Monday, December 29, 2008

An Old Homestead

There's something about a coating of snow that makes everything look old romantic, even an old, abandoned homestead like this one. We have a number of abandoned houses in the area, mainly due to a change in the culture. 

In 1900, about 39 percent of the American population was involved in agriculture. In 1945, that number had fallen to about 17 percent. In 2000, only one percent of the American population farmed. This dramatic decrease in the farming population is mirrored by a decrease in the rural population, from 60 percent in 1900 to 21 percent in 2000. Although this huge transformation meant many people left rural areas for urban and suburban abodes, many of their homes were left behind.

Over time I'll feature some of these abandoned buildings and look at some of the architectural styles of them. This particular style is common around here, a square house with a door in the middle of the front. It usually had a living room, dining room/kitchen, and two bedrooms. Running water was not available when the house was built, so an outhouse is out back. Many houses of this type have an addition in the back or on the side for a bathroom and more modern kitchen. Because refrigeration also was not available, a root cellar is nearby, along with assorted outbuildings. It's fun to imagine what life was like in these old buildings when they were occupied by vibrant families busy with their day-to-day activities.

2 comments:

The Incredible Woody said...

I always wonder what stories old houses would tell....

Caroline said...

Very neat. Seeing these houses reminded me of a town called Bodie located in California. Here is a link
http://www.ghosttowngallery.com/htme/bodie.htm

It's a whole ghost town! Very interesting. Many of the houses still have all their funishings, etc. My boys loved it when they were little. I'm wondering if you've ever been there??

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