Posted by: patwogan | September 16, 2008

Moving To the Farm

After Grandpa Hudiburg died, we moved to the big house across the road from Grandma.  She had not been in very good health and Dad felt it would be a good idea to be closer to her.

The house we moved into had been built by my Great-Grandmother after the death of her husband if I am not mistaken.  She had come to the Independence area with her father, Samuel Parkhurst, who led a wagon train from Johnson County Indiana in 1869.  She already had several children…in fact, I don’t know how many she had at the time, but she had thirteen children total. 

The house was a large two-story frame structure which had four rooms and a large pantry downstairs and three bedrooms upstairs.  One of the “fancy” somewhat modern for the times items was a large ice box in the pantry what had an ice compartment that opened to the outside as well as the inside of the house.  The ice man could open the outside door and put a l00 pound block of ice in the ice box without ever having to go inside the house. 

The upstairs of the house had transoms above all the doors which allowed for circulation of air without having to have the doors open.  One bedroom was very large extending the entire width of the house.  This bedroom was used as a kind of dormitory for the boys of the family.  It also had a grate which allowed the heat from the downstairs to come upstairs.  At each end of the large bedroom were closets which were actually unfinished spaces underneath the slant of the roof.  There were three large windows on the south side of this room and one window at the east and west ends of the room.  Since there was no air conditioning at the time, these houses were built with cross ventilation.  There were two smaller bedrooms on the north side of the house separated by a large linen closet/attic access.  These rooms had three doors in them.  There was a window on the north side of the room and each of the doors had transoms.  The west bedroom became my room and it had a view of the back yard and pasture and pond. 

The downstairs had a large living room, dining room, kitchen, and one bedroom.  There were large sliding doors between the living and dining room which were seldom closed when we lived there.  The living room had a fireplace at an angle in one corner.  Surprisingly, it was a gas fireplace with gas logs.  There were huge andirons at each corner of the arched brick opening.  This was one of my favorite features of the house.

You will notice I have not mentioned a bathroom.  Well, the bathroom consisted of a bathtub in a large closet between the kitchen and the bedroom.  I am sure this bathtub with its drain which led to a ditch in the garden, was an add-on.  It did beat the number two washtub which we had used for bathing at Glencliff.  There also was an outhouse, or privy about l00 feet north of the house.  It was a “two-holer” with  onehole having a “baby seat attached to it for my little brother who was two or three years old when we moved to the farm.  I have never really understood the concept of a “two-holer” as I would think that privacy would have been as important then as it is today.

There was a pump at a sink in the kitchen and the drain to it also led to the garden.  They didn’t call it recycling then, but it was.  When we moved to the house, it had electricity and natural gas.  We did not use the fancy ice box for cooling food as we had a Frigidaire.  That was the major brand of refrigerator at the time and I was older before I knew all refrigerators were not Frigidaires.  We also had a gas range.  Natural gas was abundant around Independence reasonably priced.  We did have a wood stove in the dining room located under the grate in the upstairs floor.  Our major source of heat was that wood stove, although the gas log fireplace was used to provide supplemental heat in the living room. 

The house had a large wrap around porch on the south and east side.  It was concrete and the east side was screened in.  There were four large columns on the south side of the house.  They held up the porch roof which was one story high.  I liked the concrete porch as I could roller skate on it.  There was also a concrete sidewalk at the front of the house which led to the road.

One of the interesting things about the house was that it had an attached cistern on the north side of the pantry.  There was also a well on the east side of the house.  It was covered by a large round stone approximately three to four feet in diameter.  There was a large square stone top  that the round stone rested on.  How these massive rocks were put into place, I have no idea.  They were there and taken for granted by me.  Now, I realize what a feat it was to have put the square stone in place and carve the opening in it and then to create the large round stone to fit over the top.  It had to be about six inches thick.  This is one of the things I now wish I had asked questions about when there was someone around who knew the answer.  There was no pump attached to this well.  There may have been at one time, but it was not used as a water source when I lived there.  The cistern was our prime source. 

A cistern was connected to a series of gutters on the roof.   The rain water which falls on the roof is directed to a filter filled with charcoal and then to the cistern.  This water is very soft and at the time was considered very pure since it was rain water and had been filtered.  I don’t know how it would stack up to today’s treated water, but it was supposed to be better than well water.

As I write this, I am struck with how much things have changed in my lifetime…I wonder how much it will change in yours.

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Responses

  1. I loved that house . . .

  2. Was that Grandpas house then? I loved that house too.

  3. I loved that house too…


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