Of Foundations and Fences

Our little red cabin is not the original building on our Vermont acreage. In fact, where the cabin sits was once a little farmstead, home to several families (or maybe extended families?). We have this picture of what used to be here, circa 1890, I think.
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And those are only the buildings on one side of the town road that ran through that little farming community. The community was long gone when my grandfather bought the property in the mid-1930’s, but the foundations of the many building still remain. The cabin itself is built on the foundations of (probably) the two white houses (although it’s hard to tell given how the landscape has changed over the last 100+ years), and when I consider just what those good folks had for building equipment, the foundation work is just amazing.
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Those shots are from the right of the cabin, where today two pear trees (perfect for a hammock) grow.
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On the other side there’s not so much of a basement as a crawlspace?
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Check out the size of those stone slabs! How did they get them here?

Across the current lawn (what would have been the town road) is another foundation, though this one has been long overgrown.
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A barn maybe? Or another set of houses?
Our current woodshed was probably some sort of bank barn, as you can see by the back wall-
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(and now the wall to our outdoor shower!).
There’s also this stone trough across the road from the shed –
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Wonder what they used that for….kinda leaky for water!
And when they weren’t building foundations, apparently these sturdy Vermonters were building their famous stone walls! Oh my, we have some beautiful examples of those!
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They line the roads, they divide the fields (not that we have many “fields” per sea these days, but remember, it used to be a farming community), and they were then (as they are occasionally here in rural Vermont)  property lines.
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How hard they must have worked to eek out a living on this beautiful mountainside!
So what happened to that small community? Well, I’ve been told that they actually MOVED those houses to a different location. I haven’t a clue why they would do that. Possibly a fire destroyed several of the buildings and the rest of the folks moved (everything) to a new location. Nor can I fathom HOW they would have done that. But when I see the size of the stone that they got to this remote location to make their foundations, I guess really anything is possible.
Oh, and then there’s This Stone –
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Just sticks up out of the ground and it’s not going anywhere. It seems a little too awkward to be a hitching post
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and I know it’s claimed a couple of bumpers over the years!

Here are a couple of pictures over the years of how the “terrain” (and the cabin) has changed!
When the cabin was first built – 1937 +/-
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Before the back porch was added – maybe in the early 1950’s?
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(Look – that mystery stone is there on the right, and the pear trees are getting big!)
And just this week in the misty morning-
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Oh, but if those rocks could only talk!  Wouldn’t they have a story to tell!?

4 thoughts on “Of Foundations and Fences”

  1. Wonderful history of the property. One of your best blogs . It is hard for me to imagine all of that, having been to the property and knowing how difficult it would be to get things there that long ago. Thank you for all your work with the photos and explanations..

  2. I don’t know if any of my family remember this, but an elderly gentleman came to the cabin one year who had lived in the house on the property. He gave us directions to where the old house had been moved and we all took a trip in the back of Uncle Henry’s pickup truck to see it. It was a shambles, but the wooden shingle above the stove is from that house. I don’t remember what road it was, but I definitely remember driving out to see it. (I think I was probably 10 or 12.) Also, the awkward stone used to have a small skinny piece that stuck up from the top which might make it more likely as a hitching post, but I remember being at the cabin when it broke. (i didn’t break it though =) Maybe it was just a boundary stone?

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