Hillbilly Archaeologist

25 Feb

Abandoned In Stone County

Ever driven down an old country road, past a crumbling old farm house and thought to yourself “I bet that place has a million stories. I wonder who lived there?” I know I have and in most cases I am so busy going somewhere I don’t even pay attention to them. Once in a great while I get up just enough gumption to park the truck and grab the camera. This is one place I couldn’t pass up.

This home was struck down by a huge tree that uprooted and fell through most of the structure.

Sometimes you have to look beyond the current condition of things and use your imagination to see the positives to a house like this. The stonework is classic Ozarks, you don’t find work like this in many places other than the Ozarks. It’s color and size make it especially nice and the craftsmanship was excellent. It is a shame that the tree took it out. It gets better, just follow me…

At this angle you can see that the tree simply ripped it's way through.

This tree was massive and did enormous amounts of damage.

The back porch is roughly a 10′ span attached to the house and covered with clear material to let the light in. I bet they had plants. It sat on a poured concrete slab which was very cool to the touch, we’ll get into the natural air conditioning shortly. The porch actually held under the weight of the tree, amazing stuff.

Behind the house stood the family (root cellar?), a two story built into the bluff side.

The well house was something extraordinary, two stories with built in shelves upstairs and large material storage downside. It was also equipt with electricity and ran a refridgerator which was still sitting where they left it.

Built in shelves to store canned goods, and lots of them.

Standing at the well house the view to the back of the house and the spring house in the foreground.

Notice the steps leading down from the house into the spring house, a perfect set up for the milk cans.

Used for storing milk and cream cans I imagine.

However another possibility hit me like a trout takes a mayfly…it might have been used to raise trout. With a small cool water lake adjacent to the house and connected to the spring it is possible.

This spring was really putting out the water, and cold...really cold. Making the concrete cool all the way to the back porch of the house. Natural AC!

I noticed that the walls of the springhouse were brown from probably iron in the water.

It flowed out and then into the lake through a concrete whistle that was built by hand.

This is what really caught my interest. The iron bridge minus the wood walkway is still usable.

I would love to walk out in my front yard to a view like this.

The proximity of the lake to the house was just right, not more than 50 feet away from the house and access from the back and the side of the house. This was well thought out, if I had the chance to do something with this place I would simply clean it up, remove the wooden structures and rebuild as close to original as I could. Cleaned up and fresh this would make one nice place to entertain. On a sad note, the house was fully furnished including clothes still hanging in the closet, a half stocked kitchen, appliances in tact, a wood burning stove,  couches and chairs, bedding and such. It makes you think that the owners may have suffered consequences from the tree as it hit directly in a bedroom area and the fact it’s still furnished. It doesn’t look like it’s been lived in for 10 years or more.

I will mention I only take photos away from places like this. I never give out any locations and I usually am careful about property owners privacy…but I couldn’t resist. My apologies.

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14 Responses to “Hillbilly Archaeologist”

  1. Victoria - Ozarks Crescent Mural February 25, 2011 at 3:02 am #

    That is a really interesting post. That sure is a nice-sized lake.

    Speaking of houses, my most recent post is about SlabTown Customs, a tiny house and cabin builder, in Mountain View, AR. Scott Stewart offers the best prices I’ve ever seen and his work is impeccable. His houses come complete with everything: finished inside and out, electrical, plumbing, kitchen and bath, ready to move into. He’ll deliver within a few hundred miles at no charge.

    He’s just finishing up one right now and if someone is interested, they can choose the colors. Please visit my blog or better yet, see pictures of all the builds at http://slabtowncustoms.shutterfly.com/

    • earthmonster February 25, 2011 at 3:09 am #

      So you actually have done a walk through of his tinyhouses? They look interesting, are you considering buying one?

      • Victoria - Ozarks Crescent Mural February 25, 2011 at 11:44 am #

        I haven’t done a walk-through yet, but I’ll be sure to stop by Scott’s place next time I’m in Mountain View. I’ve seen plenty of photos though because I created the Shutterfly site for him and there’s got to be 100-200 photos there of over 20 different builds. I first discovered SlabTown at Kent’s Tiny House Blog. I was floored by Scott’s prices. They’re far less than any other tiny house builder, plus he’ll deliver for free. No one does that. And his are complete. Some builds or kits don’t include all the interior/exterior or the electrical/plumbing. And to boot, he completes the kitchen and bath too. I’m not in the market now, but I will be someday and when I am, I will be going to see him for sure.

  2. Heather Archibeque November 21, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

    This Place Does Have A Lot Of Memories:) My Granny And Poppy Lived There For Years, Eugene And Louise Hicks. Although They Did Not Own It, My Cousin Neal Kerans Does. My Sister And I Used To Play In The Well House, And Explore The Land. A Lot Of My Family Was Baptized In The “Lake”. We Grew Up Hearing There Was A Huge Catfish That Could Swallow Us Whole Living In The Lake. I’m Sure My Older Cousins Have Even More Memories, I Know I Cherish The Ones I Have. Thank You For This Story. ( Sorry For The Words Being Capitalized, Darn Phone)

    • Staff Writer November 22, 2013 at 7:22 am #

      I was really taken by the place. I bet when it was occupied it was a fun place to be.

      • Heather Archibeque November 22, 2013 at 9:05 am #

        It Was An Adventure Every Day.

  3. rusty hicks November 21, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

    My grandparents lived there from around 1980-1995. I spent alot of time there

    • Staff Writer November 22, 2013 at 7:23 am #

      Who owns the place…do you know?

      • Heather Archibeque November 22, 2013 at 9:01 am #

        As Far As I Know Neal Kerans Does.

  4. Nina Stults November 22, 2013 at 10:01 am #

    My parents lived here for several years. Lots of memories in these photos.

  5. Lonnie Mason February 24, 2015 at 4:03 pm #

    Almost looks like Ora Shorts old place down on horse creek .

  6. Rene' February 24, 2015 at 6:07 pm #

    My favorite memories at Granny and Poppy’s house were the family get togethers. Especially the fish fries which included frog legs and any other mystery item he would come up with. (He would only tell you after you took a bite.) No one could beat his gooseberry/ rhubarb cobbler and her sweet tea!

  7. Angie Chance February 24, 2015 at 10:51 pm #

    My parents own this property. They owned it for years. It was purchased from family, who I believe, built it. Ora and Lora Short.
    After Gene and Louise moved out, it sat empty, until it was rented for several years. The renters left the property after they separated. It has been vacant for several years.
    I do believe there are plans for this property, hopefully, to be finalized soon.

    Those of you who visit, please, be CAREFUL. the house is not safe to be inside. I do know that we are hopeful we can keep the barn.

  8. Brittany Conrad February 25, 2015 at 10:52 am #

    I am from this area. I bet my husband knows were that’s at.

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