The Old Stepping Stone: Revisiting the Family Farm

A Missouri woman revisits her childhood home and finds the porch stepping stone has endured the years

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Though age has dimmed my eyesight and slowed my step, when I was looking at the cedar trees and cement walks around my childhood home, I was astonished to see the old six-foot sturdy rock that made the stepping stone to our front porch in the same place and apparently as sturdy as I remembered.

In 1910, my family and I moved from our family farm that we all loved to a comfortable home in a small town. We had to move to a smaller home because of the early death of my father and an accident that crippled my grandfather.

Twenty-two years later when my brother was grown, he married, and with his competent and understanding wife took the old grandparents back to the farm home to enjoy their later years. Inquiring further I learned that the first house where the old rock was placed had burned in 1949. Another house much like the old one was moved in and placed so that the cement walks and the old rock were never moved. For 49 years this house was home to the family who made these changes.

When outdoor carpet became popular the porch and the old rock were covered. Therefore, it wasn't noticed until the house was sold for storage to an adjoining school.

Now at 90 I ask myself, should I try to buy the old stone? Should I try to have it moved to my present home? Would it crumble? Should I leave the old stepping stone where it was placed by someone long ago to be used and enjoyed by generations?

Bonnie Dunlap 
Montrose, Missouri

Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.