If you haven't already done so, you may want to read The Introduction to this series of posts.
Goose Lake Farm
I shall try to describe the farm and the house, as it was when Jane, Bill and I were kids. The house sets back from the road quite a distance, so that the front lawn was much larger than most places. As you drove into the barn yard thru the gate, you passed the granary which held both oats and wheat, and a corn crib which also served as housing for the spring wagon, buckboard and buggy.
Just north and east of the granary was the huge barn. The watering tank was placed under a large maple tree and it was always cool around the tank even in the hottest summer. There was a good fence around this part of the barnyard. The cows could stay under the barn's overhang, which was on the south side and on the east side above the stable doors. When we were small we could not go near the barn unless Grandpa took us - and it was a wonderful occasion when he would consent to a trip to the barn.
When we visited there one summer, I think it was in 1909, Grandpa owned a beautiful Stallion. When people brought their mares over to visit us children were absolutely not allowed to be there. I can remember the older members of the family saying that Grandpa was too old to have such a Stallion around.
The hen house was north of the barn but on an even path from the house. It was built new about 1909 and Grandma was extremely proud of it as it was very modern with a cement floor and had separate areas for feeding and watering and another for rooting.
Back of the new hen house was the one that was used as a hatching house even after Papa owned the farm. Each broody hen was put on fifteen eggs and there was food and water put in the building so that the hens could eat and drink. Thirteen weeks later there were little chicks all over!
Then we go to the house - first is the woodshed filled with wood, as that was their fuel for cooking and heating. It was cut during the winter months from the wood lot down near the lake. To the left is the windmill with the well supplying water to the house first and then piped down to the holding tank under the big Maple tree.
From the wood shed to the door and into the summer dining room we have been walking on a brick walk. And the small yard in front of the dining room and around the windmill was brick. This brick must have been there for years because even in 1909 it was green with moss.
I think that summer dining room was quite unique. There was an iron water tank in one corner that was enclosed by a modern cabinet with a lid on it; the tank held about forty gallons of water. This room was screened in on the north and south with a storage room to the east and the kitchen to the west. There were wooden doors that enclosed it all in the wintertime. There was as large cupboard that had been built years before and Grandma always had the room looking cool and nice.
The next room was the kitchen. I guess I can hardly tell you anything good about it, yet I learned to cook there on an old wood-burning stove. The entrance to the cellar was a trap door in the floor, you opened it and went down the ladder and hoped no one would fall into the opening while you were down below. The cellar was where the potatoes and onions were stored along with the canned fruits and vegetables; a hanging shelf was our refrigerator. The kitchen table was in the space beside this trap door and many was the time that we would have to open the door for milk or cream after we were all seated at the table. The ones that sat on the side near the door, usually Jane and Me, had to stand guard till the trip for cream was made.
On the other side was the buttery and pantry; it was just a big dark place to put everything. There were shelves and a table or sink. It was always dark as night, there were no windows and no kerosene lamp could take the awful dark away - or at least that is the way it seemed to me! There was a plastered room for meat and anything else eatable that freezing wouldn't hurt. This room was always locked.
There had been an addition to this kitchen and in the space between the pantry and the back door was a cistern pump with an iron sink. In 1909 this was quite a modern improvement. The stove was opposite the sink with the wood box and a cupboard.
It really seems very primitive but there were many delicious meals prepared and eaten in that kitchen. There was a screen door between the kitchen and the dining room, which was used as a dining room only on very rare occasions. But the screen door had been put up when we were very small so that Mama could keep an eye on us while working about the kitchen.
The House at the Goose Lake Farm ~ about 1914 ~ Uncle Thornton Brubaker (sitting on the stump, half-brother of William Brubaker), Jane, Orville Day (a hired man), Maud, Billy, Hazlette, Spot, and Charles Romain Brubaker. There are no pictures of the out-buildings that Grandma describes as they were torn down long ago.
The house as it is was on August 16, 2005. The current owners have a living room and master bedroom on the lower floor and two bedrooms upstairs. The kitchen is in the right side of the house. It now has all of the modern conveniences.