Sunday, February 14, 2010

the jackson farm

Here are some photos of the Jackson Farm. I'm showing you the original house (built in 1866) and behind it is the kitchen addition. With the addition, and the basement, the house is a total of 1500 square feet. I think its box shape and small windows makes it look bigger than it really is. The ceilings inside are only 7 feet tall and there are only two bedrooms and one bathroom. The photos here show the farm, the leftover outbuildings, the pasture, and the living room. I would have taken more photos of the inside but I have two words for you:

godawful wallpaper.

The house is in far better shape than the barns and coops. And the pasture isn't fenced yet, but the cleared 2-3 acres of grassy hillside is just begging to be put back to work. The barn is crying for bales of hay, straw, and bins of grain. I can see the hive by the garden. I can picture a black and white flash of a young border collie running in an autumn windstorm, gathering sheep back down the hill to me for hoof trimming. I can feel the prickly tendrils of the future pumpkin patch, and smell the cornstalks in the winter air. This maple tree infested hillside farm will be throbbing with color come October. It was once home to sheep, and if it becomes mine, it will be once again. If this inspection and mortgage come through, I'll do right by it. I want to make this place come back to life again.

The weekend was intense emotional bungee jumping. I went from wanting nothing more in the world than this farm, to being scared at the notion of it. My parents were great. They liked the house just fine. My dad thought the 6.5 acres, pond, woods and pasture were a steal. My mom was happy all the wiring and heating was redone. And just being with them in general was nice. It was great to spend time with them here in my land of Veryork, and introduce them to some of my friends. They were in high spirits the whole weekend.

I'd however go from being thrilled about the possibilities to being terrified about leaving Sandgate and Vermont in general. It's such a huge step to wrap my head around. The only like comparison I can make is the first night I stayed in Tennessee. I remember laying in bed listening to a southern thunderstorm, feeling sick to my stomach with regret. I was certain I was making the worst mistake of my life. I ended up falling in love with that place is a way that makes my feelings about Vermont seem like a Jr. High Crush. Now just watching a UT basketball game in a sports bar with that blazing orange on the boys' jerseys makes my ribs hurt from missing the place so much. No part of me thinks buying this farm in Washington County is a mistake. But every part of me is scared of the big change. I suppose that's normal. We'll all have to wait and see.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The house, outer buildings, and land have such potential, with a touch of timeless beauty too. Good luck!

February 14, 2010 at 2:53 PM  
Blogger Rachel B. said...

A lot of potential. Do me a favor, when you get the farm rip those aweful metal things off the door way. Yuck!
The coop definatly needs work. Umm, and is that what I think it is hanging above the coop door?
What's the little building behind the barn?
You're definatly dedicated enough to make the land work any again!

February 14, 2010 at 3:03 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I don't know I think the inside looks really cool. Even though it's kind of formal looking, I like the contrast with more earthy furniture. We have formal rugs and rough hand hewn wood furniture. It gives our house such character without defining any particular style.

February 14, 2010 at 3:08 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

What you've shown, so wonderful! Oh...the history that those walls have seen and heard. What that home must be saying...! I love the house and grounds that you've captured.
Moving, is always a little scary...You're not moving too far from where you are now, right? Didn't you say it was just a short 2 miles or so? State lines are just an imaginary line...nothing to worry about..:-) Good luck...make sure you post right away after the upcoming events...we're pulling for you! Tami (already in NY)

February 14, 2010 at 3:28 PM  
Blogger DarcC said...

I am an expert at removing old wallpaper and skim-coating walls. No chemicals needed, just hot water, vinegar, and a thin metal scraper. Throw a work party and I'll be there!

February 14, 2010 at 3:31 PM  
Blogger NMPatricia said...

I am with Az that I think the inside is pretty neat looking. Maybe not your style - definitely the furniture. But it fits the rest of the house (at least that which I can see). I know you ache with wanting it, but being along for the ride, I ache for you and hope this works.

February 14, 2010 at 3:32 PM  
Blogger Toni aka irishlas said...

Love it, love it, love it!
It needs someone like you.

February 14, 2010 at 3:34 PM  
Blogger Mountain Walker said...

Oh my goodness! I am so jealous! The barn and coop are just wonderful.....such history. The inside of the house looks like it has amazing stories to share. And I can see wispy sheep figures yet to be in the mist of the meadow. I am so wishing the best for you and your animals! Please keep us posted on the progress!

February 14, 2010 at 3:41 PM  
Blogger Debbie said...

