Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Fred's Place

This found at Fred Farabee's abandoned homestead -- photo of a Lockheed P-38 Lightning used mainly in the South Pacific and Africa during the "good" war--yeah, sure-- (seems that they were not used much in Europe because the pilot could not warm himself with the engine heat as he could with other designs where the engine was directly in front of him to provide a heat source. In the tropics it was so hot in the cockpit,and there was no way to open a window lest airflow be disturbed, that the pilots sometimes wore only shorts, parachutes, and sneakers to fly the missions). Lindberg flew one in the South Pacific as an operational test pilot.
more here

The magazines seemed to go from about early 40's to mid 50's in dates, and then would have numbered over 600 in an old shed and barn.
This time of year is best for perusing abandoned places to avoid the snakes and bugs of summer. It is also easier to spot those well or biffy holes in the ground, always somewhere.

A bean sheller that Fred built and is still operational as near as I could tell, just crank the handle throw in the dried bean pods and it would deliver the beans to a bin below with the shells gone.
This was a poor farm and is still called such by the neighbors who now own it. Freds dad cut railroad ties from white oak trees (Robert ==1865 to 1950) at the turn of the century and Fred would take them 15 miles to Portland, a town on the Missouri river, in horses and wagon, for sale to the railroad. (When I asked neighbors how come Robert was buried some 3 miles away in an unmarked grave I was told "they didn't get along very well"!)

This be the house where Fred and his folks lived their lives. The added-on part is the kitchen ,usually well separated by a wall for cooking in the summer with the hot wood stove. It has a good roof and should last well beyond the 30+ years that it has been alone.
I hope to go back when flowers appear to see what they planted. Usually iris, crocus, and raspberry still come up around the old yards.

There seems to be always something that tells of the spirit and feelings of those gone from these old places. Whether it be an old piano found abandoned or a home-made gravestone for his mother; fabricated by hand, as here. I am told that Fred made a drill bit out of a round file and rigged it to an old tractor-gearing box-- added a handle to raise and lower it and was able to drill holes in this Missouri limestone rock to mark his mother's grave. There was no electric here until my neighbor George Garrett hooked Fred's place up to REA (Rural Electric) in the late 60's so this would have been a hand-operated rig to drill these holes. Fred died in 1977 and was of my grandmother's generation.
I wish I had known him.


  1. nostalgic ... i don't know why but reading this brought me back to my village ... abandoned houses with old furnitures, pictures and all.

  2. This is a really eloquent post, Pretty M-- nice photos and info. Love the look of that house.

    It resembles in shape the house across the street from mine -- once a little caretaker's shack --added on to and added onto, when you'd go inside it was a warren of tiny rooms, odd "built in" beds and cupboards--it had personality!
    A soap actor bought it and gutted the interior to make in a few larger rooms, and although it is more spacious, it's like a very different house, like the personality has been jarred out of it. The exterior was "fixed" as well, so it's impossible to see it's once odd shape.

  3. Love these spooky views back into the past, especially the simpler technology...and the old gravestone is so touching.

  4. He would have loved this post for sure and who knows, he might even know.

  5. You've done an incredible amount of research on this place. Your photos are reminiscent of some of the old miners and ranch homes here. Every time I drive by or even visit one, the long ago energies which surround these places take me back to a much simpler time.

    The old graveyards here are an historians dream!

  6. Goatman,

    Just wanted to share with you that I finally got an apartment through the county public housing! I finally hit the top of the list and will be moving into my new place around end of March to first week of April. I feel so blessed and such a gift! Words cannot even express how greatful I am!

    Your writing and photos in this post reminded me of when I was growing up we camped out in the desert and also some Indian reservation areas through many states a lot. In those days not many campers almost no one around and they would have these abandoned houses in the middle of nowwhere, where there were still things in the old places..we would walk through the rooms and my dad would find very interesting things. Legally, then you could take whatever you found. Some stuff had been there for eons. It was amazing as I would find old family photos and little books, old vintage china, all kinds of things that would tell a story about the family or persons that had lived in these places.

    Later as a young adult and on I started collecting old postcards and old photos of people in vintage antique stores I would find. That faded brownish beige kind, old photos of families, women, kids. There would be writing on the back about the family with names and such. Also I would find really really old family photo albums from 1800's and diaries and I would buy them and read about some family back in the late 1800's and be so interested in them and always "wonder"? what it might have been like for them? Not sure why I did this but it was important to me for some reason. I also did drawings from old vintage photos and postcards, like I have on the top left side of my blog now. I drew that from an old vintage postcard.

    I always felt that I belonged back in the 1800's for some reason as I could relate then to the women and not much now...hard to explain..."somewhere in time" is one of my favorite movies. Did you ever see that one Goatman?

    And yes I do believe in reincarnation so who knows?..:o)



  7. The abandoned house has such atmosphere. Will wildflowers grow all around?

    Your retrospective is beautifully written and makes me wonder about we will retrospect about this era. Not our virtual world certainly; how could we do that but the vanishing parts?

  8. the abandoned houses have such character...
    a beautiful and nostalgic post.

  9. What a beautiful post....... fank you...


  10. "There seems to be always something that tells of the spirit and feelings of those gone from these old places."

    I agree.

    Such a nice tour around the house, there's something alluring about the past, i hate history though when i was a student. i don't want history to be read for academic purpose, i love what you do, you experienced it.

  11. Surfed over from Naj's site.
    I have always loved the look of the P-38, but I'm a sucker for planes in general.
    Love to hear stories about people like Fred and yours was great. I wish I had known him as well.

  12. Thanks for dropping by my place. Adding you to my blogroll.

  13. Are you alright? We are missing you

  14. i want a bean sheller.
    and a barn to go with it.
    and a '62 ford truck with white bumpers and hubcaps. preferably painted a shiny red.

    these are just wants.
    not needs.
    otherwise, i'm good.