This is the history of our farm and what it has now become.

The first home to be built on the farm was the "white farm house" that Joyce lives in. It appears that this was one of the earliest homes built in the area. In the mid-1700's, a single room, stone and log house was built into the side of the hill immediately above a spring. Shortly thereafter a second room was added immediately below the first. This second room enclosed the spring suggesting that it could have been used for cold storage. However, a large fireplace was also built into this room so it is unclear how this room was used. In the late 1700's, a second floor with 3 small rooms and log walls was added over the original room. Around 1840, a major addition was undertaken with 2 stone floors being built over the basement spring room. The walls were almost two feet thick at the base and were built with stones from the farm. A combination of sand, clay and lime was used to create a very soft mortar. Despite the suboptimal mortar, the stonework remains impressive even by today's standards with bullnose windows and a stone spiral staircase. Also in the mid-1800's an additional floor and attic was added on top of the log cabin. Timber framing of the attic was done using hand-crafted mortise and tenon joints secured with wooden pegs. After the final addition, there were 8 bedrooms, a living room and a kitchen, plus the original two basement rooms, which were abandoned around that time. At that time there are 4 chimneys and 6 fireplaces in the home. The home existed relatively unchanged for almost 100 years. In the early 20th century, a single bathroom was added and in the 40's electricity was added.

When we purchased the farm in 2009, the home was falling into disrepair (it actually had a negative value on the appraisal since the cost to remove it exceeded the vaule of the home). Of greatest concern was a log wall that had collapsed inward about 3 feet into a first floor bedroom as well as major structural beams that were failing. However, the home has remarkable character and since it is one of the earliest homes built in the area, it is of historical interest.

A major renovation was undertaken in 2009. The most dramatic moment of the renovation was when the entire two-story, log portion of the home was lifted into the air with a series of jacks. This allowed the bottom 4-8 logs on all sides, which were showing significant rot, to be removed and replaced with new logs. The extensive rot in the lower logs had caused the house to shift downward. This fact combined with exterior log wall that had collapsed into the bedroom, had caused the floors above to shift unevenly and had imparted impressive slopes to some of the floors and doorways. As a result, it was unclear how many logs to add and what shape they should be. Guesswork prevailed and when the house was set back down, it was straighter than it was before. Not perfect but definitely better. A second challenge was that on the first floor all the major floor beams (they were tree trunks, some still with bark on) had rotted so much that a few collapsed when floorboards were removed. New beams were created and patched into the existing structure using both old and new supports in the basement. It was decided that perhaps having running water (i.e., an active spring) in the basement was outdated, so the basements were sealed with concrete. Somewhat surprisingly this was successful at capping off the spring and eliminating water from the basement. Additional improvements included replacing the timber framing around the windows in the stonework, replacing windows and floors throughout the home, converting two bedrooms into a single large living room, overhauling the plumbing and electrical systems, installation of a metal roof, and the installation of forced air propane heating system. Plus many, many small repairs. But it was with great pride that Joyce was able to move into her new "old home" in 2010. Hopefully it will last another 300 years.

More history and pictures to come . . .



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