Friday, February 11, 2011

Once Upon A Time

This is a continuation of the prior post.

Sound logic would have had me check the county records to see who owned the house, and possibly find out other information. Tossing sound logic aside I drove back to the property and knocked on the door of the house closest to the gates.

The curtains were drawn, no one came to the door, and there was not one chair on the big front porch. I had the feeling that no one lived there anymore, but I knew that something was going on due to the sign beside a tree in front of the house.

As I started back to my car a gentleman came from the house next door. Though I wasn't doing anything wrong I would not have been surprised if he had asked me to leave. Instead he ask if he could help. Well, he just happened to be related to the family that had lived in the house where I had just been. I was so glad that I had not tried to peep through the windows. He was very nice and did not seem to mind my questions. This is what I learned.

The county dates this tree to be 300 years old. They are trying to save it, but I am concerned that the road will come very close to the roots.

Children used to scamper, squeal and play under the arbor behind the house. Now it stands unattended.

There is no sign indicating that this tree will be saved, but it does have its own legacy. You can see the cement cover where there was once a well. An acorn found its way to this site and grew into a mature tree. One day without warning the ground gave way and the tree dropped about eight feet into the ground. Dirt was shoveled in around the tree truck to fill the hole and it was expected that the in time the tree would die. That was thirty years ago.

And now the rest of the story

Once upon a time two families lived next door to each other and the husbands and wives were very good friends. Many years went by and each couple lost their spouse - one becoming a widower, and one becoming a widow. To the delight of their children the two later became more than friends, fell in love, were married, and were very happy together. He moved into the house where she lived which was the farm house her ancestors had built in the 1800's.

After some time the gentleman decided to show his love for her by building a fine home on the grounds where they lived. He wanted her to have a house that would mirror those from an earlier era; a style that he knew she admired. He researched books and talked with professionals to find out all the details, small and large, so the house would be a true replica.

Because it was taking time to gather the information and convert the data to actual plans, he decided that he would go ahead and put in a more substantial set of gates where the path led from the road to the barn located toward the back of the property. They were looking forward to the day when construction would begin on their new home, and even more excited about moving in.

In the lower right hand corner you can see the gates, and the path that ambles to the northwest where a barn used to be. The pathway then goes south between two houses and back to the road.

Some stories do not proceed the way you would choose, and I wish I could change this one. Just before the ground breaking was to occur his lady love took sick and died. He had no interest in going further with the plans in which he had invested so much time and work. This house was to be a present for his wife, and without her it meant nothing. He would rather live in the old farm house where they had shared happiness together.

Time went on and he too passed away. Later their children decided to sell the property to the county for the purpose of developing a park.

Today the gates are closed and padlocked, much the way you bundle your memories and tie them with a blue ribbon.


  1. Mya that is such a sad ending to what would have been a lovely story. Never the less I am glad you found out the story behind the gates. Diane

  2. I was mesmerized at your telling of this sad story. But great detective work on your part has settled the questions we all had. It wasn't a happy ending, but maybe somewhere that couple knows that you cared enough to find out and share it with all of us. The tree is beautiful and I dearly hope it will be spared. Are you north of Atlanta perchance? I had a friend from HS who lived in Duluth.
    Again, thank you for sharing the story of the gate. Lovely

  3. Aren't you glad that man came out at the time you were there? What a wonderful loving story. Surely the city won't tear down the gates.

  4. Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all...

  5. Oh, such a sad story. It's true about tying memories in blue ribbons. I would love to think there was some kind of happy ending to this tale though.

    Have a wonderful weekend. ;)

  6. Thank you for being such a good detective...this was a beautiful love story.
    Perfect for Valentines Day.

  7. that tree is amazing...loved reading the story and wish the place would be opened and used for life again....and happy times.

  8. Well, lucky that the couple had two chances of love...for me it is a lesson of living life to the fullest while we are here..don't worry about what happens to our things or places each day to the fullest!

  9. this story made me feel sad for this couple after they had united in marriage. i don't think i could get rid of the house for a park. thanks for sharing rose

  10. Mya Ah A good story! Thanks You for Sharing. Tee

  11. What an interesting post. I loved hearing about the tree and the house. It is a shame someone did not want to keep the house for another generation.

  12. That was a wonderful story of Life. Such a sad ending but once again it is their lives. Great post.

  13. Oh my, what a story you tell, both about the tree and a tragic love. Wouldn't it be something to add dialog and create scenarios that might have surrounded those persons lives? A 300 year old tree is a treasure. I hope it survives.

  14. What a beautiful, if somewhat sad ending, love story.