Saturday, September 24, 2011

Summer Time

I should have posted this a few months ago I guess, but since I am terrified of snakes and we do live in Florida, during the hot summer months I choose not to go stomping around old abandoned home sites with my camera...But rest assured I am itching to get back to it just as soon as we start seeing some cooler weather....Maybe I will have been blessed with a new camera by then also. *hoping*

I appreciate each and everyone of you whom follow this blog and take the time to leave your lovely comments.

Blessings Kelsie

Friday, March 18, 2011

The barn that started it all...

When we moved to Florida 6yrs ago, it was to create a new beginning on the old family property...

To unlock and open doors to the future that had long been forgotten by the generations past...

This is the last remaining building, built by husbands great grandparents in the first half of the 1900's...

On the right side was were hubby's great uncle would keep his tractor and were we briefly stored our ride-on mower before the collapse of the roof...Fortunately our mower was not in it at the time.

The middle was used as a general workshop area and storage we believe...And to the left was once the home of a hog and/or still as wire used to build the pen attached to some of the back area, but I could not share photos because it is no longer safe back there.

Can you see the old hand made ladder hanging on the wall?
We are trying to work out how to safely get it out of there to be re-purposed in the garden as a trellis.

Buckets and bins of old stuff to go thru...A junk lovers dream...

The old "door" leaning in the front is soon to be re-purposed else where on the property...We intend to try and salvage as much of the old wood as possible to be put to re-use around the property and to pay homage to a building that was such an important part of daily life around here for well over 60yrs...

These will be the last photos taken of the old barn as over the next few weeks it is coming down. BUT, if we can't save it, by golly we will at least salvage it :)

Blessings Kelsie

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

NW 20th Ave - Part 3 - Smoke House

How could you not love this little building...It actually reminded me of the Dwarf's house from Snow White...The door is quiet low and I imagine most ppl (including myself) would have to duck to get inside and then you would be limited to standing in the center of the room if you wanted to straighten up.

I am told it was refered to as "the smoke house" by the family, but it functioned as much more than that...Yes they would hang the smoked and cured meats in here, but as you can see, it was also where momma stored all her canned foods as well...And please don't panic, I was not silly enough to actually enter the building to obtain the photos of the shelves and mason jars, I stuck my hand through the opening and clicked the camera, hoping for a reasonable photo and praying for no bears or raccoons to come out and eat me lol....It has a door at the back of the room also which leads to a covered area that was open on two sides. I am sure this is where much of the meat and vegetable preparation was done before it was taken inside to be stored.

I had to share this with you...An old bed frame was used to close up part of the fenced area around the house, over the years this sapling has grown around the metal frame work...No opening this makeshift gate now.

Blessings Kelsie

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

NW 20th Ave - Part 2 - Barn

Be sure to click images to enlarge...

It really does not get much cuter than this old log barn...To think each log was chopped down and de-barked by hand before being put into place just blows my mind...They may not have had much money back then, but they knew how to make good use of the resources on hand..Check out the angle the doors are sitting. The North/East corner of the building has collapsed giving the doors an almost cartoonish look to them....

A few things left hanging on the wall of the barn, at one time these must have been important enough to someone to need to be able to find them easily...

Last weeks photo shoot got postponed because of rain, but I did get to go this week and shoot the green house on 129. I have about 150 images to go thru before I share the best ones...My friend and amazing photographer Lois Fletcher, joined me yesterday, so I hope to share some of the photos she got as well...We also visited the Quilt Museum and I interviewed Ms Horne whom happens to have some interesting stories (to say the least) about her family, and was able to share some of the history behind NW 10th ave and also the green house on 129...I have one more person I would like to interview about the green house before I share what I have learnt so far...

Until then, Blessings Kelsie

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

NW 20th Ave - Part 1

I am very excited to share this home built in 1940 with you today because not only was it lived in by 3 people that are very close to my heart, but also I have the history behind it to share...

My First Glimpse

I had not personally been to this home site before the day I was going to take pictures and once I entered the property via a stock yard gate off to the side, I got my first glimpse of the house and house yard...I knew at this moment it was going to be a challenge to photograph as the house garden has become a wild jungle of vines and over grown shrubbery, so much so that the house is completely invisible from the road even though it is barely 20 feet from the county setback...

Front Porch

Built in 1940 by the parents of my neighbors...It is 3 bedroom and had an indoor bathroom added later...I am told it originally had a double outhouse in back...Other updates added over the years as you can see in this photo included aluminum windows and new siding on most of the house.

Front Steps

The first people to sleep in the house was not actually the couple that built it but their daughter Audrey and her husband got that honor..

Air duct/vent in the peek of the front porch

Later Audrey's brother Jr and his new bride Lucille lived in the house for the first 3 months they were married...They later moved a little north to the house that proceeded this one as the "family home" alas that home was lost to the hurricanes of 2004 and I was never able to get photos of it.

Vines on Chimney

You can make out the original siding under the new in this photo...

