Old Buildings

| 3/14/2014 12:04:00 PM

Mary ConleyDear readers,

There is a fairly new and fast-growing Facebook page you might enjoy called “Nebraska Through The Lens,” where anyone can join and post photos taken only in Nebraska. You’ll find beautiful pictures of sunrises, sunsets, wild animals, and so on, but I’ve noticed that people seem to love to take photos of anything old and dilapidated. They sometimes name the place and include a little history, and often viewers comment that they wonder about or like to imagine the history.

Nebraska seemingly has an unending source of old buildings, since farming slowly changed over the years and the old-fashioned farmyard with cows, pigs, chickens and a garden pretty much disappeared and was replaced by feedlots, or a monoculture of some kind of crop, often growing practically to the farmhouse doorstep. When we first passed such abandoned places on the way to our farm, I often felt depressed and wanted to set a match to any old house I saw with broken windows and sagging roof. I did wonder about those who once lived there, and what their lives were like, but it was still just an eyesore to me.

In our case, someone cut off one of those old-fashioned farmyards from the rest of the land and sold it as an acreage. It consists of 20 acres of about everything, and we love it. It has a nice house, but many of the outbuildings could definitely have been a good choice for someone who loves to take photos of ruins.

If you have read my past blogs, you will recall that the whole place was full of weeds, thistles and junk, so we first cleaned up around the buildings. It was not an easy job, but very satisfying.