Thursday, March 1, 2007

A Farm House Then and Now

This farm house is on 900N in Alexandria Indiana. When this picture was taken in the 1930's it belonged to my great Aunt Alma and Uncle Alvie. My grandfather took this picture and that is his automobile in the driveway.

Now, I spotted the house from some distance. I think the barn and its relationship to the house is what gave it away. There was no doubt in my mind at all, so I wasn't the least surprised when my mother pulled-over to the side of the road.

When I eventually got around to looking at the photo and having a minute to contemplate it, I thought that we might have stopped at the wrong house! I brought-up the original 30's picture on my display and at first I wasn't sure. The house looked a lot different and where did those big old trees come from? If, this picture was taken in, say, 1935, then those trees are only 70 years old. They looked bigger and hence, older than that to me, but I am wrong.

I live in New Jersey now and this photo reminded me of one of those little astounding facts that you hear now and then. They were discussing the growing conflict between civilization and the exploding deer population on the local radio. I know first hand that whether you are talking about New Jersey or Indiana, the carnage on the highways is ample proof that our deer population has made a tremendous recovery in the last few decades. Anyway, someone said is was surprising given the urban sprawl, in general, but especially because New Jersey has the highest population density in the world. The authority that they were interviewing corrected them and said that it really wasn't that surprising because today there are one hundred times more trees in New Jersey than there were in 1776. Now I doubt that there are exactly one hundred times more trees, but the image was clear enough. The settlers and colonalists had strip-mined the trees so they could build their houses and farm the land.

In the past we would fly to Indianapolis for the holidays and get on that long straight stretch of I-69 that goes to Anderson. My wife would always make a couple observations as if the realization had just hit her. Right after "It's so flat!" would come "And there aren't any trees!". Completely predictable. When you drive to Indiana it doesn't have that much impact because the scenery changes so gradually.

I assume the same was true in the mid-west where farming was on a larger scale and much more recently than in New Jersey. Still, I am surprised at how big those trees have grown in the last 70 years.


jnewbby said...

Only wish pics were side by side. First time i saw new photo. Great but really feel a miracle about trees too.

michael said...

Thank you, I do miss my mother & Father. Yes time moves on WoW in 1963 I was 10 years old My father told me how mom and him meet @ riverside park now my mom rest at Crown Hill over looking riverside park I hope my kids will feel the same way.... Michael San Diego CA... 2009