Photo 10-EWI-1


How thankful I am that Vintage Aerial has preserved rural memories. This photo of my childhood home on Old Mill Road in Winneshiek County, Iowa, recalls unforgettable images. From birth until I married, I lived on this farm with my father, mother and two brothers. I am the only one left of my original family. The farm has been in the Stortz family line since 1858. The original log house no longer looks the same as it has been sided over, sheet-rocked and remodeled over the years. The house is 158 years old and is still lived in.
The log milk barn burned to the ground, the large horse barn and silo have been torn down. Gone are the following: the granaries, slotted corn-cribs, smoke house for curing bacon and ham, wood-shed for stacked wood to provide winter heat in the stoves, milk house with the tall wind-mill to pump cold water from the deep well into tanks to cool the cream cans and provide water for the family, the cistern under the kitchen from which we pumped water for washing ourselves and washing clothes and I must not forget the necessary little house out-back as we had no indoor plumbing.
This farm inspired me to write Forever Faithful to portray ordinary farm life before and during WWII years and hopefully my readers will visualize and realize how our culture has greatly changed since that time.

The road to the Stortz farm was named Old Mill Road in memory of the stone grinding mill my grandfather operated on Canoe Creek where he ground grain for humans and animal feed. Bags of grain stamped Springwater Mill were sold to housewives in Decorah. He sold the Springwater Mill in 1912 to buy wheat land in eastern Montana.

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Do you have a connection to this photograph? Maybe you grew up here or know someone who did? What has changed in the 53 years since this photo was taken? Tell us!