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We purchased this farm in 2006 at an Estate Auction, in Van Wert Ohio, for our son who was serving in Iraq. Due to circumstances beyond his control, he moved to California instead and we were left to fix it up and "sell" it. We discovered many things about this farm during our renovation. It was owned by a man named Jim Johnson. He was a steer farmer that lived here his whole life. He sold the land around the home piece by piece and must have made a pretty penny. He left $1.6 million to the Van Wert County Foundation. The original home was built with Army pay from the Civil War. The former surrounding woods is where all of the lumber was harvested. He was married, but his wife has already passed away and he had one daughter who preceded him in death as well. She died from cancer. It wasn't until *after* we purchased it that we realized that there was no electricity upstairs... that was our first order of business! We added new heating and cooling systems, converted a bedroom upstairs to a bathroom, painted, removed old carpeting and discovered beautiful hardwood floors. Jim had replaced all of the windows at some point and added a roomy kitchen, bath, laundry room, breezeway and oversized 2 car garage which, based on the decor, 1950's. The original part of the home still sports a slate roof with original lightening rods. The roof remains in EXCELLENT condition. The addition needed to be re-roofed which we did. This piece of property is peaceful and calm. We love the quiet and the home. We will have a huge garden, chickens and dairy goats on the property. We feel priviledged to continue living on the "Old Johnson Farm"

—Doug and Marybeth Longstreth
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My grandparents Marvin & Marie Flickinger purchased this farm in 1967. This is also where my parents were living when I was born in 1972. The house on the north (left) was actually a barracks from Camp Ellis in Fulton County. Camp Ellis was an Army/POW camp during WWII. Coincidentally I now live in Fulton County close to where Camp Ellis was. My parents purchased this farm in 1980, shortly after my grandfather passed away. My dad still lives on the farm. Although it has changed over the years I can still remember it the way you see it.

—Becky Flickinger Kluthe
 
 

Fred & Margaret Molzahn, my parents, purchased this farm from a friend in 1946. I was 6 years old at the time. This was after the depression, so they struggled for many years to keep it, but now my family of 8, and their families enjoy their dedication. Built in 1843.

—Laura Lengjak
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We just got the pictures yesterday. They are awesome! The 1968 is our favorite. It shows more what the place was in it's prime. The 1995 picture would have been right before the previous owners started to fix up the place again. If we ever get the place done, I hope to have another picture done to put with the two you sent us. Thank you for your help!

—Jacki Backhaus
 
 

This was my home and after 65 years I still live within a mile of this home. My parents were married in 1941. My brother and I both grew up in this house with lots of love and many cousins in the surrounding area to play with. I was quite the "tomboy" but not allowed as a young girl on the farm to drive a tractor but I do now.

My parents were both very hard working and our farm was definitely a working farm raising hogs to send to market, milking cows (which my mother did), selling certified seed, planting corn, beans, wheat and in the early years barley, even fields of tomatoes where workers individually set the plants and when ripe the tomatoes were then picked before shipping them off to plants.

Many things are difficult to recall but I remember how very hard my parents worked from early in the morning to late at night. Generally not on Sundays unless it was critical to do so. Many days there were hired hands to feed not one meal but two meals when the crops were going in the ground or being harvested.Special days like laudry day meant a specific food like ham and beans for lunch. We always had a beautiful, bountiful garden which my dad took much pride in, just like it was a field of corn. The rows had to be straight and weed free, watered and picked when ready!

I can think of no better place to raise a family than on a farm. Close to God, reaping the harvest and sharing food, work, love and memories. I was truly blest and appreciate the strong rural and Christian unbringing which came from this country life. My Dad is in the garden right now in this picture, look closely and you will see him. Precious memories, oh how sweet.

—Julia Romas Hoffa
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A double set of tracks were removed late 70's. Once an egg farm by Stan Perry early 70's & now Dreyer Painting & Storage 1988, to present 2010. Owned by Terry & Kim Dreyer. With a new home built by Terry in 2002.

