The farm at the beginning looking West July 1983
Date/Time: Tue 07 Mar 2006 01:09:25 PM CET
David was up in, or on, the peak of the barn when he took this picture. The farmer
leasing the land had just put fertilizer down when we bought it. He asked if he
could plant his corn. We said he could but he must cut it early, in the first week
So he left the area where the house would be (dark spot/line in the middle of
the field) and cut the corn as we'd requested. He then loaned us the equipment
to make a seed bed and plant pastures. As a result we've had excellent pastures
with few weeds.
The barn in the picture belonged to the neighbor and was taken down just a
couple years later.
The farm at the beginning looking East July 1983
Date/Time: Tue 07 Mar 2006 01:07:02 PM CET
This picture was taken near the head of the driveway. The barn
is sided in very old barnboard.
The paddocks on the right were owned by the neighbor across
the street and were used by us for the horses when we first
moved them out there. We could not use the pastures as
they'd just been planted.
Behind the paddocks you can see the other field was also
planted to corn.
The original barn Fall 1983
Date/Time: Wed 08 Mar 2006 09:32:57 AM CET
This is what the barn, or technically the tobacco shed, looked
like when we bought it. The roof on the south side was okay,
but the north side was a patchwork mess of newsprint metal,
slate, rolled roofing, etc.
But the roof didn't leak and the frame was structurally sound.
And with 7 bents (sections of barn) it was big enough. As we
worked on the inside, it was obvious that the barn was
composed of 3 sections, the first eastern ones of a piece
and the 2 western ones added at different times.
Due to erosion, the barn stood at least 2' higher than the
planted areas. And there still was about 2' of topsoil left in
East end of the original barn Fall 1983
Date/Time: Wed 08 Mar 2006 09:24:48 AM CET
This end of the barn still has its tobacco company sign:
CCC 98, or Consolidated Cigar Company, Shed 98. Inside
we found the last ticket filled out when the last crop of
tobacco was dried.
You can see how much higher the barn is than the
surrounding land. And almost, but not quite, the patchwork
mess on the north side roof.
An aerial image of Golden Oak Farm, circa 2000
Date/Time: Tue 18 Jul 2006 02:20:03 PM CEST
This shows the house and woodshed, and the barn surrounded
by turnouts, and the sandhill on the right.
You can see a good portion of the front pasture is swamp, in front.
Annotated Google image of Golden Oak Farm
Date/Time: Mon 06 Mar 2006 06:34:47 PM CET
Reno'ing the barn Fall 1983
Date/Time: Wed 08 Mar 2006 11:36:51 AM CET
A tobacco shed has levels starting at 6' and rising every 3'. This
is because of the length of tobacco leaves. If you look at the
first post, you will notice a peg and 2 light spots.
David took down the 6' horizontals because they were too low
for horses. The next level, 9', was low, as the ideal height is
10', but we were not throwing hay up 12' to the loft. Each bent
measured 15' x 15' so the barn was 105' x 30'.
David used the removed horizontals as vertical posts for stall
wall supports. We put in 10' square stalls and could get
10 down the north side of the barn.
The inside walls were sided with rough cut random width 1"
bys. The 9' level was lofted over with particle board on top of
the 3" x 5" boards that once held the tobacco. The particle board
was covered with random width 1" bys.
The stall dividers were rough cut 2" x 6" we got from the Palmer
railyard. They were spaced 2" apart for ventilation.
House Aug. 1986
Date/Time: Tue 10 Feb 2009 11:35:38 AM CET
The barn was started in July 1983 but the house wasn't started
til just before Labor Day 1983. It measured 18' x 16' with a
6' x 12' mudroom off the north side. It was 1.5 stories high.
It was heavily insulated and designed as a passive solar house.
We had to do away with the solar heat storage as we needed a
cellar for somewhere to put the wood stove.
The chimney was placed where it was as we knew we'd be
adding on and wanted it in the middle of the house when
that happened. We eventually boxed the chimney in
because of the cooling from the prevailing westerly wind.
There are no doors or windows on the west or north sides.
It was one room, kitchen/dining/living room, on the first floor.
The mud room was turned into a 9' x 6' pantry. On the second
floor it had a good size bathroom, a small bedroom, and a
small sloping storage room over the pantry.
In the cellar we had the washer and dryer, wood stove, and in
the alcove under the pantry, a freezer and storage shelving.
The neighbors called it the doghouse.
Original sign 1986
Date/Time: Tue 10 Feb 2009 02:50:01 PM CET
I made this sign with help from David. The "golden" was
for the older horses we had. The oak was for the huge
white oak near the house. The horse was an old timer,
taking life easy under the tree.
While at that time we had just a boarding stable,
we specialized in the older horses.
New side up, roofed and sided September 1990
Date/Time: Wed 08 Mar 2006 11:30:15 AM CET
We started this addition in June 1990. David was working full time,
plus 10 hours a week over time. He also had the stable,
and he built this addition.
It was 1 clear span room of 24' x 20' on the first floor. The
wood stove was on a 6' x 6' stone hearth. The second floor
had a master bedroom, laundry room, 9' x 6' cedar closet,
and a linen closet.
There was a full cellar and an attic, something the other side
did not have. Another thing this side had was windows on all
4 sides. We put 4 windows in the cellar also.
David had gotten the new roofing on the old side, but had
not gotten it sided. We were replacing the upstairs windows on
the south side, and he had to do that before it could be sided.
