Sunday, June 27, 2010

Weekend drive

Fruitlands 1

We have one of those “living museum” historic homesteads about an hour’s drive from where we live, and yesterday was such nice weather that my husband and I decided to go and visit.

One of the buildings was this old farmhouse:
Fruitlands 2
It dates back to about 1840 and was fully furnished with everything you’d expect to find and some things you wouldn’t.  For example there was a beautiful front parlor with floral upholstered furniture,  a finely detailed writing desk, and wallpaper with scenes on it that reminded me of toile.   

To preserve the antiques from further fading, the windows in the parlor  have the shades drawn which creates a feeling that the “olden days” were dark and lifeless.  It's like everything in the house has been painted with a patina of  "old".

As I walked through the house, I tried to imagine what it was like to live back then, when everything was new.  Instead of faded, yellowed wallpaper, the colors would have been crisp and new.  Instead of dark, creaking floorboards, the floors would have been freshly hewn.  Perhaps you could still smell the sawdust, rather than the musty smell that now hangs in the air.

One of the upstairs rooms was devoted to the lady of the house, and had some of her belongings on display.  I almost gasped when I saw that they had a framed piece of fabric on the wall which was a portion of a paisley shawl.   I'm sure it was  very similiar to the type of work that my great, great grandfather, the weaver, would have done.  This was such a delightful discovery when you consider that only a few months ago I knew nothing at all about my great grandfather who was a weaver from Paisley, Scotland.

Life on the farm must have been very busy with all the chores to do, the animals to care for, the lack of modern conveniences, no indoor plumbing and no antibiotics.

1840.  A great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.

(Who am I kidding?  I wouldn't even survive there!)


  1. Thank you for the delightful blog! How interesting, I can almost join you in your time difficult life must have been...and how few the times of relaxation or idleness! Still, I wonder if in a corner of the lady of the house's room...might there have been a small basket of piecing and dreams of a new quilt??? We'd like to think so, wouldn't we! ;-) I so enjoyed the armchair travel and wonderful photos!

  2. Sounds like the kind of place I like to visit. Thanks for taking us along for the trip.

  3. Me to ,we have plenty of homes like this in our area , I just love to visit them .

  4. I'm so in love with living history museums! I'm sorry, but what State is this in? I am so ashamed to ask, I should know and can't remember... ugh! (don't bother now, your finger!, later!)
    Well, what a wonderful day !! I'm so in love with it all. I adore paisley also. So interesting about your family history and how it pulls us even now... :)
    Please take care of your finger. I'm SO sorry. But for the Grace of God, there go I~almost DID it a week or so ago. Took a chunk off the end. So easy. Hope they gave you a good pain pill. XO

  5. My husband would love it, he does that pre 1840 camping. I could not live there either. I do have to admire them though. Sounds like a neat place to visit.

  6. I love going through those old houses. History is a cool think when you imagine what it must have been like. My mom was born in 1914 and said there wasn't much good about the good old days. Hard, hard work and subsistance living. She wasn't a grump, either, she just remembered it as being difficult.


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