From this May 1, 1979 (minus the two lean-tos)
to this today.
My neighbor, Darlene, stopped to introduce herself in 1979 because she wanted to see the crazy stupid people who bought this rundown place!
My then husband Russ and I moved in on May 1, 1979 and started cleaning up the place never dreaming it would become the site of a very successful business. Trash, weeds, garbage, mice, rats, insulation, buildings – it was all an overwhelming mess. Here is an aerial view in 1974 before our previous owners bought it.
Here’s the machine shed and granary that you can pick out in aerial picture. Behind the machine shed is the building that became the quilt shop, an old chicken house – you’ve heard that saying about Country Threads, haven’t you? Iowa’s only quilt shop in a chicken coop! Haha!
They tore down buildings and left them in a pile, added entryways on to the house that were nothing but trash – cement poured lower inside the furthest corner so that all the water ran in – those kinds of things. I couldn’t even begin to explain all the mess I moved into from a very sweet little two bedroom rambler in Clear Lake. After Russ brought me to see it, I cried all the way home.
We moved in and started cleaning – everywhere. (I might add here than Russ was a long distance trucker and gone all week leaving the cleanup to me, my mom and even my Aunt Charlotte helped.). By the winter of 1981 we started remodeling the house – that’s another story – too big to get into. Here’s the winter of 1982.
You can still see the machine shed but the granary has been taken down – the interior grain bin lumber became the subfloors in the house.
Jordan and several other goats came to live but what I want you to notice is the ladder leaning against the barn. To the left at the top of the ladder was a circular hole that I had to reach through to unlock the barn door on the inside and then swing myself to the left and hang on tight to launch myself into the haymow.
This picture is taken from the inside with that little door open – see all the loose hay and pigeon manure?
When we remodeled the house, we built the other garage where the granary had stood.
Then eventually the old machine shed was torn down.
It wasn’t until the mid ’90’s that I started really working on the barn. Connie and I started Country Threads in 1981 and I had gotten a divorce in 1991. Connie and Roy moved to Garner in 1979, too, when Roy opened his dental practice here. A friend introduced Connie and me and the rest, as they say, is history.
The next installment of the barn story will be the cleanup inside the haymow. From the cleanup to this type of event will take a few more years. But it was worth the wait!
Don’t miss tomorrow’s continuing saga of the Country Threads Barn!