Thursday, July 17, 2008

"Earlham Continued....."

After making arrangements for our visit at Hedge Apple Farm, we decided leave for Earlham right away, even though we would arrive too early for our visit at the farm.

A distant Quaker relative of Don's, actually started the town of Earlham, IA, and he wanted to look for Earlham Friends Church and cemetery. We were lucky and found the church right away.

After leaving the church, Don got out to ask a couple mowing their lawn about where the cemetery might be and was given the directions. We searched for names among the many headstones and Don did take a few photos. I'm sure we will go back, armed with more information about exactly who we should look for, and explore the cemetery at greater length.

The headstone of the founder (Don's relative ) of Earlham, IA.

He does know that his Quaker relative was also a stone mason and had built numerous stone homes in the area. Unfortunately, this is the only surviving one. It, too, has been damaged, due to its location. It is 300 feet from a stone quarry (the same quarry that it's stone came from to build it). The explosions at the quarry, in the quest for more stone, were taking their toll upon the house. Cracks in the walls were developing and the home is no longer square. The current owner had a 7 year battle in the court system, to stop the explosions. She was losing until recently, when the artesian well that has supplied the home with water since it was constructed, went dry. When that happened, the company closed the quarry (for some "mysterious" reason) and the town of Earlham now has plans to make it into a park. The artesian well did begin again, but it took awhile before it was running with some strength. It isn't as strong as it had been, but I believe she said it was running at the rate of 28 gallons a minute into a small pond next to the house.

There had been a fire in the house prior to this persons ownership, and she is now in the process of restoring the house to it's original state. She has plans to remove the porch and replace it with one similar to what she has found in photographs of the period when the house was built.

A view from the back.......

The artesian spring running to the pond.

This barn was built to replace one that had burned down. The interesting part of this barn is it's cupola. It is designed after one on one of the stone homes built by the family. The story behind it is that it was used for signaling if it was safe for run away slaves to come to the house. As his relatives were Quakers, it is very possible that the "stories" are true. Since the "Underground Railroad" system was highly secretive, there is, of course, no documentation of this.

A close up of the cupola......

1 comment:

Barb said...

What an idyllic place! If I found for sale a stone house with a spring fed pond, I'd probably cash in my retirement and buy it immediately. :)