Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Farm House Style Wasn't Always Pretty!

WARNING: Not my typical post, lots of photos, so get comfy.  I do think you will enjoy this trip down memory lane with me.  :)

FARM HOUSE STYLE WASN'T ALWAYS PRETTY, FROM A GIRL WHO LIVED IT!!!

When we say farm house style, today, our minds conjure up a gorgeous home complete with wrap around porches, lovely decorative items, such as antique scales, farm house sinks, open shelving painted all white, with neatly styled matching dish ware, and some brightly colored collection, thrown in for a pop of color!

Having grown up in a farm house, I'm here to tell you in the fifties and sixties, that is not what they looked like! At least, ours didn't!!

Back then, the farm house was very utilitarian.  No gorgeous decorative pieces on pretty white shelves. Shelves were usually rough wood, some full of splinters!

We raised chickens for a time, 3 poultry houses dotted the property; at one time Daddy had the bright idea to start a hog farm.  I know the neighbors loved that!  We always had a cow that Mama would milk twice a day for our milk and butter.  She churned the milk to make butter. Sometimes with a dasher and sometimes with an electric churn.  She put the butter in little wooden molds that imprinted a flower on the top.  No preservatives, just plain butter!

via internet (churn with dasher)


electric churn/via internet
(our crock was brown pottery)

Butter mold/via internet


We grew our vegetables.  Sometimes Mama would lay off the whole garden with a hoe, since we didn't have a plow. Occasionally the neighbor would use his tractor and rip the rows for her, but that couldn't be counted on. We preserved all the food we could get out of the garden and ate wonderful vegetables all winter long.  It was a good thing, too!  Daddy, who had a sense of wanderlust, sometimes left and stayed gone for a year or more at the time. Mama didn't work outside the home, nor did she drive, so having food in the freezer, and milk and butter from the cow was a necessity.

I want to share with you, as best I can, (pulling photos from the internet), what our farm house style looked like.

We had a home built around 1954 or 55, ranch style with hipped roof, and a car shed.  :)  It was built of concrete blocks, and until the 70's never had a coat of paint on the outside.  I had it painted after I married, white with black shutters!! It was a 3 bedroom, 1 bath home with an adjoining living/dining room, and a kitchen.  The front porch had Craftsman type columns/posts.  The living room had a picture window with another window on each side. The house had no central heat, nor any insulation, so in the winter ice would freeze inside the window panes when it was really cold!!

In our house, we had a plastic type sofa and chair in the living room, an old upright piano, a gas heater, and an old recliner.  That was it!  A few pictures of the children hung on the walls, higher up, stuck up with nails.


source/internet

We had a plastic sofa, yellow and green.  Not this exact style, but every bit as beautiful!! UGH!!

Oh, can't forget the linoleum rugs!!
via/internet
linoleum rug, a little worse for the wear

I remember the rugs becoming worn, but ours always had a shine!  As soon as I was old enough, I waxed those rugs frequently!

I put carpet on Mama's floors for the first time, after I married.

via internet
(Old used piano, much like the one my Mom bought for me to learn to play).  It would take 10 grown men to move this thing!!

In our dining room was a real farm house table, long and made from boards, covered with an oil cloth bought at the dime store, surrounded by various and sundry chairs, some of which were none too sturdy!  All hand-me-downs!


mismatched chairs/via internet


At some point in the sixties, we wound up with a similar dining room suite to the one below!  I think we must have gotten rich!!!!  Have you seen anything much uglier??  Ours was this same ugly brown!  Don't know why we couldn't have had a pretty color!  You know, like red or green!!

via/internet

Our fridge stood in the dining room (identical to this one) along with a HUGE chest freezer where we preserved our veggies!!

via/internet

via internet/ double freezer
(ours had round corners) 

The kitchen had a free standing metal sink with 2 drawers, and 4 cabinet doors like the one below. Eventually, the bottom of the cabinet would rust out.


via/internet

Our water came from the well in the back yard inside a building amazingly called 'the well house.'  The washer was in there too.  If the water pipes froze in the winter, we had to draw our water from the well, just like the boy in this picture!  Wasn't easy, but it won't hurt you!!
Those frozen pipes meant we had to use the outhouse too!  Man, I hated cold weather!!
via internet

Old gas range/via internet
I remember when we got a gas range!  Prior to that we had one like the one below.


wood stove/via internet

One side was a reservoir for holding water.  The heat would warm the water for dish washing and children's baths.

