Photo 43-BAL-33


George A. Van Horn farm.
Van Buren County.
All of this is gone.

This is the farm of George and Annabel Van Horn. The barn was relocated from just left(north) of the house to its present location. There were stalls for 32 cows until the horse stalls on the west end were converted for 10 more stanchions for the ability to milk 42 cows with a stall for each. When George's son Allen joined the enterprise the herd size was increased and they switched milked by turning out one side and bringing in a new batch to be milked. Gra dsons Jim, John and Mark cared for the young stock and carried milk from the surge bucket milkers to the cooler and eventually did some milking as well. As the herd grew a free stall barn was built with a milking parlor across the road with Harvestore silos and a manure pit for storage until weather and crops allowed for spreading liquid manure. After George's death and the bankruptcy of Allen's portion the farm was sold to Roland bishop. After his death the buildings fell into disrepair and were eventually razed.

One thing that always puzzles me, if not troubles me, is how often I see generations of hard work suddenly revert to nature. I know corporate farming has a lot to do with it, but I never figured on things like very unfortunate timing of borrowing money or a lack of heirs to carry on the business. On the other hand, I have seen 60 year-old photos of very decrepit farms that have been not only restored, but substantially expanded.

In any case, thank you for adding life to this picture. I geo-pin photos here as a somewhat productive diversion, hopefully connecting people to photos. The most challenging are farm photos from long ago. It never ceases to amaze me as to how nature and the elements will, for example, pull down the biggest bank barn and camouflage it with greenery.

Your Comment

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!