Friday, September 30, 2011

My Childhood Home to be Abandoned

         The house I lived in from ages eight to seventeen is about to be abandoned. Even though I only lived in the house for such a short time it has many family memories tied up in it.
photo by Richard Liimatainen

          My Dad bought the land the house is on in 1935. There was a small poorly constructed house on the property when he bought it. For a young single guy the house was just fine. He didn't live in it in the winter as he went out working. The little shack was about 16' x 28'. By 1946 Dad had four little kids so this house little house was not at all suitable for a growing family and he had to do something pretty fast.

          He found another quarter section that had a house on it that was larger and fairly well built. The house had an attic that was not finished but was big enough to be made into bedrooms.The plan was to move the house to his yard and then sell the quarter section.

          The house was moved and set on a cement foundation. An addition was made to the house. My Dad had very little money so he found used lumber and altered the house. His neighbors gave him much assistance and expertise to complete the house. So he ended up with a very comfortable house that was more than adequate for his growing family . He put in central heating and it was wired for electricity. We were very happy to have a new house.

        By the time Dad finished the house economic conditions had improved and he didn't have to sell the quarter section he got the house from.

       My Dad was probably as proud of the hip roof barn he built as he was of his house. The hip roof barn was a status symbol. However by 1955 these barns were no longer essential as other methods of housing animals had been devised.

       Many happy times happened in this house. There were also extremely sad times such as when my sister died in 1953.

        Mom and Dad lived in this house until about 1973. They had been spending the winters in another location. About that time one of my brothers began his farming career and moved into the house. My brother had to do some maintenance over the years. He replaced the roof. added a garage and built the veranda at the front. There were also interior alterations particularly in the kitchen.

      Now it's time for my brother to move to a better location. There is nobody who will move into the house and keep it going.

      So the house has been occupied by my family for almost 65 years and sadly the end has come to it's usefulness .


  1. I know about having those feelings about a place you have lived, but you will always have your memories about it. Will it be torn down? A poignant post, Red. My condolences about losing the old homestead.

  2. My brother wants one of his kids to move into the house but that's not really feasible.
    Some day it will have to be torn down if it's not occupied.
    Many posts could be made of the good times.

  3. Yes Red - sad to see this happen.
    One of our homes - the hotel game business - is now a shell - torched by a new owner. My grandparents ( Huggins side) - their home in Sydney, I went to see years ago, was let go to "rack and ruin" - my grandparents would be spinning in their graves. It was magnificent when they lived there.
    However, one of the ancestral homes, a slab hut at Berrima on the southern highlands of NSW - 1840's - has been restored and added to from a three roomed hut into a "B & B" - new parts all made like the original.(Heritage listed). Quite remarkable effort - last year I visited and it was up for sale - house and land - the price!!!!
    $7.5 million!!!!!
    Maybe that red barn had potential??

  4. Colin, thanks for visiting Hiawatha House. It's nice when some old places can be maintained and become valuable. It'll never happen with this house as the area is not tourist country and the population is very sparse.
    There's no potential in the old red barn. It was built very poorly.

  5. That is sad. It's funny about us adults; we can live for decades in another house but it's the one where we spent our formative years that our minds and hearts want to hang on to.

  6. Sandy, Bang on about the house of our childhood being the most meaningful. I've lived in my present house for forty years and could leave it without hesitation but I'm sure my kids would have a different feeling.

  7. The good memories meld with the bad..I think sometimes it is the simpler times that we miss..and the feelings of our youth. I am sorry to see any house or barn fall into ruin:)

  8. Thanks for visiting Hiawatha House, Daniel.
    I had to borrow this picture as I'm 700 km away.

    I hepled build this barn so any flaws are due to me.