Monday, September 13, 2010

A Brief History of the Farm

The Farmhouse as it currently Stands

My Great Grandfather, Alfred Emil Pederson, Homesteaded land in Idaho around the turn of the century. He worked for the Union Pacific Railroad company and lived in Kansas, came out here to work and decided he was never going back to Kansas. This was around 1910 or 1911. My Great-Grandparents met at the local mental hospital. He was a Maintenance man and she (Edith) was a Nurse. Not crazypeople. Insanity, as far as I know,  doesn’t run in the family (apart from a few distant relatives that I have not had the “pleasure” to meet). /tangent:  also, other than the fact that my mom takes care of 11 billion cats around the farm.

Our Barn with some junk laying around.

The railroad company Alfred E Pederson worked for went on strike around 1925 and he decided he didn’t want to go on strike, so he quit, and bought land to farm on. Some of that land was later appropriated by the US Goverment to build the FBI base in Pocatello at “fair market value” at the time. There is some hubbub around the family about how the government cheated us with the price; I’m inclined to be indifferent. The land that I now live on was purchased at the same time as the land appropriated by the US Govermnet, but it is in more of a rural area. and therefore not taken . Alfred E. Pederson built the farmhouse I am now living in from scratch with his own two hands in 1925. You can tell that it was a custom job for my great grandmother because of the extra-low countertops that I can not use because they hurt my back. Seriously, I just measured and the countertops are only 31” from the ground. Less than 3 Feet. I don’t know standards for these things, but that’s pretty short. My Dad just told me that they used to be shorter, only 30” (2.5’!!!). My great grandma was a tiny Norwegian lady.

Things went, well you know, pretty bad in the 30’s, but  from the time that my Great Grandparents built the farm, they were busy with the farm and making a few babies. My Grandpa (On my mom’s side), Alfred Linton Pederson was one of them. Family lore and legend has it that he wanted to join the military come WWII, but since he was the only son of a farmer, they wouldn’t draft him because he was needed to grow crops for the troops and country in general. A noble cause to stay home, I’d say. I’m pretty sure he was bummed that he was not fighting for his country, though. My mom tells me he tried to sneak in TWICE but he still couldn't get in the service, i.e he got caught. The Rascal!

Through the years, Alfred L. Pederson farmed and became an amateur bowler. Oh yeah, totally awesome. That’s why I’m so good at bowling. Its in my Genes. Kind of a weird thing to have in your Genes. Al L. Pederson met Evelyn Anderson (My grandmother). Evelyn had been previously married and had 3 kids, all girls, Kristin, Marianne, and Suzie (In no particular order). When Al and Evelyn got married and she moved out to the farm and had 3 more kids (Again all girls). Debbie, Kathy, and the youngest is my mom, Martha Donne Pederson. The farm is where my Mom grew up. In fact, I am now occupying her childhood room.

My Backyard, complete with Firepit, Hammock, and the only green lawn in the Rural area!

I remember visiting the farm as a child every summer, as we didn’t have any REAL vacations. Just go hang out at the farm for a week or two. Get burrs in your socks. Visit cousins, feed the horse (Which is no longer on the property). It wasn’t until when I was in high school that I had any appreciation for the farm. Around that time, my grandmother Evelyn stated showing signs of dementia or Alzheimer's disease. About that time, she was put into a home and Al went to visit her. She died around my Sophomore year of high school, and he died about 1 year later. 

At that point, I was about to  graduate high school (class of ‘03) and my parents had inherited the farm. When I turned 19, my dad was laid off from Boeing and my parents decided to move to the farm. They sold my childhood home in Everett and moved to the farm, where there was (and still remains) much work to do on the farm. Over the last few years, there has been a few minor details, but for the most part, I graduated, started working full time sales for the company I was working delivery for after college, paid off my student loans, saved some money, quit my job, and moved to Idaho. And that has brought us up to the present-day farm situation. Though my parents have been living on it, they have not been able to devote as much time as they wish to maintaining and cleaning the farm from it’s 85 years of use and service to our family. Thats where I come in.

The view of Pocatello from afar: from the farm.

Next post: Before pictures of things that need to be done around the farm, with explanation of what needs to be done and how it will improve.


-Jon E

P.S. We have a Goat. 
My Dad Named her something like Crabby McAppleton Because she likes Crabapples. Cute.