Long Ago and Far Away

by Alden Cole on October 29, 2014 · 0 comments

758.3WPTop photo ca. 1900; middle and bottom photos ca. 1930. Antique views of the Dayton Maine farmstead where I grew up, taken years before I was born. All three show the original cape-style house with ell built in the early 1800s (attached to the shed, attached to the barn – both still standing today). The cape and ell were torn down in 1937 to make way for a new house into which my parents and oldest brother Clark moved in 1938. Later that fall my brother Wallace was born, and in 1944 I joined the clan.

066.3WPAll three vantage points of these photos looking north at the farms in the valley, as well as the farm on the hillside are only separated by a few hundred feet. If you compare closely you’ll see that the buildings of the farmstead on the hill where my grandparents lived changed radically in the time period between 1900 and 1930. The original barn was replaced in 1903 by a magnificent new barn shown in the second photo, built as a collaboration of creative energies between father and son – my great-grandfather Clark Remich Cole (1841-1915) who fought in the Civil War, and his third son Wallace John Cole (1871-1918). The original house, referred to affectionately by my great-grandfather as The House of Seven Gables in honor of Hawthorne’s novel, was replaced in 1923 by a new one built by his 5th son, my grandfather Weymouth Harris Cole (1879-1972). Both barn and farmhouse stand to this day on the hill overlooking the valley farm where I spent my youth. Below, another long view of the farms from the south.

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