday, October 25, 2010

A Peaceful Valley

I was able to find a really interesting listing for an auction in Wisconsin.  It was in an area I really have not been to.  As usual I was using my Garmin so that I could not only get to the auction on time but not get lost.
It directed me to turn right onto a gravel road which isn't that concerning although I was pulling our trailer.  The next right turn concerned me though since now I was turning on to a dirt/somewhat gravel road that was a large single lane road.  Hmmmmm!!  I have confidence in the Garmin but !!??  I slowly wound around the small mountain wondering if I was really going to find an auction in  "2.1 Miles". 

The area was very rural and mostly family farms.  Not all dairy farms though which, of course, Wisconsin is known for.  You could smell the corn being husked off in the distance and even hear the roar of the tractors.  Most all of the farmers are really taking advantage of this beautiful fall weather to get their crops in.  The colors of the trees was breath taking.  It was great  being able to keep the window rolled down  so as to enjoy the crisp morning air.  It was still early morning so the steam was rising from some of the woods off in the hills.  The evenings have definitely been cooler and the morning fog rises almost as if there is a camp fire off in the woods.

Winding gently up the lane I can see a valley off to the right.  A corn field spread out across the valley from one side to the other.  Next a farm with old barns and corrals.  Many Amish farm this area but I did not see any of their wagons or farms this time.  The barns were well kept.  Mortar in the old rock type foundations were in good shape. 

I love these old barns and have started taking pictures every time I come across them.  Unfortunately this is one of those mornings that I was busy getting started and forgot the camera.  I imagine it takes constant repair to keep the older barns in good shape.  The investment would be worth it to me since you just can't replace that look.  Probably not as efficient as modern buildings.  The stone foundations bring such beauty and serenity.  They certainly put a time stamp on them.

The road takes a lazy turn to the left, a decline to the right then across a small stream.  Now at the valley base I see the farm.  The large barn is the first building in the lane.  In the back of the barn are two open stalls probably used for horses since they open into a corral that rounds the end of the barn and continues up the lane a bit.  Next a building that looks much smaller and maybe newer.  Someone says it was for the chickens.  Pump house next and then the main house.  Simple, large, two story, enclosed screened porch in back with open porch although smaller in front.  The roof has a scattering of antique lightning rods.

The road went just a few hundred feet to a stop sign (faded, rusted and full of holes) where you had to turn right or left.  Both curved upward in opposite directions on the same mountain.  The house that I now have turned down the lane to was nested up next to that mountain.  The stream was on the opposite side of the lane to the home.  Off to the right was the corn field and pasture.  White board fences.  Looking over the pasture you could see the extent of the valley.  The pasture and the corrals were empty now.  The corn was yet to be harvested.  It was beautiful to say the least.

Several hay wagons had all sorts of household items.  Some newer. Some older. Some very old.  Off to the side were several plows and other farming equipment all lined up.  Not the usual plows.  These had the old iron seats on them.  Team drawn.  I knew this auction held some treasures but I wondered about the farm and its family.

The auctioneer answered my question when he made his usual announcements.  The auction was to settle an estate.  He introduced one of the daughters that was there.  As the auction progressed I could not help but continue to look around and see the parts of this farm.  How many horses?  Were they used for the farm?  How did they get through in the winter.  Surely these remote roads weren't always passable.  The nearest town had to be at least a half hour away.  The creek curved through the field and in some places created some large gorge like curves.  I wonder if they worried about flooding in the spring.  No signs of flood damage on the foundations or fence boards.  Sometimes a place just speaks to you.

Not long into the auction,  the daughter walked over my way.  I smiled and started an easy conversation.  I asked her if she grew up here.  She said she had not.  Her parents apparently bought the farm when they retired at 60.  Her mother was a librarian which is why they had almost one whole hay rack just for the boxes of books!!  Her mother preceded her father in death.  He had just passed away and they were settling the estate.  He lived to age 98!! So they had lived on the farm for almost 40 years!!  Wow.  I asked her if the farm was for sale.  She said no that her and her husband had decided to buy it and do the same thing her parents did.....retire there.  She hoped that they would be able to enjoy it as long as they had.  It was nice to know the story.

I even went by Frank Lloyd Wright's house on the way home.  I knew that the structure was around this area and had wanted to look into exactly where it was since I had read a book about it (fictional book titled "Loving Frank"). Never dreamt I would "happen" by it. 

Here are some of the treasures I was able to bring back.
Primitive milk stool.  I loved this cast iron bunny.  The rust makes it look like he has a brown nose.  Really cute!!

Several old pails.  Probably a collection  Even the hand pump!!

I thought this box was unique.  Obviously mailed quite some time ago.  Not even a zip code!!

The wagon seat was in good shape.  The springs still attached.  Will make a nice seat for porch or living room/family room.

This is an old lunch box.

Inside and outside in really nice condition

What day!!  I only wish I had bought my camera with me so that I could share the beauty of the area.

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