Our Old Barn by Janet Keyes

Our barn had a great history.  Reportedly it was once the carriage house for the large white building at the corner of Main and High Streets, next to the Walker Funeral Home.  Many years ago, probably before 1910, it was moved all the way to its current location at the end of Colorado Avenue. To move it the new owner (probably Bruno Hartmann) had to dismantle it completely, then move it board by board and beam by beam on horse-drawn wagons.  The old construction involved pegs in addition to nails.  The round wooden pegs and the old-fashioned cut nails were carefully removed, then re-used at the new location.  I’m not sure what the wood was.  Chestnut was the most common old wood, but this was likely something else.

Bruno Hartmann had a small farm, maybe about 70 acres, and he kept a few cows and sold milk to his neighbors in that small German community. The barn was about 30 by 30 with two large lofts connected by a smaller loft at the front of the building.  The barn had to accommodate two or three cows, two draft horses, and lots of hay in addition to a small space for grain, tack, and tools. Continue reading

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Immigrating to Greenfield by Ted Scott

“I think we should move,” she said. The words filled me with apprehension. She had just returned from Greenfield, where she had done some babysitting and a little painting in the old house our daughter and son-in-law had recently moved into. Of course I understood why she wanted to move. Both of our children had started families. Our daughter had already produced a grandson. They moved north from New Orleans, and our son- and daughter-in-law had just bought an old house in Northampton and were in the process of fixing it up. Also, Val’s 96-year-old mother was living in a retirement place in Easthampton. Val needed to see them all on a regular basis. She was spending too much time Continue reading