Thursday, June 23, 2022

My FIL's mind's eye : Then, the Farm Now

Note: All the pictures are in this post we're taking using the camera that CCjon generously gave to me.  It's a Nikon Coolpix S9900.  All but the last two which are screen captures.  Thanks CCjon!

My FIL's home in Holmen, WI is situated at the western edge of what used to be a 240 acre farm, back in the day.  Yep, just down the road from his present home, were the farm buildings such as a grain silo, the barn, etc.

He and his brother grew up and worked the farm under their Father, Norman.  

The above is to background info, to provide some context for this:

The above oil painting, by my FIL Richard, was done not sitting at a specific location overlooking the landscape shown, but from memory...or, his Mind's Eye.  Its the view he recalls while gazing out the kitchen window, washing dishes.

When he mentioned the silo was still there but the barn and other buildings were gone, I thought: Then and Now picture opportunity!

I rode Martha's Scooter: Stewie the short distance and was able to get pretty close to the old silo:

I walked around a bit, seeking the same angles used in the oil painting, knowing that I'd never really find a match.  My goal was to get as close as possible to the oil painting's viewpoint.

I'm not sure what the heck that grey metal object is in the foreground, to me it looked like one of those Giant Coffee Kettles one sees sometimes in more modern form along the nation's highways.

Anyways, I shot some more pics but couldn't find the angle used by my FIL in his mind's eye.

I would return in the evening, when the light was better, and got this angle:

See the path in the foreground?  It led to the
house my FIL grew up in, now gone.

That near white board fence line?  I think perhaps remnants of it, can be seen alongside the highway in the picture above.

My FIL's painting again, for reference

I was standing in line with the silo pictured in the extreme right of the painting above:
The view in the painting, is to the left as you
look at the silo.  Pretty close to where the farmhouse
once stood.

Here's another picture of the silo, you can see the parts of the concrete pad where cattle apparently were kept, near the barn which is gone.

So, that's it.  From my FIL's mind/memory/hands to today's reality.  He got it pretty close I think.  Too bad photographs don't exist of that view.

Here however are a couple of archival satellite images I found, the only constant easily spotted: the silo.

Google Earth Pro circa 2015?

LaCrosse County GIS, closer to
what is there now

We leave Wisconsin tomorrow, heading home slowly, with the goal of being home in time for Thing One's birthday.


RichardM said...

Interesting. I don’t think I remember anything from my childhood well enough to paint a picture of it.

redlegsrides said...

Me either RichardM....I wonder how I'll look upon this blog.

CCjon said...

FIL has a great eye and memory.
In pix #4, there is a white tower in the center far distance, both in his painting and the photo. Is that a church steeple?

redlegsrides said...

CCjon, I believe that's Halfway Creek Church.