Sunday, December 02, 2007
Weekend Snapshot: Number 13
My weekend snapshot post today will be a trip down memory lane. All of the photographs except for the first one were taken this weekend. The picture below was taken around 1978 of my friend Peggy (she's smiling), her dog Charlie, and me (I'm the solemn one). Charlie died many decades ago. Peggy and I both turned 50 this year and in between our birthdays we picked a weekend to treat ourselves with a day spa treatment and to visit some of our old haunts. She lives in the mountains now but I still live in our hometown so she came to visit me.
First we got facials and the hands and feet treatment at a day spa, something I've never done. It was very relaxing. Then we drove by the studio where Peggy used to teach dance when she still lived in the area. The dance studio is now a healing massage studio. After that, we drove by the high school where we got to be friends in 1972. Peggy was driving so I was able to snap a shot as we drove by.The next day, yesterday, we decided to drive out to Stony Hill Community and see if the farm house was still standing. Peggy's first husband Joel, and a friend rented the farm house, and then when Peggy and Joel got married, they lived there. I lived with them for a few years after I dropped out of (took a break from) college. I warned Peggy that the last time I was out there, much of the farm land was now subdivisions and gated communities. Since there was 30 acres of land that went with the farm house, I was afraid that we would find a subdivision in its place. The last time I drove out there, the farm house was still occupied but everything was changing so much I didn't know what to expect. Below is what we found. Not completely torn down but starting to crumble, and clearly abandoned.
The first sign giving us hope that the house would still be standing was the dirt road leading to the farm house had not been paved. There were a lot more houses on either side of the dirt road and most of them were pretty nice. Nothing fancy like some of the enormous ones on the way there, but much bigger and newer than anything that used to be along the dirt road. The farm house was abandoned and crumbling. The drive way was overgrown and a pine forest was trying to get started where the big vegetable garden was. Below Peggy is standing in the area that used to be a driveway in front of the tree which had a tire rope swing.The barn was still standing but just barely. It was being overtaken by vines and was only a remnant of what it used to be. That wasn't surprising because it wasn't in very good shape by the time Peggy and Joel lived there but it was still fine to walk inside. I wouldn't have ventured into the current barn.
The back of the house was in better shape than the front. The front porch was completely collapsed and the porch roof was on top of it. But the back porch was fairly in tact. Peggy climbed through the broken glass in the front to see what the inside was like. I waited until she said the back was in better shape and I did venture in through the back door. It was pretty sad.
We theorized about how, perhaps nothing had been done with the land yet because Charlie was still haunting the property. Not the dog Charlie, but the original owner of the house and farm. I don't remember the details but I think it was late 1800s when he murdered his family and hung himself in the house. Very sad story and one that all the old timers in the area knew about. I remember going with Joel, and I guess Peggy was with us too, when he was buying some chickens to keep for eggs. He was explaining where we lived and the elderly woman said, do you live in Charlie's house. She wouldn't have been born yet, if I have my dates right, before Charlie and his family died but she was yet another person who told the story.The inside is crumbling but the stairs are still standing. Peggy went part way off the stairs to glance at the upstairs, but didn't venture into the rooms not knowing if it would cave in. I only walked inside the back door enough to take a couple of pictures. I wasn't brave enough to walk around in there. If Charlie was haunting his neglected house, I didn't want to get zapped.
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I hope everyone has a good week.