St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Friday, December 6, 2013

Winter in the North

Margo and I have decided to try out living at the big farmhouse for a few months this winter--a test of whether we want to move here or not, as well as a chance to do some cleaning, repairing and updating things that Mom had let slide (she lived here 71 years).  

The house is almost 100 years old--built by John Nelson as the third house on the farm.   I have included some old photos that show the house in the background (including the overhead water pipes from the old days).    Although it has been insulated and the porches built in, and many bigger windows added, at the core it is the same house that Mr. Nelson built.  One of his neighbors told Dad that it was paid for by $500 from a nearby farmer who got a Nelson daughter pregnant and because he was already married, made a settlement to the Nelsons--of course that is just a rumor, and not to be relied upon.  

   John Nelson's sister was Mrs. Thomas Hansen, early storekeeper in Cushing, WI.  Another brother, Axel, built the second house on the property--a big two story frame house that John said was not really well built.  The first house was from logs as was the first barn.  You can see the logs from those buildings as floor joists in the new barn (1915?) and this house.  

  A renter, Ole Olsen, added his mark when he charred the floor joist in the basement of the house when his moonshine still blew up.  Dad bought it in 1941 and married mom in 1942.  

  A fuel-oil furnace heats the house, but with oil quite expensive, one tries to keep the thermostat down while keeping somewhat comfortable.  Most of its life, the house has been heated by wood cut on the farm and so the fuel cost was just our labor--and throwing in a few extra chunks to keep it warm at 20 below was not a problem.  

   I tell Margo--just wear your long-johns, wool socks and take off the mittens when you do dishes and it is pretty comfortable!  She has a different view of comfort than I do, it appears. 

Ev and his Jeep  Don't recognize the Shadow

My 1967 Rambler Rogue--Typhoon V-8 with four-on-the floor could get rubber in 3 gears and the glove compartment!
Behind it is the 1962 Rambler Dad drove and the 1968 Rambler Everett had.  A family of Ramblers. 

My 1937 Chev truck -- got it when I was 14