Monday, July 07, 2014


My woodshed at Roshara is 102 years old this year, and what a story that old building has to tell.  The Coombes family, who owned my farm before us, built the building as a pump house with a windmill driven pump. The building is 12 feet wide, 16 feet long and 12 feet tall at the peak of its gable roof.  It has a poured concrete wall, which is a bit unusual for farm buildings of that era.  Farmers mostly piled some fieldstones to provide support for buildings, or constructed a wall with fieldstones. 
When the farm house burned on a cold winter night in 1959, one side of the pump house caught on fire.  The neighbors called to help put out the fire could not save the farm house, but they did manage to toss enough water on the pump house to put out the flames.  I've not replaced the charred boards on the south side of the building.  They are a reminder of that terrible night in when the Coombes home burned and they left their farm to live in Wild Rose.
We've done little to improve the building, outside of putting on a new roof, and replacing a few rotted boards.  It is the one building on the farm that looks just as it did 102 years ago. Today, we use the old pump house as a woodshed and storage place, and where little brown bats roost during the daytime.
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Every old building has a story to tell.
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:  It’s time to sign up for my writing class at The Clearing (Saturday, November 1). It’s all about writing stories from your life—to be shared with families, friends and more. Go to this link for further information.
If that doesn’t work, write or call The Clearing:
12171 Garrett Bay Rd, Ellison Bay, WI 54210
(920) 854-4088.


July 12-19, Writing Retreat, Rhinelander, WI.

July 23,  Jacksonport Historical Society, Mr. G’s, 6:00 p.m. Jacksonport, WI. Horse Drawn Days

July 26, Wild Rose Historical Society, After the parade, Book signing.  Part of Wild Rose Days.

July 29, Ephraim Historical Foundation. 7:00 p.m. Barns of Wisconsin.

August 2, Neillsville Library, 10:30 a.m.  Stories From the Land

August 20, Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters. Madison. 5-7 p.m. Stories From the Land.

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fund raiser for them):
The library now has available both of Jerry’s DVDs, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps and Jerry Apps A Farm Story.
Also available are several of Jerry’s book including The Quiet Season (on which the DVD A Farm Winter is based), as well as Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm, (which are related to the DVD Jerry Apps a Farm Story).
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.

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