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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Grandpa Was a Farmer

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Until he became a preacher.


This beautiful farm, nestled in the rolling hills of Vernon County Wisconsin, formerly belonged to my Grandpa, Isaiah Butcher, when he was still a farmer. This is where my mother, her seven sisters, and one little brother were raised.

Did you catch that? Yep - - - a family of 9 children, 8 girls and only one boy!! Here they are, in the order of their birth (The fact that it makes a cute little poem is purely a bonus):

Mama, Papa,
Ferol, Aileen,
Vetra, Guida,
Doris, Verneen
Beulah Mae, Clinton,
And Janet Doreen.

Beulah Mae was my mom.

I don't know WHY I never saw this farm when I was a child. True, Grandpa no longer owned it then as by the time I was born he had long given up farming and gone to preaching, but it's just a stone's throw off one of our regularly beaten paths. And as strong of an influence as it was in the lives of my mom and her siblings I find it incredible that we never took the little detour required to traverse down this memory lane.

But we did not.

After my mom passed away, it was my dad who guided me to this site of family origin.


It appeared to me that the barn was the only original building left on the site.

We Butcher cousins grew up on stories whose setting was right here - - - in this barn, on these hill sides, and in this valley. My mom had memories of playing on a "sand hill" behind this very barn. She also told the tale of falling in the milk cooler one evening when she was so tired she sat on its wall only to fall asleep and tumble in.

(A "milk cooler" back in THAT day was a large stone walled trough filled with icy spring water much like the "spring houses" I mentioned in last week's post.)

Just down the road a piece from the farm was the little one room school house where mom and her siblings walked to school.

It now serves as a storage building (barn!) behind someone's house.


Oh, but I got right out of the car, walked down their driveway, and took these photos. Yes I did, because you know - - - I needed to connect with my roots just a little!!!!


Linking today with "Barn Charm"
Please click over to Bluff Area Daily

To enjoy all the Barn Charm posts.

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28 comments:

Tanya said...

oh i just love a barn with a personal history. i am a bit envious of you to have this right near you....funny isn't it that nobody ever thought to show it to you while growing up....things we just take for granted!

Pamela Gordon said...

What a pretty little farm tucked in a valley and surrounded by hills. It must have been fun to grow up there. Great barn photos! Thanks for dropping by and visiting me. Have a blessed day! Pamela

Debbie said...

oh i just LOVE a good tresspass story!!

it's a great place and a wonderful story.....you have a personal connection to history. keep that alive with your family!!

shannon i olson said...

that is a beautiful farmstead! So good to get to see it and know some history to go along!

Erin said...

Beautiful! Boy, if that school house was on my property, no way would it be a place for storage. It would be the cutest little school-themed guest house you've ever seen! Or I might just live it in myself. Very cool!

Theresa said...

Oh what a beautiful FARM! I would love to go running thru the grass, skipping and singing! The Country does that to me:) Have a blessed day dear friend, HUGS!

podso said...

Wow. To have that nearby. You could sit there on a hill and just visualize all those names coming to life and playing as children. And to see the schoolhouse ... well. stepping back in time is just a thrill for me, and I think you too. What a cute school house.

LL Cool Joe said...

Wow I'm still getting over the shock of 9 children. Mind you I have a friend who has 8 and she drives them to school in a mini bus. :D

What a beautiful place!

Tricia @ Bluff Area Daily said...

Looove the stories of years gone by, I truly love them! I always used to sit & listen to stories... still do! =)

It's absolutely wonderful to see & hear of your 'roots'! God bless you & keep you safe when you're walking other's property... I fear what could happen! =0

Thank you so very much for sharing w/ us all at Barn Charm =)

Lesley said...

I might have dragged my father along and told the owners who we were. Maybe your mother found it a painful memory that it was no longer the family farm?

Genie said...

What a wonderful story of your heritage and your family’s homeplace. I loved reading about everyone. I don’t blame you for going right on up there and taking your pictures. I would have done the same thing. genie

Grandma Barb's This and That said...

What a great story about the farm your mother grew up on. Great pictures too. I love the little one room school house.
Thanks for visiting me.

Kim, USA said...

Wow what a great story. Thanks for sharing.

Red Barn

Ann in the UP said...

That is a beautiful spot and I think it's very mysterious that you never saw it as a child.

Thanks for trespassing---and sharing it with us.

Dawn said...

Neat story--I love the schoolhouse now barn with the basketball goal on the end! The winding road looks so inviting!

thirdhandart said...

What a neat story! Are they bailing hay in the first photo? Love that this farm was once a part of your family history.

CHERI said...

What a beautiful, beautiful place. I love, love old barns...don't know why as I never lived on a farm...but they always just seem like they have so many stories to tell.

Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

This is a wonderful story, loved the photos, too!

Elaine said...

Love your poem and the story of the old farm. It's important to connect to your roots, and chances are if you went up and knocked on the door they would have been happy to let you take all the photos you wanted.

nancygrayce said...

My dad had nine brothers and sisters and my mama had y brothers and sisters so we came from big families too! I love it.

Love the names! And the story about the milk cooler. Glad you didn't get shot walking down to take pictures :)

Patti said...

what a beautiful farm - and I love the "name poem" - isn't it fun to walk down memory lane and see what you missed?

don said...

What a fine walk down memory lane. Beautiful series.

Margaret said...

I loved this post very much. You did a lovely job with the farm and curve of the field, but I would have loved to see more of the barn. My guess is the farmer would welcome you and love to show your around and be happy to hear a few of your mother's stories she handed down...

Tatjana Parkacheva said...

Beautiful post.

Regards and best wishes

Martin LaBar said...

Were Isaiah and Charlie brothers?

Carole said...

A well kept up and nice looking barn. And such a family history to go along with it. :-)

Believe it or not, my paternal grandparents had 16 children! I can't even imagine. lol

jules said...

Isn't it fun learning about your history? I just love hearing stories from my parents when they were growing up.

thesedaysofmine.com said...

How sad that your Mom never shared this place with you while she was living.
Her family reminds me of my Mom's - Mom was one of 12 children, 6 boys, 6 girls. And we grew up on their stories too. I relish the memory of all of them.
Great post!