I live in a city with a good mix of urban and rural spots to explore. Art, architecture and landmarks live comfortably alongside open fields, prairies and parks. Even with such variety, it’s good to have an old favorite or two in mind when setting out for an afternoon exploration.
The park that includes this old farmhouse is one of those favorite places. The house sits back in the woods of the 360-acre park just 20 minutes from my home. A small bit of prairie, a three-acre lake and lots of wooded land make this a perfect place to revisit from time-to-time.
Finding this house hidden in the woods was an unexpected surprise. It sits just far enough from the gravel road that it’s hidden until you’re suddenly upon it. It’s a humble home, probably well-loved and treasured in its day. Each time I’m here, the structure seems to sag a little more, appearing a bit more faded and tired. I peek into the little rooms–one with just a bit of blue plaster, another now filled with scattered straw–and wonder about the lives of the people it sheltered.
One day I expect I’ll hike back to this spot and the house will no longer be standing. In its place will be a pile of wood, foundation stones, a bit of corrugated tin. The house will live on in photos taken by myself and others…and perhaps in the hearts and souls of those who may once have called it home.