Since I introduced the current residents of bona terra, I thought it was also worth introducing the actual farm and its story.
We first saw the farm online when searching for land, we ignored it because it was too expensive. Then my mom found it online and was determined for us to at least look at it. I finally gave in. The house is a little weird and was over priced. Since we know how this ends, I’ll skip the boring bits and say that it was meant to be and we were the only ones that would want this place. We finally agreed on a much more reasonable price and closed mid-November, we moved in the day before Christmas Eve and have fallen even more in love with this place.
We had been looking at land for a long time and one of the reasons this place was so great was the two houses already here. You see, while we are currently the only human residents, as soon as their house is finished, my grandparents will be joining us.
Let’s start with The Big House. It’s a big white wanna-be Victorian antebellum replica and was built by the previous owner as a replica of his grandmother’s house. From the style of the house and the picture I saw of the original, you could tell that original house had a story to tell. From the layout you can tell it began as a simple farm house with additions added over time. At some point, someone added trim and porch railings to make it appear Victorian. Our version was built about 15 years ago, and was a literal replica, including weird bedroom and bath layouts. It has huge porches, tons of windows and doors, and five…yes five fireplaces! The kitchen is a cook’s nightmare, but I have wonderful plans for it. It overlooks one of the three ponds and once we are done with the kitchen renovation and pond cleanup it will be a delight to cook in.
Between the two houses is the old metal barn, nestled under ancient trees.
The most interesting part of the farm is The Gate House. We had hopes of renovating The Gate House, but there was too much damage. So we got estimates to tear it down. We had hoped it would have been down by now, but things kept coming up and the house stood there. Then an older man visited us and asked us what we were doing with it. We explained it had to come down… the older man then told us it was the original house on the Robison property (note the street is named Robison, if that gives you an idea of why it’s important.)
While I would always prefer to save old houses and preserve history, there was still no way to save the house, it required too much work and too much money. So it continued to stand there. Then Memorial Day my mom was out there looking at it and met the older man’s grandson-in-law. The house is currently coming down, but now it’s the family tearing it down and saving what they want and what is sentimental.
They have also helped us since our tractor is broken, and told us stories of the people who lived here and how they used the land. I think they are happy to see us farm the land since this has not been done in some time.