OUR HOME CIRCA 1960
We bought our farmhouse on roughly 60 acres at the end of 2017. Jeremys great grandfather bought the house around 1914, and his grandpa Louis bought it after him. Jeremy was the last Smith in the family, and when the opportunity came up to buy the farm we jumped.
The little green house with lots of sheds, and a barn full of potential was literally our dream home. It was nothing short of a ton of elbow grease and some uncomfortable living situations but we made due and now have the home of our dreams.
Our home looks completely different than when we first stepped in. We brought the entire house down to the studs over the course of 2 years. This home had been added on to multiple times over the last 100 years, so every room you walked into the floor was either up two inches or a step down two inches. Not to mention every wall was made out of lath and plaster. If you know what that is and have dealt with it you know what a mess that can make! We tore apart every wall and furred out every floor in our home.
We lived through the Polar Vortex of 2019 with no house insulation during our renovation, (I remember cooking in a 40 degree kitchen with my winter jacket and hat on.) and made a tarped fort in the basement to live in when we were redoing the main level. Those memories are some of the best thinking back. In the midst of it however, I so desperately wanted to just be done with renovations!
Home before renovations
The outside of the house was a bit of a nightmare with contractors, but nonetheless I got my wrap around porch and it has added a ton of character to our home. The porch is one of my favorite spots to sip an evening cocktail with our little fire table top and have company over.
Now the barn… the barn is probably my pride and joy. To be honest when Jeremy brought me out here for the first time almost 13 years ago,, all I could remember was the barn when we drove home. With tiny pieces of sunshine slipping through the beams and cracks, worn out from time. The floor stacked with three feet of hay and critter poop on the inside and all I saw was perfection with a little TLC. I just saw how beautiful it was and mentally thought to myself how I want to get married there.
Unfortunately I hardly have any photos of the barn on the inside before. which I’m mentally kicking myself for constantly. What I do have is some progress photos of the outside.
When it was time to renovate the barn we had a small window of time to work with. From beginning to end our barn was completely refinished in a matter of 5-6 weeks. All with the help of the Amish. Yes, you read that right. The Amish. They hired a “taxi” (actually a lovely retired man with a truck) to come down to look at the barn. They then realized it’s too far for them to drive every morning and that’s when we offered them to live with us! We offered them campers. and they politely obliged.
They were up an hour before dawn everyday working with their battery operated headlamps hammering and sawing away making the outside of the barn maintenance free by applying tin to it. All while we worked on the floor of the barn. About a week after they had come out to live here, their wives came out, packed 4 little kiddos and lots of bins full of canned foods.
Betty, the wife of Sam who was the head man on the job, was a hell of a baker. dressed in her casual dress, with her hair pulled back in a simple bun she would deliver cinnamon buns, and homemade bread to our door a couple times a week. When they were all done and ready to pack up and leave i was genuinely sad… Betty and I still write two each other through old fashioned snail mail. and i genuinely enjoy it more than I ever thought possible. Sam sometimes still uses their small neighborhood business phone to call Jeremy every once in a while and they talk for nearly an hour every time. When it was done I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was gorgeous. So much love and sweat was put into this structure and it’s beyond gorgeous.