In the 1980's the parents passed away and the home was then lived in by another son Clyde for a year before he married and moved with his new wife to a home just around the corner...At this point the house became a rental property...

Vines over Chimney Stack

Sadly this caused a few problems for the home, as often those renting older properties do not respect them, and damage was done, windows were broken...

View of South Side of the Home...

All updated siding and windows on this side of the house...

Back Porch

You can see on the back porch they left the original siding and the older original windows frames are still intact.

Back Door...

After the last tenant moved out in the late 1980's, the family opted to have the power shut off...Not knowing that this decision would be the beginning of the end for this home...It proved to be too costly just a few years later, not just restore the home, but bring it up to the new codes that would allow them to have the power turned back on...

More back Porch..

Detail on Back Porch..

I am not sure what this is but find it rather fascinating...I plan to take the photos to my neighbor's house and see if they can shed any light on it for me..

Lovely old Window

This is another property that still has some outbuildings standing which I plan to share with you in the next post as there are just to many photos to put in must one post....

News Update:
I have obtained permission to photograph 2 more homes close by and already have some information about them...Plus I am going to interview a lady who is the curator of a local museum next week, that is a wealth of knowledge on the history of the area...She also happens to be the granddaughter of the builder of the "green house in the field on 129" (those of you reading this that are from the area will know that house well)..I am so excited to be allowed to get up close and personal to this one as most ppl have to be satisfied with taking pictures from the highway..yay...She is also the niece of the man who built the house on nw10th that I posted now I have a family name and the history to share with you on that one too...

Needless to say I am very happy with how this endeavor is shaping up...Everyone I have spoken too so far is more than happy to share what they know about the homes and/or help me track down people that might know even more or be related too the original families...It seems to be turning into quiet the community project...

I hope you will continue to stop by and enjoy the Lost Homes of Levy Co and their stories.

Friday, January 28, 2011

NW 10th Av - Part 2 - Out Buildings

To me out buildings hold a fascination all of their own...So many different functions depending on shape, size, location and of course time of year...

I love the charm of this barn door, the small window in the loft area for ventilation..

I can imaging that they kept their wagon or farming equipment to the left of the main building...As you can see part of the fence is still standing also...

The gate post of the barn yard

The chicken house not far from the kitchen door...
You can see the old gate still standing though most of the wire fence is now gone.

This outbuilding actually stood across the road so I am not sure if it was part of the same property originally or is completely separate...The pile of junk you see in the doorway is where someone dumped some old mattresses...Quite unsightly as it is just a few feet from the edge of the road.

Just a few other things I found of interest...

One last look at the barn...To the right you can see the tack room...

I did manage to find out the name of the family that used to live on this property, as well as the name of a grand daughter who is still living. If I am able to trace her, I hope to find out more information such as year built, last year lived in etc. I will post updates as I do.


Linking this post to Mosaic Monday at Little Red House.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

NW 10th Av - Part 1

Here we have the perfect example of a forgotten home...This house has been hidden from view for the last few yrs...That was until the county (I guess it was them) cleared the right-away of all the over growing shrubbery that was starting to encroach onto this narrow country road...Followed by fall and nature took care of the rest of the unveiling...

I did try and locate a property owner to talk to about the history of the house but alas so far all I have found is it titled to a LLC and a PO Box...But I do know an old timer that might be able to help me out in tracking a descendant from this homesite...

I have a feeling I am going to be coming across this situation quite a bit in my quest to document the histories of these lost homes...But enough of all this boring chit chat, on to the photos.

If you squint your eyes you can almost imagine just how stunning this little white cracker house was...Hear the children yelling in the back yard, the cluck of chickens and the family dog yappy at their heals...The smell of fresh baked bread drifting on the air as mum is getting ready for the men folk to come in for the midday meal.

The east facing front porch the perfect place to relax on a summer evening and escape the Florida heat.

Evidence of the front garden path still leading from the gate to the front steps and up onto the front porch of what was once a white painted house...You get a good look too at the "dog run" down the center of the home...2 bedrooms on the left..Living room with fireplace on the right along with a what could of originally been 2 smaller bedrooms.

Sadly there was also evidence that others besides me have been here recently, with a scattering of beer bottles in the ferns...We found the same thing on our property when we moved, as it had been vacant for a number of years prior to our arrival.

We can see where the home was upgraded over the years, electric was added and what once was a larger window for a possibly small bedroom, has been filled in to just a small square for a bathroom window and indoor plumbing was also added.

I love this living room window and the small awnings are just perfect to allow you to open the window in summer for a nice breeze but keep those summer rains out of the house...
My favorite part of Florida life has to be the HOT rainy days
(please read this last comment with sarcasm lol)

Finally we reach the back of the house and the extension that was very obviously added by a person of noticeably less skill than the builder of the original part of the house....This extension is the kitchen...This really was a smart home back in it's day...It also boasted a couple of impressive out buildings that I will share with you soon.

I hope enjoyed visiting this lost home with me today and will come back again soon to finish the tour.

Blessings Kelsie