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blueshoefarm at gmail dot com.... and that would be how to reach me

Friday, July 8, 2011

Old House Histories

Photo: Lemolo Schoolhouse, 2011. I realize it is not really a 'looker' in this image... I will post more interesting photos when I find my elusive camera. One of the more interesting tasks of my previous museum job was helping visitors and researchers document building histories. Since moving to my old house, I have sporadically been searching for information on my property since a 1904 house in Washington state probably has some sort of provenance. I realize this is nothin' to folks on the East Coast or across the ponds toward Europe and Asia, but in our wet Northwest clime, 107 years is a bit of age. Things have a tendency to be torn down around here.... progress you know. Or, just molder away in the wet moist environment. Last week we visited a gal that just bought an old community schoolhouse located in Lemolo. I got a bit giddy with finding out information on her building... since old public one room buildings in Kitsap are torn down without a second thought - Grange halls, schoolhouses, churches have been bulldozed more often than not. And she actually likes her building - yay! To find material about her school and my home I made my first venture to the Poulsbo Historical Society and was pleasantly surprised by their knowledge and friendliness. They not only had citations of all available references from the local newspaper for the last several decades but also gave me names of oldtimers that live in the community and can share what they know. The other major resource is the Kitsap Historical Society which I only dealt with by phone or email after my first in person visit. They are still working on finding early schoolhouse pictures, but the stunner is that the director is the granddaughter of the man who built my house, if my house is really the Paulson home. Unfortunately, she has no pictures, but she does have tales. There is a part of me that does not want to find out the details of my previous house residents... since if there is something wacked I don't really want to think of it going on within these walls. BUT then again, this house has no bad vibes, even when it is really dark, and I am really tired, and the kids are with their dad. The only thing I have a question about is why every door has a lock on it upstairs, but am going to attribute that to this being (previously) a hundred+ acre farm that probably had farm hands and maybe boarders during the Depression and after. I did find out that there were extensive gardens, a dairy, giant chicken barn, and they sold produce to Port Gamble residents when Port Gamble was a monster lumber mill and community. I am going to search for the foundation of another smaller house somewhere on the property that the wife moved to when the husband died. Why didn't she stay in the "big" house?

Maybe she was like me, and hates cleaning floors. I often think of moving to a one room condominium with no animals and all white furniture when I become slower and longer in the tooth. I think it keeps me motivated and somewhat sane... to think there is an out to the endless maintenance I do. As far as I can see, the chickens are the only creatures earning their keep around here by supplying me with eggs. I was trying to talk Amanda dog into weedeating yesterday since my arm was sore. She just gazed at me with dog admiration, I told her that only goes so far, that unconditional love thing. She needs to start helping around here, and that does not include her yippy barking. I know when my neighbors drive by since I see them...I don't need her barking-yipping-noisy narration. Dogs.


Buffy said...

It's neat to know about your farm. I, unfortunately, am now living up above a lady in this apartment who is in her deathbed. When I go to bed, I see her right below me on oxygen and ready to kick the bucket. It's a bit freaky, scary...I don't know the word for it, but the feelings I get are weird as I lay in bed knowing she's right below me. When she dies, will she come through her ceiling in the middle of the night and kill me or do something strange? LOL Silly me.

Feathers said...

I think you may have just defined your next job. Offer yourself up as a historian of old buildings and places. Find people who want to know about their old places and charge a fee for digging up a snap-doodle-good report.

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