Retter Farm Buildings in the 1950s

Author: Retter Hofbesitzer / Labels: , ,

1. The Barn. The second barn and the one Russell Retter built after the original barn burned. It was built sometime around 1910.

 2. The Runway, as we called it, that attached to the barn from the north haymow. It began to be demolished by Roy Myers in the late 1980’s for fear the middle might collapse with grandson Chris on the farm. Chris Myers removed the enclosed portion to the east in 2009 after it began to lean. He removed most of the portion attached to the haymow in summer 2009 and it was removed completely when the MAJW Construction Company started barn renovations in August 2009.

3. The Garage. Removed when the house was moved to accommodate SR 201 expansion in 1970. It was a wooden one-car structure with concrete floor.

4. The Chicken House. Removed in 1970. It was wooden sloped-roof structure with concrete floor. Was used for chickens by Russell, and as a farrowing house by Roy Myers and son, Dennis.

5. The Outhouse. Wooden structure with a concrete base that had a cleanout on downslope side (north wall.) Removed in 1970. The house now sits atop the same ground with the front bedroom being about where the outhouse stood. The Outhouse was a “three-holer” with one seat each for father, mother and child.

6. The Woodshed. A wooden structure with a loft on the southside. Dirt floor. Never served much of a function during my years on the farm, but it is said to have been where Willie Boitnott found gun parts for the Civil War Enfield that he returned to the family in 1981.

7. The Pump House. Wooden structure that did enclose an electric pump for a dug water well/cistern. Concrete over the well/pump area, wooden floor in the enclosed north portion that was used for a smokehouse. The front of the pump/well area was open to the east.

8. The Chicken House. Wooden structure with concrete floor. I don’t recall that it was used for hens, but rather for storage. It was the only out building not affected by the road expansion and remained in place until the 1980s when Roy Myers took it down, but left the floor/foundation in place.

9. The House. Based on what we know, the house was likely built in the 1820’s, possibly earlier. By the 1940’s it had a “back kitchen” that was a one story lean-to structure attached to the back (west side) of the original house. It had a trough sink with handle pumps at each end that took water from a cistern underneath and slightly to the back of the structure. The water was used for cleaning and bathing. The room was basically a utility room for “Saturday Night” baths, canning, butchering and such. It also had an enclosed stairwell that went down to the cellar under the rear third or so of the original house. Roy and Dennis Myers dug out the dirt floor in the late 1950s and poured a concrete floor. It became the location for the first furnace system that was used until the house was moved in 1970. Other notes:

  • a. A nice grape arbor was attached to the back of the “back kitchen” and served as a cover for a walkway sidewalk along the back wall of that room. 
  • b. The original foundation cellar/crawlspace walls were formed by the flat limestone rocks found stored by the creek and used elsewhere on the farm.
  • c. The front of the house had a covered wooden porch that faced the road and on which roof you could get by a door in what is now the north bedroom on the second floor.
  • d. What is now the front door had several different porches over the years and was enclosed by Roy and Dennis Myers in the late 1950’s.
  • e. To the best of my knowledge, there was only one Catalpa tree removed because of the road expansion. The rest have been in place and roughly the same size for all of my life.
  • f. The farm was composed of 84 acres until Russell died, then divided into 3 parcels of roughly 28 acres each. Mildred and Robert Jenkins sold their parcel to Pat and Roy Myers, and Pat and Roy also bought out the shares of the original farmhouse. After both Roy and Pat passed the two remaining parcels were inherited by Dennis.