Also in the kitchen was a Hoosier cabinet, a water heater,  and a "cook" table.  (a small table used for food prep.)  It also had an oil cloth over it. It held the dough bowl, and various cooking supplies.  In the corner near the sink was the pie safe I now have in my kitchen.  It held dish cloths, and a few dishes.

via internet  (Hoosier)

Dishes, silverware, etc. were kept in the hoosier.  The top left side had a sifter built in for flour/meal.

pie safe (via internet)

cook table/via internet

dough bowl/via internet
Biscuits were made 3x per day at our house!!  Flour was purchased in fifty pound sacks.  Sometimes the cloth sack would have a towel, dishcloth or other item sewn into the top of the sack.  These were a real treat.  The sacks were also put to good use for making aprons, dresses, towels, pillowcases.  Mama would embroider them with pretty designs.  Nothing was wasted.  I still have some of her embroidered pieces.  

pail/dipper via internet

Drinking water was kept in a pail on the side of the sink, with a dipper to drink from.  And YES, we all drank from the same dipper.  Sometimes we had "bird baths" from a washpan like the one shown beneath the water pail.



via/internet
Water heater

We had three bedrooms complete with iron bed steads, old fashioned bed springs, (the type used now as decor!), cotton filled mattresses that were LUMPY, feather pillows, chenille bedspreads.

via internet

We had three beds exactly like this.

One bath with one sink, toilet, and a  primitive tin shower stall took care of a family of six!  The two oldest girls had married and moved out when we lived here, and our oldest brother had been killed in the Korean War.

GROSS!!!
Old metal shower/via internet


Bath room sink/via internet
This is the type of bathroom sink we had.  OURS WAS CLEAN, THOUGH!!

Clothes were washed in the "well house" in a wringer type washer with 2 metal tubs to rinse clothes in, then we hung the clothes on long clothes lines outside to dry!
It was an ALL DAY chore!  My mom never had an automatic washer and dryer.

 Clothes drying in the sun
via internet

 Wash tub (used for rinsing......and for baths)!!
via internet
wringer washer
via internet

Our clothing was sewn/repaired on one of these.  Ours was pretty much identical, and was originally my grandmother's.  My sister still has it!



I think you will agree with me that REAL farm house decor in the 50's and 60's was not at all glamorous!  I love today's farm house style, and will say, It's Come A Long Way!!

I've chosen photos that depict the type of appliances and furniture we had. However, ours never looked dirty.  My mother was a stickler for cleanliness, after all, "It's next to Godliness", and she was a Godly woman!!

Things weren't the finest, or the prettiest, but we had shelter, food,  were not afraid of work, and the most wonderful Mother in the world.  She always made do with whatever we had, and did it with a smile.

I know we can take all these items, today, refurbish them and they are treasures.  Growing up, they were just everyday items that were used constantly, and held up well.

I hope I haven't bored you to death with this trip down memory lane.  :)  If you like this type of post, let me know in the comments, and I will do more of them.


Sharing here:

What's It Wednesday @ Ivy and Elephants
         Home and Garden Thursday @ A Delightsome Life

  Home Sweet Home @ The Charm of Home
 Feathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage
Shabbylicious Friday @ Shabby Art Boutique
Show and Tell Friday http://romantichome.blogspot.com
Farm House Friday @ Knick of Time     





Snippets of Christmas

I've been rather lazy when it comes to my blog recently.  But I found a new tree that I loved at Lowe's on sale, (I bought the last ...

Labels