Saturday, January 25, 2014

And the Next Generation Moves In!

Ithamer and Harriet Blakely (1810)
Frank and Alice Blakely (18??)
Argyle Stalker and Bertha Blakely Stalker(1902)
Len Carpenter and Sally Stalker Spear (1936)
{Dennis Lanpher and Kari Jo Spear (1963)--didn't actually ever live there, but Kari Jo's horse did, and she and her mother own the place now}
Scott Grella and Alaria Lanpher (1990)

Dates are the birthdates of the family member. Ithamer built and lived in a log cabin that was beside where the house is now, and built the barn. His son Frank built the house, which my mother had refinished about fifteen years ago, but it has the original frame. Frank had no sons, but had four daughters (Grayce, Ruth, Muriel, Bertha) and that's when the Blakely name ended. The road is still named after us, though! My mother has a brother, Frank Stalker, who lives in Nevada. Otherwise, my daughters and I are it for now.

Six generations. Pretty cool. Unfortunately, there haven't been any cows there for years, or animals at all since our horse farm endeavor ended in 1981. All the land has been sold except what's immediately around the buildings. The buildings are rented out for storage and a local farmer still hays the fields, but there's still a big garden and it's a beautiful place to be.

Yeah, whose idea was it to move in January? Cold, cold, cold!

Alaria had us all very well organized with her color-coded map of where everything was supposed to go. Every box had a sticker on it

Lanpher genes, not Spear, for sure

That one goes upstairs

Man, what did she put in this?

Looks like a lot, but believe me, it's nothing compared to the dishes we dug out of there last weekend. Some had been in the family since Harriet's time, I'm sure! Really.

Always handy to have an EMT on location when heavy lifting is involved. Wait, Scott's the one doing the heavy lifting. How does that work?


  1. Beautiful post! She's so organized. Looking forward to snuggling in and having a cup of tea with her soon. So many changes.

    1. Thanks, Tammy. I can't help but see your farm as how ours would look if we'd kept it going, and I so admire and appreciate the hard, hard work you all do. My grandfather was forced to take a job as a mail clerk on the mail train that ran from White River Junction to Montreal back in the 1940s, I think. His wife ran the farm with the help of two hired hands. One of those men became my father, Bob Spear. Eventually, it more lucrative to switch to boarding horses for the rich folks moving into the area to work for IBM. I actually was the one who kept the horse thing going for the family until I left for college, and that was technically the end of the road. It was the brutal, brutal taxes that did us in after our area of Colchester was re-zonned residential instead of agricultural. And it didn't help that Interstate 89 bisected the farm in the 1960s and ruined our sugar orchard. The state only paid for the land they were using, which happened to have the sugar house on it, not the land they'd totally cut us off from. We still own a small, landlocked piece with some maples on it. And, of course, the state set the price. I love Vermont, but sometimes it feels like the government is destroying what makes the state unique from the inside out.