I used to play in this barn with the calves.
The second half of the trip was the emotional opposite. I have longed for YEARS to see my early childhood homestead. I dreamed of someday buying back my grandparent's farm. What a horrible disappointment to find my dream in ruins. This is the back of the barn.
Here is a view of the lane, from the house. We used to walk down this lane to get the mail, which at that time was simply addressed RD#2. That stands for Rural Delivery route #2. Folks did not have addresses and farms were known only by who lived there or a local landmark.
The barn is in very bad shape. The barnyard is loaded with every sort of junk and trash from the last 40 years.
Across from the barn stands the milkhouse. My sandbox was between this tree and the milkhouse. There used to be a beautiful white farm fence around the yard. Our family garden was behind where the swingset sits. There is someone living in the house but were not home at the time. They too have their garden in the same spot.
This is the side of the big farmhouse. We rarely used the front door which faces the road and fields. My grandparents lived upstairs and we lived downstairs. I played on these steps. One time I got a bee sting and I remember sitting on the stairs and my dad made a mud pack to put on the bee sting.
The formerly glorious front entrance. So sad. When you entered, a lovely winding staircase was in the hall.
This was a hard day. After seeing this I drove a few miles down the road to my uncle's farm. His was one of the most prestigious farms in Cumberland County. It too was sold to an absentee landlord, and now sits deteriorating. If only both these farms had been kept working farms none of this would have happened. Interestingly the fields on both farms are rented out for commodity crops.