Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Abandoned November 10, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 6:00 AM
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DO YOU EVER WONDER, as I do, about the history of a place?

Look at this old farm site in the area of Ellsworth in western Wisconsin:


Rural, old farmstead


Imagine the farmer who settled here, proud to own a piece of land. Consider how he labored to build a barn and a house and then erected a windmill.

The windmill once stood proud, fins catching the wind, providing energy to pump water from the well. An old pump remains dwarfed in the presence of the now bladeless windmill.

The barn, with numerous additions, seemingly defies age in her strong, straight rooflines. But her windows are boarded, her roof rusted.

Mismatch of fence panels askew presents a certain disconnected visual chaos.

Was it illness or lack of money or a non-caring attitude or none of the above that caused this farm site to fall into disrepair and apparent abandonment?

What happened to the house? Who drove the vintage car? Where are the horses? So many questions and no answers.

The place is for sale, or maybe it’s just the car and/or manure spreader.

What is the story of this farm? Every place, every person, writes a story.

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


19 Responses to “Abandoned”

  1. Thread crazy Says:

    As we drive the countryside it’s sad to see these farm places deteriorating with no-one to care for them. From the looks of it, it appears it has been abandoned for awhile; possibly the bank now owns it….what a shame. Someone’s history is hidden deep within it’s structures; let’s hope someone will buy it and bring it back to life.

  2. Beth Ann Says:

    Every place like this certainly does have a story and hopefully the story will have a sweet happy chapter added to it when the new owner buys and takes it over. If indeed it is for sale. 🙂

  3. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    What a beautiful old farm. Not hard to imagine a bunch of young ones running around.

  4. chlost Says:

    Yes, I often wonder about those types of places. I think of the person who first moved there, and how proud they must have been to be moving into such a place, and the children who grew up there, calling it home.
    Have you ever seen old photos in antique stores? These make me very sad, as I think about the person who was having that photo taken, usually for some special occasion. I am sure that they never would have predicted that their wedding photo, or their new baby’s photo would end up in a basket of old photos selling for 25c each. Then I wonder where all of my old photos and my home will be in 50 years.

  5. This is an amazing writing prompt. And there are so many layers in that photo. Wouldn’t it be fun to be able to buy a place like this and make a writers’ retreat center?

  6. treadlemusic Says:

    There so many of these dotting our countrysides. Around here, many have been bought by neighboring farms and the owners have retired to town living. Because of our ridges/rugged terrain we don’t experience the large corporate type buy-outs. Many memories and pieces lost in the mists of time…………….

  7. Don Singsaas Says:

    If only walls could talk! Humm per a previous post, I wonder if this was a dairy farm at one time due to the white barn!

  8. Marilyn Says:

    The photo reminded me of a property once owned by a family member. The property was abandoned due to soil contamination from the next door property(improperly stored material from the railway). Someone will potentially be able to rescue this land in another 77 years (I think initially it was to be left along for 100 years).

  9. Jackie Says:

    Every time I pass an old abandoned farm, I wonder those same things..and then I want to get out of my car and explore, but I almost never do. I’m always afraid I’ll meet up with some crazy person who lives in the barn :/

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