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11-30-2016, 08:35 PM - 3 Likes   #1
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Abandoned Farm House
Lens: 16-50 DA* Camera: K3II Photo Location: Barrington, IL ISO: 100 Shutter Speed: 1/80s Aperture: F10 

Passed this old farm house back and forth to work for years thinking it would make a good photo, finally decided to stop.

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11-30-2016, 10:28 PM   #2
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I'm glad you did stop, I bet it would have lots of tales to tell if only it could talk.
12-01-2016, 04:56 AM   #3
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Nice! I have a weakness for old farms. Thanks for sharing!
12-01-2016, 07:57 AM   #4
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It's quite a mansion as old Illinois farmhouses go. And all brick, too, except for that enclosed porch. It must have been an especially prosperous farm. You have deep black prairie soil there, no?

I love the gigantic spreading tree behind it; is it a burr oak by any chance? Sometimes you can tell where an old farmhouse was because a few old trees still stand witness around its former location --- until the bulldozers come to clear the whole area for so many more rows of corn or soybeans.

If the roof hasn't leaked too badly, that place might be restorable. Maybe the owners would sell it to you with 2 or three of the surrounding acres.

12-01-2016, 08:49 AM   #5
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I see stuff like that and I wonder what circumstances lead that place to being abandoned, as it was obviously once a source of wealth.

I see places like that I think "put a metal roof on it please. Give it a chance to survive until someone decides it's worth restoring. But as a former cabinet maker/carpenter, I also know i someone gave it to me, I would' have enough time or money to fix it up.

Great photo by the way.
12-01-2016, 09:08 AM   #6
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There has been a massive change in farming in Illinois, since my mother was growing up on a less than 120 acre farm from 1914 to 1932. Farms then were diverse: raising grain and hay to feed their own mixture of livestock: cattle, hogs, chickens, draft horses. And everyone had a big garden. Farmers did nearly all of their business in small prosperous towns, usually not much more than five miles away. But mechanized farming made it possible to plant and harvest more land. Farmers good at that bought out retiring neighbors, and some farms grew to several hundred acres, and in the process lots of old farm houses got abandoned. In the past 40 years corporate farming has accelerated all of that, and now some farming operations farm several thousand acres. In the flatter parts of the state, that has resulted in a switch to almost exclusively grain farming: corn and soybeans. In places you could now drive at 60 miles per hour for 30 or 40 minutes and not see a single cow or hog or chicken, and will only see a very few farmhouses, when a hundred years earlier you would have passed a few dozen farm houses traveling the same distance.
12-02-2016, 12:25 PM   #7
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perfect subject for B&W
12-03-2016, 12:07 PM   #8
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It certainly looks like a "fix you upper" to me.

12-11-2016, 02:35 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by dougfrey Quote
Passed this old farm house back and forth to work for years thinking it would make a good photo, finally decided to stop.
Very well done. B&W is perfect. The faint vehicle trail is just enough to lead the eye.
12-12-2016, 09:22 AM   #10
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Thanks

Thanks for the kind words.
12-13-2016, 06:43 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by goatsNdonkey Quote
There has been a massive change in farming in Illinois....
it's everywhere

when the farmers in our family started out they worked seven days a week

cattle, horses to work the cattle, milk cows, chickens, one had hogs (but even he seemed embarrassed about it), feed crops for farm use and then whatever they were selling on
it was all dryland and it was damn dry

when their kids took over things changed
one of families sold up except for the home place...none of the kids wanted anything to do with farming

in another family two of boys wanted to farm but not the way dad did
the animals went
the acreage increased with several sections under pivot

both married town girls so no drafty house with a hand pump at the sink and one heater in the parlor

they weren't farmer/ranchers anymore they were agribusiness men
if income is a marker for success they were pulling millions in support payments (if those eye-opening reports are still released)
they have turned farming into almost a day job and seem quite satisfied by it

I remember their road was seventeen miles long before it petered out to a track
it had five families on it
now there is one
12-13-2016, 07:59 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by ccc_ Quote

I remember their road was seventeen miles long before it petered out to a track
it had five families on it
now there is one
Once when we were visiting "down home" we drove through the village of "Five Corners," a place Mom's family would go through if they wanted to picnic at Siloam Springs, the local sometimes Chatauqua grounds. By the time I was a kid, it only had three corners left, and hardly five houses.

I would have loved to have taken over my grandpa's farm, but lived too far away at the time -- not to mention that I wasn't out of school before he sold the place. My uncle, got tired of helping his dad farm with old broken equipment "held together with baling wire" before he got drafted for WWII. When he got back from the war, he went to work at a newspaper 20 miles away, where he worked until retirement.
12-13-2016, 08:50 AM   #13
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Cool subject and composition. To me, the tone mapping looks a little too much, but I realize this is to taste.
12-13-2016, 09:07 AM   #14
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that war changed things a lot

one of the biggest things seemed to be the world view the folks had

my father in law enlisted before pearl harbor went to the pacific early and wasn't mustered out until '46 or '47
he never said what he did but was a tech sergeant of some sort
anyway he came home looked at the farm
drove to town and apprenticed at a machine shop

my dad came off a farm in Georgia
enlisted when he was 14 or 15 (according to his records he was 5'7'' at the time but he was 6'3'' when he got out)
we never actually knew how old he was. by the time he died anyone who actually did was dead.
he did signals for some artillery unit in Europe
he came home and started climbing poles (these guys were called boomers) for railroads and phone/power companies all over the country

both had grown up on farms in the depression and apparently whatever charms agrarian life had eluded them


mom graduated from high school at 15
she went to normal school and taught for a few years
when the war started we needed nurses and she entered a federal program and worked in public health off and on until she retired
she never looked back at farming with any great longing

the war gave us thin, weak beer and a lot more options for earning the money to buy it

money constraints and regulation coupled with development have moved a lot of people off the farm

we bought our ground when a banker and his friend thought rocky pasture and woods was arable and consequently failed
we now raise what always grew there...ticks and chiggers
07-07-2018, 06:47 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by dougfrey Quote
Passed this old farm house back and forth to work for years thinking it would make a good photo, finally decided to stop.
Glad you stopped ;-)
You have made a fine B&W picture. You must have every shade of grey in this shot. Very beautiful.
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