Old Farms

Pioneer Life:
Life was not easy for the pioneers who came into the area following in the footsteps of Native Americans. Many died early in childhood, from disease.  Simple diseases like pneumonia, flu and so forth were deadly without antibiotics and IVs.  Other diseases such as tuberculosis, brucellosis, small pox, scarlet fever etc. took lives as well.

I grew up in a rural area.  I lived on 3 1/2 acres of forested land with a red brick ranch on the property. Our acreage was on the small side as most neighbors had 5 acres and there were scattered farms across from my home and down the road.  The area was unincorporated Hinsdale at the time, but is now Burr Ridge.  As I child I had Scarlet Fever, Chicken Pox, Whooping Cough, Mumps, and Measles and I survived them all.  I had the old small pox vaccine and still have the scar on my arm from it.

I saw many things change including the newer, expensive homes come in to the land that was full of trees.  The increase in taxes forced my family out of the area as well as the fact that my father was getting older and keeping up with working and taking care of the property (grass cutting, dead tree maintenance, raking, shoveling, and so forth) was catching up to him.  Growing up in a rural area is magical, but can be extremely lonely as well.  I was a child of the forest.  The only thing I feared on the land were uninvited humans who would wander and trespass onto the land (many were up to trouble) as rural areas tend to attract trouble makers who are looking for any opportunity in the quieter, less populated areas. Other than that, the people were simple.  Often times they kept to themselves, but kept an eye on things and waved hello when my brother and I rode our bikes down the gravel road and back up.  I must confess, I trespassed a bit as a curious child, onto the farm area looking for special rocks that sparkled in the sun or just looking for a forest hideout.  I still remember the trees. Some were nut trees and in the summer, there were always acorns on the ground which the squirrels loved.  I miss the land I grew up on, but at the same time, I  know that nothing remains the same forever. People come and go, the land is developed and re-developed.  We are all just on a journey and adventure with those souls we meet up with.

Looking at Volo and some of the surrounding areas that are now in transition to more populated areas reminds me of home.  It's very familiar indeed.  Wisconsin is still very rural and has farms all over it. I hope it stays that way for some time, yet.  Here are some photos I took from the Farm Show that is held every year by the Lake County Farm Heritage Association.  I included a photo of a farm in Lake County as well.  Enjoy.

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