I'm praying and know this will all work out just right...what ever right is. I wish I was you...almost, if it were in OH.
BTW, moving is always worth a big stomach ache to me, even when it's a dream come true.

February 14, 2010 at 3:55 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

Ha, I love the one room you showed.
As for the outbuildings, at least there are some. It seems that outbuildings look the same here on PEI - old and falling-down.
But better than nothing!

February 14, 2010 at 4:19 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I think it's a great price for what you are getting. Compared to other houses with acreage I've looked up in your area, this house looks great. Good luck! I hope you are able to get it. The kitchen looks like it's a nice size too. A lot of old houses have tiny kitchens, so that's a plus! (PS, I am not stalking you; I just was curious to see if there were other interior pictures.)

February 14, 2010 at 4:40 PM  
Blogger Sparkless said...

It's beautiful! I love it already and I've only seen your pictures. I hope it all works out and you have your happy farm soon.

February 14, 2010 at 4:41 PM  
Blogger Kathy P. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 14, 2010 at 4:51 PM  
Blogger small farm girl said...

Love it! It has sooooo much potential! I am sitting by my computer just waiting for your post that says that it all is yours. Good Luck!

February 14, 2010 at 4:57 PM  
Blogger Kathy P. said...

Sounds like things are okay then - you had me a little worried this morning.

Re: the wallpaper. I remember seeing a real estate expert on TV once, who said that when it comes to selling a house, it's not that buyers hate wallpaper, they just hate YOUR (the seller's) wallpaper. I did find your property on a listings website and remember thinking that the wallpaper - especially the gold-flocked stuff in the dining room (I think it was) doesn't exactly seem like Jenna's style. But if they put the stuff up properly it comes down really easy.

I love those metal bracket things in the doorway - depending on what replaces the wallpaper, I think they'll look really cool. If you rip them down, send them to me! :-)

Love the outbuildings. Very rustic - I wonder if it's possible to fix them back up to usefulness but keep that lovely worn paint "patina"?

February 14, 2010 at 5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful. Good luck, lady.

I've always believed nervousness is a good thing. Gives us humans motivation to get things done correctly.

If one is not nervous, one can lose sight. Never a good thing.

February 14, 2010 at 5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I started out homesteading in a 16x20 ft cabin a half mile back from the road in East Dorset, VT. I worked as a chef for money. I had rabbits, chickens, geese and a HUGE garden. I paid $40/month rent the first 5 years and $50 the last year. And that was in the 80's!

Eventually I got a 10 acre homestead on the Calais/Worcester line and lived there 18 years. Sold the place in 2005 and now live in a senior/disabled apartment in the Adirondack boonies :-)

I have been following you for a while and see my old self in you. Thought you might get a kick of where I've been and what I'm doing now.

I TOTALLY understand the feeling of leaving VT for NY...not very far in miles, but waaaaaaaay different!

February 14, 2010 at 5:32 PM  
Blogger Kaichai said...

Wow, I actually see a lot of potential on the inside decorations! I love those metal doorway things! Of course, to each their own. But, Jenna, this place looks lovely.

February 14, 2010 at 5:41 PM  
Blogger Angi said...

Thanks so much for sharing all this with us, it's so exciting!

February 14, 2010 at 5:41 PM  
Blogger melinamarie said...

Oh I was waiting for the post. Couldn't wait to hear what your parents thought. I don't like the inside decor at all. The designer in me can't wait to see what you do with it. I bet you will enjoy redecorating it. Totally enjoyed your outdoor pics especially the future sheep pasture. I can see it happening. I do feel for you about leaving Vermont. And I'm a New Yorker. Change is good and I hope all the rest works out for you.

February 14, 2010 at 6:23 PM  
Blogger Joleen said...

It's great! You don't want it just as it - you'll make it 'yours' and 'you.' It's an exciting and scary time right now, but I know it will work out wonderful and you'll be planting your garden on your own land this Spring. . . . . there are no accidents . . . all of this is meant to happen.

February 14, 2010 at 6:24 PM  
Blogger BJ Gingles said...


I am so glad your parents were positive about the place. I know it means a bunch to have their read on things and know their opinion matches your own. It is just one less thing to worry about.

Now, about the metal doorway thingys that have brought mixed reviews. I personally like them. If you don't, and are open to the idea, auction them off here. I would love the chance to get them. Same thing with the "pressed tin" ceiling. If it isn't your bag, auction it off and use the proceeds to help pay for the replacement ceiling materials.

