Author Topic: Nature Girl's Homestead Day  (Read 585 times)

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Offline Nature Boy

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Nature Girl's Homestead Day
« on: February 05, 2017, 10:41:53 AM »
I had a VERY rare Saturday off yesterday and we met up with some of Betty's distant cousins so they could show her their family's original homestead site. The homestead is located in the Lake Russell WMA. Her family owned the land during the early 1800's- early 1900's when the government bought the lands for conservation.

The home stood until around 1915 when the land was bought by the government. Nothing but a few big foundation stones and the garden area, and still site (yes a still) remain.

Betty and her cousin Bev at the home site marker.



'Brown's Waterfall' located about 100 yards behind the home site. The family built troughs to funnel the water to their garden area. A monumental task over 100 years ago...







Bev's husband Jim says he remembers climbing and playing in the waterfalls as a child...usually naked lol over 60 years ago. The water is ice cold all year round.





More on the way.,,,,
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Offline Nature Boy

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Re: Nature Girl's Homestead Day
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2017, 10:45:52 AM »
Trekking to the still site....



The still remains....they made sugar cane whiskey....



On the hill overlooking the still the family buried their first 2 children that unfortunately died very young.

Betty at the burial site of the Brown clan. They were buried in a churchyard due to not owning the land.




A very emotional day for Nature Girl and a very welcome day off from work. Thanks for looking and God bless.
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Offline imnukensc

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Re: Nature Girl's Homestead Day
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2017, 10:49:14 AM »
Good stuff, NB.  Thanks for sharing that.
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Offline Orbean

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Re: Nature Girl's Homestead Day
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2017, 12:34:05 PM »
Great pictures, neat. Thank you
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Nature Girl's Homestead Day
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2017, 01:26:13 PM »
I do a little cemetery cruising in some of the small rural and 'abandoned' cemeteries around here, too.  They have some interesting historical information cut in stone....or not.  For instance, the first murder committed in our county took place about 1.5 miles southeast of our farm, along Badger Creek.  A new settler looking to buy some land and carrying a sizable bankroll was waylaid by a local ne'er-do-well who beat his head to jelly and then went on a drunken spree in town. :P

This guy was immediately tried by a jury of his peers and promptly hung.  He was buried in his family's plot in an unmarked grave, but cemetery records show exactly where the dude was planted.  The story is widely known, but few people know of the location where he is actually buried.  I do. 8)

Anyway, thanks for the pictures and the trip report.  I like those kinds of things! :thumbsup:
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Nature Girl's Homestead Day
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2017, 01:46:36 PM »
Interesting to be able to visit a place like that.  Thanks for sharing it.

We went to all of the family graves we knew of about twenty years ago when we were preparing to move out of Colorado.  Good to do and we wrote it all down.  It would be nice if I knew where we put the notes.  :shrug:
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Offline Nature Boy

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Re: Nature Girl's Homestead Day
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2017, 03:48:13 PM »
Thanks folks for the kind comments. Betty was feeling overwhelmed and quite emotional while at the home site. Her cousins are in their late 70's and have been researching and keeping the home site maintained even though the state owns it. They said one of the rangers at the wma said they were 'God-sends' for keeping the area so well maintained. We were also told that we could camp there anytime we wanted, just no digging or taking anything from the grounds.

We were welcome to any of the dead/fallen trees there for firewood and to keep the area clean. We arrived before her cousins and we  found and picked up at least 20 beer cans while we were waiting.

Her cousins were a treasure trove of info on the area besides family stories. Local moonshine rivalries/killings, indian attacks, etc.

Their family still was officially licensed in 1903 so they could keep it near their home site. They showed us a copy of the original license, Betty has it framed now lol. They made sugar cane whiskey. It was overwhelming walking the path that they used to make troughs to go from the waterfalls to their garden and still, though the troughs are now long gone.
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Offline upthecreek

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Re: Nature Girl's Homestead Day
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2017, 04:42:38 PM »
I bet you that sugar cane whiskey would be a tasty treat. Nice you all got out to scout atound the home place.

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Offline MnSportsman

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Re: Nature Girl's Homestead Day
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2017, 05:24:16 PM »
  Nice to be able to go see history about family! Very cool!
:)


I did the same with my family last Summer & stopped in the mountains at the old family places on a trip to VA to see my Ma.


Thanks for taking the time to share your adventure!
:thumbsup:



I love being out in the woods!   I like this quote from Mors Kochanski - "The more you know, the less you carry". I believe in the same creed, & think  "Knowledge & honed skills" are the best things to carry with ya when you're out in the wilds. They're the ultimate "ultralight" gear! ;)

Offline NewEnglandBushcraft

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Re: Nature Girl's Homestead Day
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2017, 05:52:45 PM »
 :thumbsup: Interesting bit of history. It is good to see places like that looked-after. A lot of historical sites in my state have been trashed thanks to drunk or high teens looking for "fun". One of our most well-known sites is Dudleytown, which was among the first settlements into Connecticut, going back to the mid 1600s. Nothing is left of it aside from a few stone walls and other ruins, but it has to be watched all the time by local law enforcement to prevent vandalism. 
Thanks for showing it :)
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