Cottage Stone Step


Stone Step at Tiny Cottage

There is the old story about George Washington’s axe. The handle’s been replaced four times and the head wore out twice and had to be replaced too but it’s still George Washington’s axe.

We’ll, we’re doing that one better. Our tiny cottage, circ. 2006, has parts and pieces of it that came from the old farm house circ. 1777 or so. Bricks in the house came from the old house and sand came from our land. The step is the old house step. That makes our new house one of the original colonial homes and over 200 years old, using the George Washington axe logic.

Speaking of steps, this week I replaced the cinder blocks that have served as our front door steps. In their place is now the original hand hewn granite front step from the old colonial era farm house we used to live in ust down the hill by the road. I still need to full set and level the stone but it’s on a bed of sand and very pleasant to walk on, sit on and use as a boot hook. A big broad granite step is far nicer to sit on than the old concrete blocks.

This step, along with a great many other cut stones in our old foundation and steps, were quarried up hill of our cottage and house on our farm. When a wind storm tore down some trees a few years ago I found under their roots the cutting marks in the ledge where the rock blocks had been split out of the mountain ledge so it could be dragged, energy efficiently, down hill to the house site. The cutting of the rocks created the spring area releasing water. That water may well be why our farm was first sited here in this very location over 200 years ago.

Once upon a time there was an entire village here, according to Lloyd Hutchins whom we bought our land from. Ours is the last house left. The woods are filled with cellar holes and stone walls that once divided pastures. Pastures I’m reopening a little at a time.

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You’ll note I have the original Muck boots there on the step. I love Muck boots! Especially the tall ones! I have wide feet. My toes can grasp things and spread when I walk. This destroys ordinary shoes and boots. Bare foot is better and makes my foot wear last longer – since I’m not wearing it. But that isn’t such a hot idea on a farm. I need boots. The Muck boots don’t seem to get damaged by my feet. They last and last and last. These are two and a half winters old worn year round. I’ll write more about the Muck boots soon. They’re great and as you might notice, they are now sponsors for my blog. Details to follow!

Outdoors: 71째F/49째F Sunny, Rain in morning
Tiny Cottage: 69째F/68째F

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About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor…

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12 Responses to Cottage Stone Step

  1. LJB says:

    Muck boots rock! I do manage to wear them out though. What is your trick??? Maybe it's the pig manure?

  2. A step back in time. The front step looks great.

    I really like re-using all the "old" stuff we find around here. Of course old to us is 75 years old – far younger than your neck of the mountain.

    We are always on the look out for the perfect boot. While we are pretty well covered for the -40 weather the hardest niche to cover is the early mud filled spring. We use a boot called "Boggers" now and while very comfortable do not seem to stand up.

    Really like the look of the Muck boots from what I can see on the interweb. We are trying to locate a Canadian supplier or someone who will ship to Canada.

  3. Evelyn says:

    I do the same thing to my shoes!! I've gone barefoot my entire life, pretty easy in SoCal. I finally found klogs, they're more comfortable than going barefoot & I can throw them in the washer w/ my jeans! I'll be getting a pair of muck boots for winter at the farm.

  4. Julie says:

    I have muck boots too. Looks funny when I wear with shorts. When my dog sees me putting them on she starts barking. Knows the garden is coming.

  5. I destroy muck boots with the greatest of ease.
    In 2 years I managed to destroy at least 3 pairs. I love them I just cant get them to last.
    So instead I use some Guide Gear Boots that are waterproofed. They have their own advantages and disadvantages over muck boots, but I prefer them them the most since I can run and do all types of terrain work.

    Here in Colorado old to us is usually 50-100 years old. I went to Williamsburg, Virgina in 2007 and old to them is colonial or pre colonial times.
    It is just a difference in heritage I guess.
    I have heard a story about a syrian who was shown Robert E. Lee's old house and he asked what the big deal was (The Americans were talking about how he had to see this old,old,old house) because "The house I live in is 300years old."

    http://www.lifeseedco.blogspot.com

  6. drp says:

    I love Muck boots too!! Though I have to admit that one year in I've already ripped a hole through one of them by jumping on fence posts to sink them. Slipped off one of them and it tore a gash down the side of one of the boots. I was totally despondent!!

  7. Michelle says:

    I agree, Muck Boots are great! We sell them in the store that I work at. Very rarely do we receive any back for discomfort or other problems. My family has 2 pair, and I don't think that we'll buy another type of boot now that we've found Muck. They are so comfortable!

  8. heyercapital says:

    Walter,
    Your comment on the town disappearing reminded me of some genealogy my mom uncovered. We had a large family in the early 1800's that lived in Vermont, but they all settled out west (Iowa). I always wondered why? Mom thinks it was the tradition or law that divided up the inheritable land to prevent "landed gentry" like the British. It didn't take but a few generations before there were not enough large plots from which to make a living. Ever heard that angle on it before?

    Brian
    Wisconsin

  9. Brian,
    No laws. Just the weather. There was a Little Ice Age where crops failed for several years. Snow every month of the year. During that time many people left Vermont and headed west. A period of cooling weather is a major disaster, far worse than the worst Global Warming they are predicting.

    "It is generally agreed that there were three minima, beginning about 1650, about 1770, and 1850, each separated by slight warming intervals."

    Back in the mid-1990's we had snow every month of the year here at our farm. It didn't stick but the frosts killed our gardens. Without Al Gore's hot air we might have sunk into another Little Ice Age by now. According to the past history we are due for one and they were warning about the return of the Ice Age back in the 1970's and 1980's before Global Warming became all the rage.

  10. Oh, and I also meant to mention their was the gold rush and the land rush out west during the same period.

  11. JLB says:

    I stop at the Ol' watering hole on my way back from a dairy run wearing my muckers. Always get noticed and is a great way to start conversation about eating local !

  12. Dan says:

    I love my muck boots. they look just like yours the original kind. comfortable and water proof. my one disappointment was seening on the box that they were made in china. why cant they be made in good ol usa????

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