I'm crossing my fingers for tomorrow's events to go well. I will be checking throughout the day to hear the results.

February 14, 2010 at 6:30 PM  
Blogger Andy said...

A very nice place.

February 14, 2010 at 7:21 PM  
Blogger Abi said...

Just let out a deep breath! The parents thing can be stressful so I am really glad that it went well. Whew.

My only word of advice, like I mentioned once before, is that these people are really 'in there'. Do they have to find a new home to close? Just double check your contract and be sure that it is not contingent on them finding another place since time is of the essence for you. Set your closing date to give you some wiggle room but be sure they are willing to vacate by that date.

Oh, and follow that inspector around tomorrow, they will teach you A LOT about the house!

February 14, 2010 at 8:53 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

for the record, i like the metal things but only if I can mathcm them with other metal and iron inside the house. I want to find an old metal chicken nest box (like a ten nest set) spray paint it and use it as a bookshelf.

Also, lighter walls no wallpaper.

February 14, 2010 at 9:16 PM  
Blogger Robj98168 said...

I like the wall paper! And I like those metal things on the door way!

February 15, 2010 at 12:37 AM  
Blogger Rene said...

Jenna, you should've seen the wallpaper in the kitchen of the first (and only) house I owned. It was bright pink and blue plaid in a pattern that made your eyes swim if you were looking at a person standing in front of it and it had a border of blue and pink flowers with ribbons running through it. Luckily, it's not too difficult to strip wall paper.

February 15, 2010 at 1:46 AM  
Blogger Paula said...

Hi Jenna- I'm really glad your parents are on board with this house. They're the ones who will look out for you the best. Good luck with the inspection and all.

February 15, 2010 at 2:07 AM  
Blogger Pam said...

Hi Jenna, I agree alot of potential! Praying everything works out for what is best for you. Personally I like the house but I like the Country/Primitive style. What you take out be sure to auction because you could get some good money for the things. My home has those same low ceilings, keep the warmth down low in the winter time ;-). Love to see a pic of the kitchen. If and when you do auction stuff be sure to contact an antique dealer to get some ideas of pricing. Some places come in and buy the lot and don't forget to contact some of the Prim blogs in blogdom such as "A Primitive Place." Those gals would go bonkers for that stuff! Really hope it works out. Be sure to know where the well, pump and septic is and when it was last pumped out or if the well ever went down. Thanks for taking us along on this ride!

February 15, 2010 at 7:43 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

You'd change wallpaper and paint anyway, no matter what you buy. They're superficial, not structural. A couple I know bought a house that had THE most horrific color scheme, ever. The first owners had Ethan Allen decorate. The second owners, whoa. The living room/dining room combo was olive green and orange, including the paisley drapes. One bedroom was royal blue, flocked stripes on one wall, horizontal somethings on the next wall. Another bedroom was red, white, and blue. I cannot remember the third bedroom, mebbe it was green or yellow. Needless to say, the third owners made everything beige.

February 15, 2010 at 7:50 AM  
Blogger Celia said...

It's beautiful! You are just what that place needs to come back to life. I am holding my breath waiting to hear it's yours.

February 15, 2010 at 8:27 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

Oh, it looks lovely all around! I love that style of house (we have nothing remotely like it here) and I've always loved white houses with black trim. Classic. I do hope it all works out - it looks perfect for you, and the size, I think, is just right (both the house and the acreage). Our house is about 975 square feet, and I wish it were just a little bit more - if it had a basement, say, it would be perfect.

P.S. - our last house, when we moved in, had pink and blue ducky-bunny wallpaper in the MASTER BEDROOM. Seriously.

February 15, 2010 at 8:29 AM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

You have me envisioning orange & green paisley wallpaper. With black splotches.

February 15, 2010 at 8:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know how you feel about the whole Vermont-junior high crush. When I moved to Vermont about ten years ago, I completely fell in love with the state, and felt so proud to live there. Moving away was really hard, but I still am fond of Vermont, and have strong ties and memories.

February 15, 2010 at 8:52 AM  
Blogger ashley english said...

i love it. love it, love it, love it. i can see it all, too. the gut-wrenching part is totally natural. change makes us nervous, but change also makes us thrive. i'm rooting for you!

February 15, 2010 at 9:03 AM  
Blogger Nikki said...

One of the really lovely things about owning a home, instead of renting it, is that you can have whatever decor you like, and change it whenever you like too.

