Monday, October 5, 2009

Farm Family

I really like this picture. It was taken in 1884, and shows a Nebraska Farm Family. I like the ingenious set up they have for water . . . they actually built part of the house AROUND the windmill. This would allow them to have water in the house, and the warmth of the house would prevent the base of the windmill from freezing in very cold weather.

This had to be a very hard life. It would take a lot of firewood in the winter to keep things warm, and this was before the days of chainsaws. Also, notice that there are no trees around. So, I am not exactly sure how they got the wood for cooking and keeping warm. The house does appear to be a very nice house for the day. Notice the modern looking roof, and glass windows.

Domestic Update: Energy production was off yesterday by about 50%. I think it might be the weeds growing up around the base of the solar system. This would indicate I need a tractor to keep the area clean. The other possibility is that it rained and was cloudy all day. Hopefully the sun will be out today, getting production back up to expected value. The wind turbine should help on cloudy days like yesterday.

14 comments:

  1. looks strange but the roof looks like it could be any roof on a home today.

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  2. They burned 'buffalo chips' or probably in a lot of cases, 'cow chips' ie manure. If they raised corn, after harvest they burned the corn cobs. No wood was available.

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  3. I can imagine cooking on cow chips or corn cobs, but I can not imagine that they could keep the house warm with that. I heat my house with firewood, and to keep it toasty, I will go through 30-40 pounds of oak in a day. Hard for me to imagine they could have access to enough corn cobs to make it through the winter. Maybe they just bundled up and night and used corn cobs for cooking.

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  4. As this is turning into windmill week, you should really include a photo of the commercial windmill exhibit at the 1893 Columbian Exposition.

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  5. I also tried to vote yes on your tractor but, I looked at the poll results first then voted and did not see a change in the amount of yes votes. SO go in and give your self another yes vote.
    Though the foor looks new the walls still look like they were made of sod. Sod walls really help kept in the heat in the winter and the cool in the summer. Also they did not need to have the inside temps at 70 degrees. They probable would have been happy at 50 or 55 or even lower.

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  6. It looks like they are standing over some freshly turned sod. Maybe going to add an addition onto their home.
    It looks like they have a metal roof on the pump house.
    when I was in the Boy Scouts, we use to do week end camping in the winter time. If you had a good layer under yourself and slept with your cloths on, and had a good layer over your self, it was nice and warm without any heat.
    I remarked yesterday about not being able to vote YES and you told me to retry, but still couldn't get-er-done
    R

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  7. Hey, friend! Trying to make it around more often again. Exceptional photos as always.

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  8. Once again, they don't look too cozy as several are standing a distance apart. And what is with the chairs? The little boy has to stand on a chair...why? Definitely a harder life, but in comparing the two lifestyles I'm not sure we've really advanced in quality of life. We have many modern conveniences but we are all so incredibly busy we run around like chickens with our heads cut off (no offense to your chickens). Different times, different challenges, a matter of opinion as to which was/is best.

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  9. So do you suppose they dragged the chair out just so the little guy could stand on it for the portrait? lol

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  10. Are you sure you are prepared to read a tractor's manuel in its entirety?

    Go check out the manual for the one you want.

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  11. From my reading of Willa Cather, people had a lot of quilts and slept around the stove. In Russia, the beds were over the stove for radiant heat.

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  12. I think what they used for fuel, was to dry the sod out in the sun and they would burn that.

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  13. If you had announced your were doing your bit to save the planet by installing solar panels, you would have gotten a couple comments with eye rolling and sarcasm. But since your stated goal is self sufficiency, no one has a problem with that.

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  14. Love these Nebraska photos! My ancestors were homesteaders in eastern Nebraska and we still drive out to see the original land and cemetery where they were all buried.
    Thank you for posting all of these.

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