On July 1, 1968, my parents moved to a 27-acre farm in Southern Washington County. An area called Pleasant Valley.
My earliest memories there were of mud pies, tires swings and Barbie dolls and my childhood was idyllic.
The house was old and in need of some TLC, however it had contained a lot of love through the years.
The family before us filled the house with not only their own children but also many foster children.
The family before them, held another brood of children and their laughter filled the narrow hallways.
Before that, another family brought love and children into the home.
Looking back at old photos, the house always seemed to embrace children and animals.
Built in 1800, the house has seen many things.
Hard times, blood shed, life, death and the ravages of the Civil War.
At one time, the house was used as a makeshift hospital during the war and a stopping point for soldiers who drank water from the now torn down stone spring house.
Over the years, pieces of land were sold and the family fell apart as the house lay silent in grief.
The children all grown and on their own, their tire swings quietly stilled by the passage of time.
New owners moved in on my brother’s property and tore down his house and my father’s barn, forever changing the landscape that I dearly loved.
My parents Philip and Victoria Proulx both had businesses on the property and now both are gone having spent their last moments in the house.
They were wonderful people and did so much for Pleasant Valley.
My mother especially.
She was an advocate for children and vowed to make their lives better so they would not have to grow up unhappy and poor as she had done.
She spent countless hours volunteering at Pleasant Valley Elementary School and taught many, many children how to read and write.
She was the PTA President at Pleasant Valley and made many changes there. All for the betterment of the students.
She was responsible for the flashing light that you see at the end of Valley Road. She tried tirelessly to get a stop light there but fought opposition from the county. Every time I see that light, I think of her.
She and my father were the 4-H leaders in Pleasant Valley and again her goal was to make a better life for kids. Teaching them things like cooking, baking and sewing, she enjoyed every moment of her time being a “mom” to them.
She is also the subject, “Virgie Hopkins,” in the best selling memoir WEEDMONKEY that is a true story about her life growing up during the Depression.
Yes, the house has seen a lot in these last 214 years. Life, death, laughter and pain, the house holds all of my childhood memories and for that, I am grateful.
The house has been there for me and many others over the years, now, the house needs us.
Sadly, after many years of standing, the house is in great need of repair.
We have been turned down by three banks for a loan to restore the home and were told the photos are the reason we were turned down.
The home is an 1800 log cabin that has been built around over the years. The back part was an addition that was built many, many years ago.
There are three chimneys, and 12 rooms and now site on approximately two acres of land.
There is a small summer kitchen to the left of the home that was not only my mother’s first antique shop but later became our 4-H clubhouse when I was a kid.
Once a house of history standing alone, it is now surrounded by newer homes, it’s falling apart and it breaks my heart to watch it die.
However, we do not have the type of money it will take to restore it and refuse to “demolish” it as we were instructed to do by one bank.
After research, in order to “put the house back together” it will take approximately $50,000.
Every bit helps toward reaching our goal.
I have put together a “Pre-Civil War Home (1800) Renovation Project” in the hopes of raising money to restore it back to its historical glory.
As a writer, I am putting together a book, “Almanac For A Bored Housewife, Volume Two“, which is a spin-off of the original written by my mother over 35 years ago.
In this new book, will be recipes, antidotes, helpful hints and stories of growing up country and enjoying the life of front porch living.
This is where you can help…
With a donation of at least $20 or more, you can add a favorite recipe, helpful hint, fun fact, parental advice, story of growing up country, etc.
With a donation of at least $20 or more, you can add a favorite recipe, helpful hint, fun fact, etc.
Everyone who donates will have their name in the book under your recipe, helpful hint, etc as well and can be a part of our area’s history.
Of course, you do not have to add anything to the book if you would simply like to make a donation. Please indicate if you would like your name added to the book as a supporter.
All donations accepted, no matter the amount. All are greatly appreciated!
The book will be available for sale on Amazon.com and ALL proceeds (sales and donations) will go to the Pre-Civil War Home (1800) Renovation Project.
The book will also be available for sale at local businesses (to be announced).
For just the small amount of $20, you can help save a historic home once owned by a great woman who lived her life to make a difference in the lives of others.
Now is your chance to make a difference.
For more information, please go to my site Pre-Civil War Home (1800) Renovation Project
where you will be able to donate and read more about the project and see photos of the home.
You may also donate at http://www.gofundme.com/640n9g
I am grateful to each and every one of you for taking the time to read this and your generosity means the world to me.
Lisa V. Proulx