The “New” House on the Hill

by Alden Cole on November 19, 2014 · 0 comments

1935FieldsWP1. In 1923 my grandfather Weymouth Harris Cole (1879-1974) started building a modern farm-house on the hillock just behind where the drafty old house of many gables stood; that house which his father Clark had looked at as a child and bought as an adult, when Harris himself was just two years old; the house Harris had grown up in. So he built himself and his family of five a modern house with a full basement, a spacious kitchen, a dining room with a view, two fireplaces – one in the living room, the other in the parlor – a front hallway leading upstairs to six bedrooms, plus an attic. Once the new house was complete, he tore the old house down. By 1924 the farmstead on the hill overlooking the valley, just across the Dayton line from Biddeford, featured a brand new house to compliment the “new” barn that had been built in 1903, twenty years earlier by Harris’ older brother Wallace inspired by their father Clark’s genius. Photo by Dorothy Tenney Cole (1910-1990) ca. 1930.

1930HayingSeasonWP2. Haying Season ca. 1930, showing the new house as seen from the fields in the valley. Photo by Dorothy Cole, ca. 1930
SundayRoadWP3. Another haying season, photo by Gertrude Sherman Cole, ca. 1920
4. & 5. On Thursday August 17, 1933, Cole Farm Dairy hosted the 16th Annual Farmers’ Field Day of the York County Pomona Grange, in conjunction with the York County Farm Bureau.
Starting at 10 a.m. there were exhibits of farm and home canning equipment; demonstrations of tractors, a hay cutter and blower, and other machinery; sports and games for young and old; a stage program, rolling pin and cow calling contests, a community sing; awards to the tallest man, the oldest man, the man with the longest whiskers, the largest family and the family traveling the farthest; and finally band music just after 3 p.m. by the Velmo Concert Band of Sanford to wind up a jam-packed day of country fun.

1933HelenColeWP6. The farm also provided photo ops for visiting relatives like Helen Cole [Hirschy], in a photo taken by her mother, Gertrude.

7. The earliest color snapshot of the farm I’ve had access to, capturing the glory of summer, with puffs of cloud streaming across azure skies; the inspiration for an oil painting I did in 2012, now in the collection of Mary Gay Baldyga. Photo by Wally Cole, 1955.

8. Photo by Alden Cole, the summer of 1974, when I moved out of NYC and lived back in Maine from June to October – a time for testing the adage You Can’t Go Home Again. But that’s another interesting story in itself that is about due for fuller revelation. Stay tuned…

9. Two polaroids by Richard Cole taken one winter during the 80s, from virtually the same spot, revealing the relationship of the two farms to each other, as well as providing an illustration of what’s ahead…

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