My take on fear:
This is one of the most useful tools we have if you get it in perspective. Fear is not there to make us hide our heads or run away. It's purpose is to let us know that there is something very important to us here, and that we would do well to take a quiet, long look at the situation. When I figure out exactly what it is that's at the root of the fear, then I also figure out what I need to pay attention to, and then the fear goes away because it's done it's job.

February 15, 2010 at 9:04 AM  
Blogger Janet said...

Jenna: This is a seriously nice house and land with doable renovations. Whoever thought of early arts and crafts for a basically Greek Revival house?
Whoa!! The bracket things in the doorway will make a nice bookshelf or open shelf in the kitchen - for minimal outlay and don't need to stay dark. I can see completely transforming the place with some cream paint and smaller lighter furnishings.
The land is great! And the rudiments of good otbuildings are there.
Good luck with the inspection - my fingers are crossed for you.

February 15, 2010 at 9:06 AM  
Blogger Mustard Moon Farm said...

I love it! Really like the tin ceiling tiles! We're pulling for you! :o)

February 15, 2010 at 9:09 AM  
Blogger Leiflet said...

You gots to plant yourself some conifers! The Winters here can be sooo ugly... but then when it starts to snow, the pine trees all catch the snow and just beam through the storms. So lovely.

This place looks fantastic. I think you're mostly buying the house and the land anyway. You can redo that chicken coop and give them a nice little chick-condo anyway!

A little guest house?

Sledding in the winter?

Nice big barn for kids to jump off the rafters into the hay bales?

I'm excited. I'll be really excited to come visit!!

February 15, 2010 at 9:41 AM  
Blogger Melanie J. said...

Dig the exposed beams :)
I think a little fear is good, keeps you focused and makes you act carefully. Hoping this comes through for're inspiring the heck out of me regardless!

February 15, 2010 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Godawful wallpaper can be dealth with in due time. I'm so glad your parents approved of the place! Best wishes on your news today.

P.S. I have fallen in love with that chicken coop.

February 15, 2010 at 10:57 AM  
Blogger Jody M said...

I really like the metal things in the doors. I'd only remove them if there is a chance of decapitation.

February 15, 2010 at 11:03 AM  
Blogger bellananda said...

not your style, but omg, can i have that gorgeous daybed??? :)

it looks like heaven snoozing under a snowy blanket. crossing every crossable thing for you, m'dear!

sb in kc

February 15, 2010 at 11:04 AM  
Blogger Debi said...

So glad to hear your parents are in your court with this!
That house is so awesome...even with the godawful wallpaper. It'll take work, but nothing that can't be removed or covered up with some paint.
I haven't read all the posts yet, so someone may have already mentioned maple syrup. With an infestation of maple trees it would be cool to see you try your hand at sugaring some day. It'd be so cool to be eating Cold Antler syrup on my homemade french toast!

February 15, 2010 at 11:16 AM  
Blogger Sheri, RN said...

It has great potential.

I just finished reviewing your book over at my Blog at...

I wish you lots of luck with whatever you choose to do and wherever you end up. :)

February 15, 2010 at 11:41 AM  
Blogger hlbrack said...

Glad you had a good time with your folks. Jenna, I think it's 100% normal to be feeling a little uneasy right now. This is a huge change for you, no matter how exciting. I think the house, the out buildings, the land - all have so much potential. It will take a lot of work, no doubt, but you will make it worth it. I think that if you weren't feeling just a little bit scared to death right now you wouldn't be human! BEST of luck to you, and go with your gut!

February 15, 2010 at 11:58 AM  
Blogger HotFlashHomestead said...

Buying your first piece of property, which you and ONLY you owns and is responsible for, IS terrifying. I did it as a single gal and was as scared as you. Just trust me, it will pass. Once you make a mortgage payment or two and realize it's working out fine, you will feel much more at ease. It is a huge change, though, so just expect those moments of panic. I remember my own SO well.

February 15, 2010 at 12:22 PM  
Blogger CK said...

Exceeding excited for you. The beagle girls and I are rooting for you.

February 15, 2010 at 7:05 PM  
Blogger Joleen said...

The iron work on the doorway kind of reminds me of antlers! The house looks light and sunny!

February 15, 2010 at 11:34 PM  
Blogger kellybarnes said...

Please leave the exposed beams, they are very New England. The farm is beautiful and very historical. I agree with Rachel B the corner adornment is not very stylish.

February 16, 2010 at 10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


February 20, 2010 at 8:26 AM  

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