 
 

I received the 1975 aerial photo of "The Farm" from my son Randy on Fathers Day 2010. The folks at Vintage Aerial did an awesome job preserving this photo and framing it. I am 63 years old, and this is where I grew up along with 5 brothers and sisters,so the photo brings back alot of memories. My father passed away in 2000 and Mom decided it was too much for her to maintain the farm, so she sold and moved to town. Now at least, I have this photo to share and remember my early years on "The Farm".

—Howard
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We just purchased this home, May 2010, from a Mr. Alfred Lee. He owned the house, shop, out-buildings & 8.5 acres for the past approximately 35 years. We are thrilled that God saw fit to give us this beautiful gift. Alfred & his departed wife took immaculate care of every detail both inside & outside of their home. My husband, 3 children, and I are now remodeling to update the interior & are also adding on a master suit to the back (behind the garage side of the house). Praise God for His goodness & abundant blessings on our family!

—Kristen Strouss
 
 

In 1984 we were looking for a property in Orleans County as we were living in the city and wanted to get into the country. My folks had a cottage on Lake Ontario so we were familiar with the area. The local Farm Bureau had this property for sale in Kent, NY. It is an old granary built around 1875 and located along side the Hojack Line RR that went from Albany west to the Niagara River. The RR had stopped running in the late 1970's, and the granary and depot were vacant and unused. Once the Bureau agent showed me the building, I was hooked. It is built out of solid wood, walls are 6" thick and made with 2 by 6's laid flat one on top of another. It is 30 by 50 and divided into 15 bins from the second floor up.The first floor is wide open and had the chutes pointing down from above. The grain went up chutes carried by metal cups attached to leather belts. At the top it was directed into the correct bin through another chute that could swing to reach all the bins. The building is 4 1/2 stories tall. We tried to leave as much of the original building as possible as we renovated it into a home. The old drive lines still hang from the ceiling, and the walls downstairs are the original wood, the hard rock maple floors were refinished and look great.

The building behind the granary was a huge 2 story storage building where the produce and grain was stored until it was loaded on to the train cars or in trucks. The train tracks came right alongside the building. About 1996 the roof on the back building fell in leaving the solid poured concrete walls standing 8' high. My husband then built short walls on that and roofed the building again. It has become his cabinetmaking shop and home for our construction/cabinet business. The depot had to be moved 25 feet to the south in 1994 because the RR company wanted it completely off the old line area before they would sell me the land in front of my building. I was able to buy the lot that the RR building was moved on to and later we bought the actual 80' wide railroad bed from Kent Road to Sawyer Road. The depot is still in a state of disrepair, but we hope to save at least part of it. The house on the left of the picture used to be the station masters home. We have completely renovated that home and it is currently being used as a rental. It is wonderful to find a picture of our property just before we bought it and started renovations.

—Heather Stone
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My parents, C. Dale & Joann (Morgan) Huffington, bought this property in the late 1950s. They lived here until 1970 when we moved to Jasonville, IN. My father's parents bought the 2 story house from them and moved in. My grandfather, Fred Huffington, died in June, 1971 and Grandmother Beulah continued living here until her death in January 1991. My parents built the ranch-style home in a corner of the field and we moved back "home" in 1973. I married in 1988 and we moved to a farmhouse 3/4mi away as the crow flies but after Grandmother passed away we got the opportunity to move into her house. We did and have had all three of our children born to us while living here. The largest barn suffered water damage to the roof on the shed addition and the damage affected the main supports for the central original part. That barn was torn down in the spring of 1992. That barn had a double haymow and still had the original cattle stanchions and feed bunks. We raised cattle and hogs in it for years. The smaller barn in the rear of the picture was moved to this location in the early 1900s by a Renner that was a cattle jockey. It was originally located 1 mile east down the road that borders the north edge of this property.

—Dalanne Huffington Miller