House not yet painted July 1992
Date/Time: Wed 08 Mar 2006 11:25:03 AM CET
David's gotten the new double hung windows in on the second
floor of the old side and then sided that side. I'd not gotten
the painting done yet.
My sister has put in 125 herbs in an herb garden on the south
and west sides of the new part. The lawn has been reseeded.
The chimney has not gotten it's stone veneer yet.
The old woodshed/toy storage/splitting area Oct.1993
Date/Time: Wed 08 Mar 2006 11:41:30 AM CET
New riding ring Aug. 1995
Date/Time: Wed 08 Mar 2006 11:26:39 AM CET
Christmas 1994 David lost the overtime he'd had for years.
He decided that he'd re-open the stable instead of getting
a second job. That way he could spend more time with
Bucky and me.
We had a hard time getting boarders, because we didn't want
to put up a riding ring. The last one we had seldom got used.
But we broke down and put one up in the front pasture.
And after a year, it never got used. Not only were we not
getting board for the space, we had to mow it every week. So
we took the boards down, strung wire and used the boards
to build a shelter, so we could put a boarder up front.
You can see that the new woodshed is under construction
behind the house.
Woodshed is roofed and sided but it still needs painting Oct. 1995
Date/Time: Wed 08 Mar 2006 11:42:04 AM CET
We built this woodshed from timbers from a tobacco shed that
was torn down, panels from construction at the hospital that
were thrown out, and windows from a tag sale. We bought
lumber for rafters, roofing, decking, and siding.
The woodshed is 16' x 16' and holds 13 cord of wood. Next
to it is a 16' x 10' garden shed and then a 6' x 16' trash shed.
Once it was done, we realized there still was not room for
all Bucky's Tonkas and toys. So we built a 6' x 16' Tonka
garage off the back. It has a sliding door and a big window.
We had to bring in a lot of fill to level the area behind the
house for the shed. Most of the fill was gravel and as a result,
the gardens at either end do not have good soil.
The shed still needs trim and painting, but already has wood in it.
Front pasture and shelter June 1997
Date/Time: Wed 08 Mar 2006 08:26:56 AM CET
The riding ring is gone and we've gotten the shelter up and
roofed and sided. It still needs a half wall and door on the front.
This is our best pasture, good for haying or grazing.
The painting has been done on the house and shed. The shelter
has its front wall and door. The chimney has part of its stone veneer.
The garden is in the process of being cleared and mulched,
ready for the seed starts in the kitchen window.
The re-opening of the stable required renovating the barn. We were doing fewer horses and wanted them to be able to run into the barn and have private turnouts and pastures.
Running into the barn in winter is hazardous, due to snow coming off the roof. So we built windbreaks with roofs to protect the horses. The east and west ends were just windbreaks. There's also a run in off the north side.
The southwest corner is the sawdust bin, 15' x 15'. Next to it is the feed room, 10' x 10', with the window. Next to that is the tackroom with the bay window. It measures 20' x 10'.
Because we had turnouts on both ends of the barn, we moved a rhododendron from one side of the bay window to farther down the barn. Then we cut a new entrance door next to the tackroom.
On the other side of the entryway, there are (2) 20' x 10' stalls, where the covered windbreaks are.
Down the north side, there's a 15' x 15' stall in the northwest corner that opens onto the west end of the barn. Then a stall for storing junk, a hay stall, and a 20' x 10' stall that opens into the north covered windbreak.
There's a 5' storage area on each side of a 20' x 10' workshop. And in the northeast corner a 20' x 10' stall that opens onto the east end of the barn.
Each stall opens to a 1/4 acre turnout, which is attached to a 1 acre pasture. The exception is the first stall by the entryway. That horse's pasture is up front with the shelter, while its turnout is the south side of the barn.
The new sign Sept. 2000
Date/Time: Thu 23 Feb 2006 03:38:20 PM CET
We had the wood carver from across the street make us a new sign.
I'd have preferred a less active sign, as we were definitely doing
retirement boarding this time around.
It's 3 dimensional, with a fence with the carved horse inside.
The tree is also 3 dimensional.
Looking inside the barn towards the west end Sept. 2000
On the right, the gray is the workshop and beyond that
is the stall exiting on the north side. On the left is the
second of the 2 stalls on the right side, with Deke
peering between the boards.
Inside the barn, looking west Sept. 2000
Standing beside the second stall on the south side, still looking west.
You can see the first stall, the entryway, the tackroom, and the sawdust
room door at the end.
There's a horse in the 15' x 15' stall that opens on the west end of the barn.
The white door on the right is the workshop door.
David checking out the woodpile Oct. 2000
This is about 1.5 years worth of wood. The grass is really
lush in this front pasture area.
Christmas lights on the spruce tree Dec. 2000
This is the next to the last year we will have lights on this tree. It's just
too tall for it to be safe putting them on. It sure is glorious with them
though, especially in the snow.
Looking west, the driveway after the storm Feb. 2001
The snowbanks are nearly 3' high. With all the snow, the
driveway gets narrower and narrower, as there's no place
to push the snow to.
Dawn color and the giant oak Oct. 2001
The giant oak, over the woodshed, is brown in color. But the surrounding
trees make up for it.
Dawn color in the middle pasture Oct. 2001
The green of the pasture and the deep blue of the sky are
perfect contrast for the color of the different trees.
Dawn color along the back 40 Oct. 2001
The color continues out behind the barn, all the way down to the
big maple that is a marker for the property. The early sun lights
the fiery colors.
Rutting from trucks during fire April 2002
David took this picture from the peak of the barn