200-Year-Old Vermont Farmhouse Adventure
I'm venturing to the past with this post set in a farmhouse where I spent six months of adventurous living in Vermont. I've included a few before pictures to show you the drastic change a little hard work and some favorite decor can accomplish. I'm going to spare you most of them . . . well, the place hadn't been lived in for a while. Did I mention this was an adventure?
I've shared a few of these images on Instagram and Pinterest, but while going through old posts on an inactive blog, and not shared here before, I thought you might enjoy this.
This is on the day of arrival, when autumn greeted us with fair weather.
We would have remained longer, but the farm sold six months after we arrived, and so we returned home. The farm had been on the market for many years. There were, if I recall, 146 acres to the farm, with so many wonderful trails to explore.
We signed a lease from Montana after only seeing exterior pictures, and on the word of my brother who said the fireplaces were awesome and the farm was beautiful. Well, he was right.
I should mention there was no heat upstairs and we were heading into winter. My brother forgot that part. At this point I had been a closet writer for a number of years, but I do believe it was the old house, lack of amenities, and beautiful simplicity of being there that inspired me to publish.
There are so many stories within the walls of old houses, barns, shops, etc., and so much of that can be found intact in New England.
The woodshed is on the right (below). We got very well acquainted during the winter. The shed on the left is charming, but I never went inside. It had bars on the windows and so instead of inspecting, I allowed my imagination to run wild about what could be inside.
There was no garage, so we made good use of the barn during the winter. It was not difficult to imagine what the place must look like when in bloom.
The kind man who owned the property tapped maple from the trees and made the most delicious syrup I've ever had in my life, right here in this sugar house (below). It was in the field across from the farm house. He used horses and a sleigh for this task, and the same team to plow trails in the winter that were great for snowshoeing.
Speaking of the best maple syrup ever, I do believe the secret lies with the natural springs that ran through the property. It was the source of water for the house, too, and everything I cooked or baked tasted incredible.
It was a great old house that had stood against time. It might have been a little rough around the edges, but no matter because it was a truly delightful place to spend time.
There was a lot of cleanup needed, and though we didn't get a lot done, a little made a difference.
My beloved pup loved the ponds.
There wasn't much to the kitchen, and yet it became a beloved room where I spent many enjoyable hours trying out new recipes.
The kitchen island, shown above, was built by my brother. He had a bit of a bother getting it in there, and so he put it together and added the finishing touches while it was in the kitchen. We left it behind, and I think it's still there.
Here's another before and after space. This is part of the original farm house, and we're not quite sure what it was used for before, but we used it as a dining room. It was perfect with a view of the fireplace and window overlooking the grass and pond.
The fireplace is really cool, and it did a fair job of warming the house, at least the downstairs. What a dream it would have been to completely restore this house. It has since seen a lot of updates under the care of the people who bought it soon after we left. And, I believe it has sold again. I hope the new owners revive the maple syrup operation.
And then came winter. Another version of the barn pictured below was used on the original cover for An Angel Called Gallagher.
Despite the bone-chilling wet cold of winter, it was my favorite season at the farm.
And it was upon my return from this adventure that I finished Gallagher's Pride. The farm provided much inspiration for nineteenth-century living.