Thursday, August 4, 2011

Past and Present

Since we are sort of on hold with work on the house, because of the heat wave, I thought I'd share some of what we've been doing related to the history of the house and some of our local travel adventures.  We've put quite a few miles on the Honda just driving the back roads around here and have made some interesting discoveries.

As you all know by now our farm belonged to the Tash family.  The family settled here in the early 1800's.  They built their first house on the property and then sometime in the mid 1800's Christian Tash Sr. built the house we have now.  The last Tash to live in the house was Everett.

Because of the long history of the family and the town and the farm we decided to go looking for the resting places of some of our homes former residents (and their families).  From where I am sitting right now (at the table in our apartment) I can see a hill about 200 yards away and on top of that hill is the Tash Cemetery.  We found it on a map and I went looking for it the other day.  It's been there since just after the family settled here and isn't very accessible by car.  There are several paths that a person could walk up but the roads are hidden and not well used.  Nonetheless, I was able to find a road and drive up to it the other morning.  The cemetery has a number of Tash family members as well as some other people.  Everett is not buried there though.  His grave is in the Mt. Washington Cemetery about 5 miles from the house.  It seems that different members of the family are buried in different places for whatever reason.  We discovered a website that has been very helpful to us.  It's called "find a grave" and is pretty amazing.  It is at and is a great resource for this kind of stuff.  And, you can post pictures and record information should you wish to.  Take a look.

We have found the graves of most of the people who lived in our house over the years.  We haven't actually seen all of them yet but we have seen a number of them.  With the age and location of some of them it is just going to take us time to compile a complete record.  I think we may post it on this site in some form or fashion once we get it done for everyone to see.  Reading about these people and finding their final resting places just adds to our understanding and connection to our new home.  In doing all of this research you become acutely aware of a couple of things.  First, living life in southern Indiana in the early 19th century was no walk in the park.  Many of these folks died young.  And most lost children along the way and some lost several children either at birth or before they were a year old.  The second thing is that life had to go on.  Some lost spouses or children or both but soon would remarry or have more children or both.  They were intent on this being their home and they fought to make that happen.

In addition to all of our discoveries about the Tash family we have discovered other pieces of history around our county.  Yesterday while we were out driving around we saw a sign for the "Poor Farm Cemetery" and decided we had to see what that was.  We drove down a road that hasn't seen much traffic in a long time and came to an old two-story brick building.  It was overgrown and partly hidden from view but you could see one end really well.  At the end opposite the road you could see one headstone in an overgrown area of trees.  Ann and I took turns looking around.  I looked in the building. It had a bunch of recent junk in it from people hanging out there but or the most part was intact from what I could see.  Because of it being summer and the bugs being crazy (that includes ticks and flying bugs that could carry off a small pony) we decided to put off further exploration until fall when the weather cools and the bugs go to Florida.  We will post pictures once we get inside some of the places we've found.

Here is a picture of an old house we found out near where the Amish live.  Again, no idea what's in it but going to find out in September/October.

Here in Washington county there are a number of Amish families.  We see them out and about in their buggies periodically.  The first time we saw them was at an auction we went to but have encountered them more as we've begun exploring the county.  When you see them riding around in their buggies you are struck by how young the couples look.  The other day we passed a family that had 2 or 3 kids under 6 and the wife was holding an infant but she didn't look much older than 20 or so.  It is a much different world here.  The Amish families houses are easy to pick out because they have no cars and no electric lines running to the property.  Just horses, buggies and kids in long dresses and button down shirts with suspenders running around everywhere.  It is a very peaceful looking existence.  Here's a picture of an Amish school near here, no power lines and an old bell hanging out front.  What a sight for people from Silicon Valley.

There are always a million things I could write about but that's going to be it for right now.  We are hoping that the weather will cool down soon so I can work on the plumbing and electrical for the house. We hope to be in the (upstairs part of the) house by Christmas.  We would love to have our tree in the living room even if it isn't finished yet.  We hope you enjoy our adventures and appreciate all your emails and comments.

-- Kevin

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