A professional longarm machine quilter for hire and some of the work I've done.
This is the Hill family farm in 1955. They owned 150 acres on this farm. They didn’t have electricity or indoor plumbing. What looks like a utility pole is actually an ink mark on the photo. The barn was twice the size of the house. The house was quite small. The ceilings were only 6 foot high. The house was about 16 foot wide and about 24 foot long. A kitchen was added to the back of the house about 1952. An indoor bathroom and indoor running water for the kitchen was added around 1968.
The house was burned down by a murderer about dawn on April 21, 1989. A man named Marvin Rowe was killed and his car was set on fire to destroy evidence. Marvin Rowe was both stabbed and shot. Either could have been the cause of his death. The car was hidden behind the house, away from sight of the road, next to the house when it was set on fire. The fire from the car spread to the house. My grand parents had not lived in the house for quite awhile.
Off to the left and slightly down hill is the chicken house. The outhouse is hidden by the trees just a few feet to the left of the chicken house. The trees at the back of the house, near the added on kitchen, are peach trees. Trees in front of the house were Hickory Nut trees. The building to the right of the house is a small wash house. This is where we stored our iron pot for boiling clothes over an open fire and the home made soaps and wash boards. The line where the wash was hung out to dry and the well where we drew our water is hidden by the peach trees.
Next to the wash house is the cold house where we stored our cold foods. There was a small stream running inside it that kept the foods cold. The stream was a fluke of nature where underground water running down hill toward a creek in front of the house bubbled up from the ground, ran for about 5 feet, and went back under ground. Grandpa Papa took advantage of this and created the cold house around that short span of above ground running water. Running water keeps milk almost ice cold.
Up the hill, past the barn, going off to the right, was what we called “the old house” where my grandparents lived before this house was built. The old house was a log cabin built by my great great great grands. (Bellamy) My Grandma Mama inherited the house and land which had been passed down through the generations. My grand parents lived in the old house until they built this house about 1945. I remember living in the old house when I was young. My parents lived there after they married.
Off to the left, hidden by the trees is an old cave, a large fishing pond, several fruit trees, two mules, a couple of goats, some pigs, and about two dozen cows. The animals would go to the woods to eat and keep cool on hot summer days.
There is now a small subdivision on the land where my Grandma Mama and Grandpa Papa once held onto land passed down for several generations. I wanted very much to be the one to hold onto it and pass it down to further generations but that was not in the plans. My mother, aunt, and uncles wanted to sell everything to get the money. Which they did. This photo and my memories are all I have left to tell those lazy, hazy, days of summers past.
Lately I’ve been thinking about the thousands of photos I have that aren’t organized. If my kids were to go through the photos there’s no way they would know who the people are. Who will tell Ladybug or her cousins which relative they look like most?
I’m the only one living that can name the people or the places in the photos. Not even my brother knows who are in the really old photos. My mother doesn’t know many either because the photos were given to me by my Grandma Mama. My mother never had interest in the photos but I did. Grandma Mama passed them on to me because she knew I was the one most likely to keep the treasures and pass these on to younger generations.
The other day my daughter asked me what her great grandmother (Grandma Mama) looked like and it got me to thinking. That’s when I realized that I’m the only one who knows who are in the photos. This made me really sad. What if something happens and I haven’t passed the knowledge on to the younger generation? My Grandma Mama would surely be very disappointed in me. It really is time for me to organize the photos in a way that all my kids and my brother’s kids can enjoy the treasures I’ve kept for them all these years.
I also have a ton of family tree information. Births and deaths, wills and cemetery records, land deeds, school records, military records, and stuff like that. I should organize all that stuff to pass on the the kids too. Nothing seems nearly as important as the photos right now. Not quilts or quilting. Not gardening or canning. Not any crafts or blog writing.
But, how do I organize everything so everyone can share what I have? Should I put everything on the computer and then onto a flash drive for each person? Should I make paper copies of thousands of old photos and documents and give everyone their own copies? Should I buy a new version of Family Tree Maker and store them that way? Who gets the originals?
Does anyone have any suggestions? I’d love to know what others have done with old family treasures.