Friday, January 31, 2014

De Kalb Meeting House Museum - Part 1

I've driven through the town of Dekalb many times since I moved here, but never noticed there was a museum. Instead, I learned of its existence on the internet. It was only open a few hours each week, but open all year long, so I drove about one hour southwest to see it:

It was located in the former Methodist Episcopal Meeting House, erected in 1839. I recognized the the foyer as that of an old church immediately. I used to attend an old country church with the same layout:

Indeed, this clearly had been a church where the pastor stood at the door after services and shook hands with the members as they left for home. I met the historian (whose offices were upstairs) and asked where to find a bathroom. He told me they were out back, so I went right back out through those doors and began looking:

I found these two doors, both locked, plus another, smaller outhouse. It too was locked, but there were plenty of trees, so I was soon back inside the museum:

The foyer contained mostly photos and charts and maps, etc., but there was this telegraph which was used at the De Kalb Junction railroad station until it closed in 1964:

At the De Kalb Junction Post Office in ----- Oops, it didn't give a year. I would guess, judging by the outfits, 1890 to 1915. What do you think?:

This was Main Street in 1962. It doesn't look much different today:

Franklin D. Rooselvelt passed through De Kalb Junction in 1940:

And there was theater:

And a stage coach. Again, no year:

The bell from the old De Kalb Junction school:

You may wonder what that school looked like. Well, here is a photo of it. There were geology displays and Civil War displays in the foyer, but I was anxious to get into the meeting house hall and see the artifacts. I'll post about that tomorrow:

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Chapter 4 - Amazing Peru Street, In The Town Of Lawrence, New York

Peru Street took me north from Route 11B to Route 11, a distance of about 4 miles. I was nearing the end of the road and still enjoying every scenic moment of it. I passed this creek, swollen from the melting snow:

This farm house had several huge old trees out front but I never noticed what kind they were. Now, looking at their trunks, I'm guessing they were Cottonwoods:

This home had an enclosed porch and a ramp:

A front entrance with a nice deck and lots of stairs:

This mobile home had a long ramp and was chartreuse, the color my mother painted our kitchen way back when. I still remember it:

A small white mobile home, a red mini-barn and lots of ice:

The sign said "Willis H Thomas" and apparently was once an auto repair shop. Or maybe it still was, though I didn't see any activity:

Lots of windows, used to enclose their porch:

A friendly, well cared for horse with a blanket to keep him warm:

The last home, at the northern end of Peru Street, was this mobile/modular (I often can't tell which is which):

But as I pulled out onto Route 11, I encountered this fun and colorful display, at the headquarters of Adirondack Storage Barns of Lawrence, New York. Lots of storage sheds, Adirondack chairs, gazebos and even a wooden train for the kids to play in:

This company surely catered to children, as evidenced by their other offerings of pirate ships and castles, built just for young minds and bodies. Peru Street had turned out to be one of my favorite driving tours yet, a road of friendly, rural beauty:

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Chapter 3 - Amazing Peru Street, In The Town Of Lawrence, New York

Peru Street had turned out to be a scenic gem and I was happy I'd chosen it for a driving tour. This old house caught me by surprise, sitting all alone on the prairie. I thought perhaps it was abandoned because of the boarded up windows, but then noticed a vehicle parked on the other side. Perhaps they were just saving both money and energy:

Wherever I looked, the warm sun had turned the snowy farm fields into ice:

This lovely old barn looked as if it had been in service for well over a hundred years:

An old farm house:

And farm equipment, out in a field:

A log cabin, set back in the trees:

And a modern, ranch style house:

I could barely see this house behind the trees:

Until I reached the driveway. Then I got a better look at it:

Corn stubble, which seemed to be floating in a field of ice:

An ancient barn with a stone wall:

And a nice farm house with a couple of nice decks. But I was still not at the end of Peru Street, so I had more yet to see. I'll post Chapter 4 tomorrow:

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Chapter 2 - Amazing Peru Street, In The Town Of Lawrence, New York

I continued on my driving tour of Peru Street, passing more Amish farms (note the white house, red barns and clothesline with black clothes):

This Amish farm had a spectacular barn and lots of hand painted signs, selling hand woven baskets and other items:

This sign advertised lumber, and I could see that they also sold firewood. The piles of huge logs piled quite high, caused me to wonder if they'd hired neighbors to bring them out of the woods:

This was not an Amish farm, I didn't think, though it was surrounded by them:

This was an Amish farm, as evidenced by the white house, chimney pipes, board and batten siding - and the ubiquitous clothesline:

But then I seemed to pass out of Amish territory and into a settlement of "English," or non-Amish, such as myself:

I've searched the internet for an explanation of the "Deno Homestead" but couldn't find anything. My guess is that it was a tree farm willed to the state and currently managed by the Department of Environmental Conservation. The state does have tree farms, where they raise seedlings for distribution in the cause of conservation, but I could find no reference to this site:

A nifty mobile home, set way back behind the trees:

A modern ranch home, also set back into the trees:

This home sat up on a hill:

I passed by more farm fields, some of which had old farm equipment resting in the snow:

And a rather spectacular barn and silo, all surrounded by fields of ice. But I was only about halfway along Peru Street, so there was more to see. I'll post Chapter 3 tomorrow:

Monday, January 27, 2014

Chapter 1 - Amazing Peru Street, In The Town Of Lawrence, New York

We'd suffered through so much miserable weather that when a minor January thaw hit, I jumped in the car and headed out to Peru Street, a rural road in the town of Lawrence. It was time for a driving tour. I was surprised that the first house on the road was so large, modern and expensive:

But mostly, Peru Street was rural, with hay fields covered by crusty snow and ice. There were grooves through the snow made animals. My fields had them also, but I had no idea what sort of animal made them - something with short legs, by the look of things:

I slowed to a stop to photograph this attractive log cabin home, but the two Malamutes tied out front were not pleased to see me. I snapped a quick photo and hurried on my way:

This looked to me like a gingerbread house. Or maybe I should ask why everything reminds me of food:

A mobile home with a nice deck, a big spruce tree and two play houses, one of which, the one on stilts, was just about the nicest play house I'd ever seen:

The road also took me through forests:

And past Amish corn fields, filled with corn shocks:

And there was a long section of the road with one Amish farm after another. This one, I thought, was particularly beautiful from a distance. I noticed the traditional white house and red barns. But they'd added a green barn also, the barn color which once predominated in this area:

I slowed down for a closer look as I passed by the front of the above farm:

And enlarged the center of the photo so you could see the buggy, dinner bell and clothesline:

Another Amish farm (note the clothesline), but this one had some large farm equipment. My guess was that a neighbor was doing work for them:

I wasn't sure this was an Amish farm until a woman, all clad in black, walked out the barn door with her horse. You can see both of them between the barn and the house. Notice the electric lines. They may be merely passing over the property or these may be Amish who are allowed electricity in the barn (though never in the house). Peru Street was long and fascinating, so I kept driving. I'll post Chapter 2 tomorrow: