Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Barn at the Swalander place.

I want to share something with you.  I have been fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to live on my Great grandparents homestead.  They came to this land from Sweden via Kansas.
They came to live on this farm in Puyallup in 1893.  My mother and her brother and sisters were raised on this farm also.

My sister Candy and I bought acres from Grandma and Grandpa in the 1970's.
We are neighbors.
I bought the barn yard.  The pictures above are from one of my great aunts photo albums.  Taken around 1903.  It was a very beautiful old barn.  My grandpa quit farming after he retired and the barn fell into some disrepair.  So when I built my log cabin we had to take down the major part of the barn.  Leaving the horse tack and feed room plus the open back of the barn where the cows came in out of the rain.
I have loved this old building.  So many pictures have been taken of it. By myself and others.  My plan was to take the barn down carefully so we could repurpose the wood.  We did just that.  My brother, nephews and son got together with friends and piece by piece gently disassembled this old friend.
We found some of the coolest things.  Many many pairs of little shoes.  The Swalander's were a "waste not-want not" kind of can do family.  We found lots of pieces of leather and straps and buckles, horse collars.  horse and oxen shoes.
So the plan was to tear down the barn and put a garden in on the site.  What an amazing surprise there were very few rocks to contend with and just let me say this we grow rocks on this hill and it is rare to find anyspot that you can just sink your shovel in and not have the blade hit rocks one half inch down.
My friend Jim came over and rototilled for us and we raked it out.  Oh gosh only a little excited.  We decided to plant only heirloom seeds and got some of the tomatoes started along with tobacco seeds.  Oh yes we did!!!  Great Uncle Carl used to grow his own tobacco here over one hundred years ago so to honor him we are trying it again.  I ordered the seeds on line and the name is "Dark Virginian"  it sounded so exotic, just couldn't resist.

So we had lots of fun making signs and planting our seeds.
My nephews and grandson helped plant the seeds.  It was the coolest thing to see the pride on everyone's faces when the planting was finished.

Ok so we planted all sorts of wonderful things.  I will follow up as the season progresses'.  I so hope you enjoyed this little tour through the garden.

And to end this I say:



  1. That was so fun to see the old move on to the new! Gramma and Grampa would love to see that the family is gardening, I think. Grampa would be so happy that the rest of the barn is safely down, don't you think? Great job!!!

  2. I absolutely agree with my cousin, Susan. Gramma and Grampa would be happy and so proud! They so left their legacy in all of us! Beauty, nature, family!

  3. I love the garden....good job...these are such great will be fun to look back at these oh.... say about,September...when everything is prolific!