Revisiting the Heisler Family Farm

I was ten years old in 1960 to 1961 when our grandparents took us in and we lived for a year on the Heisler family farm. By the mid-to-late 60's both our grandparents had died and the farm was sold. No one has lived there in a long time. But I have many vivid memories of our time on the farm. Recently, with great difficulty, I managed to find the old place and took these pictures.

This is the barn as I fondly remember it from countless trips up from the house. Whether to do chores or while away the hours, the sight always filled me with warm anticipation.
The machine shed/chickhouse would have blocked this view. Only the foundation stones remain of the structure that once held over five thousand hens and roosters.
I remember collecting baskets and baskets of eggs. The hens would peck at our hands, being reluctant to give up their fruit. Five hundred chicks were started under heat lamps every spring.
The hay rake, baler and tractor were sheltered on the first floor. It is hard to imagine that these foundation stones are all that is left.
I never knew what this shed was used for. It was kept locked and us kids were never allowed to go into it.
Beneath the branches of the tree in the foreground runs a stream where we used to catch crayfish and minnows, and in the winter built a snow fort with the frozen over stream as our crystaline floor.
Is there an old farm anywhere that does not have abandoned vehicles and machinery on it?
An earthen ramp gave entry into the hay mow and oat rooms of the barn. It was tricky using the tractor to back the hay wagon in through the doors.
The milk room off the side of the barn kept the product cool until it could be loaded onto the truck and transported to the milk factory.
Here is where we milked the cows, and every once in a while squirted the cats gathered in eager anticipation. Some of the cats were wild. I spent all summer just trying to touch one named Midnight, though I never could get close enough.
When chores were done I used to braid rope from baling twine. Other times I would lie in the hay and watch the cows eat. It was a very peaceful experience.
How I will always remember it.

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These pages and all their contents, including images, © Copyright 1999 Gobind Khalsa