Birth of a Barn
One often says, I wish these trees could talk or these walls could talk so this tells the story of how one of Gods trees became a board and how it made a journey serving a purpose long after it was a tree and of the things it has witnessed.

The J. P. Vickers Oil Lease was still being developed when my father was placed in charge of it because the first Lease Pumper had been killed.

The oil leases of the time had a centralized power house and all the Wells were pumped by this one engine through the use of rod lines running to each pump jack located at the Oil Wells.

However, the permanent centralized power house wasn't usually built until enough of the wells were drilled to determine the center of the oil field and then they would install the engine and turntable for making the pump jacks go up and down.

Until they had some idea of where the center of the oil field was located they used the engine that drilled the first well.

These type engines had big bull wheels on each side which were used to crank the engine.

The cranking was done by standing up on the spokes of the bull wheel to get the engine to turn over and apparently on the firing stroke the pumper had gotten caught in the wheel and he was killed when the engine fired and started running.

So, that is how it occurred that we came to live in the Vickers Lease house in January 1937.

In 1938 my Dad bought a new 1938 Buick car and wanted a garage for it.

By this time the permanent power house had been built and the old power house and engine were no longer being used.

So, my Dad tore down the old power house engine shed and built a one car garage out of the lumber which was basically 1 X 12 boards and the tin from the roof.

The garage sit off to the west side of the lease house and that is were we kept the new car. You can see the original engine shed and the wooden walking beam used to drill the Vickers Discovery Well #1 and the Garage it became by clicking:..  HERE

Now when we moved into town we had the new 2 car stone garage for the car but, no barn for the milk cow.

Daddy moved the one car garage built from lumber salvaged from the original Lease Engine Shed to town and sit it in the north west corner of the yard away from the house.

Daddy cut two openings in the side of the garage to make two stalls and closed up the front and put a door in where the garage door was. He also built a stone water trough and corral at the barn.

After we had lived there a year or two, one day out in the country some place Daddy saw this Barn with the hip/gabled type roof that gives a barn a loft area for storing feed.

He liked the way the barn looked and decided to make what had been a one car garage look like a real barn.

So, he tore off the tin roof and shiplapped the outside and built the loft shaped roof as it is today. Also a lot of other things were changed like real windows were installed where only wooden swing outs had been there for windows.

Sadly, I have been unable to find any pictures of the barn prior to it being modified. However, once you know the story you can tell all this by going inside the barn and looking at the inside walls.

In the remodeling, a cupola was put on top with a 8 foot tall 2 X 2 flag pole on it and in the beginning Daddy flew a 3' X 5' Texas flag on the barn which he ordered from a Sears and Roebuck Catalog. After two flags wore out, he had the Lueders Blacksmith, Oscar Exdal build a weather vane with 5 Texas Stars in the design and it was mounted on the cupola. The flag pole was cut off 6 inches above the cupola and the Weather Vane was mounted on the 2 X 2.

After the barn was remodeled, your Granpa built himself a club house and hide out in the hay loft.

You can see a picture of the barn by clicking:..  HERE This is an early picture after the hip roof was added because the weather vane is not there and only the 2 X 2 pole is sticking out of the cupola.

Back around 1990 the Weather Vane fell off the top of the barn and Arlene Felts told me about it in a phone conversation right after it had fallen off.

I then called the guy that owned the house and asked what he was going to do with it and he didn't know and to shorten the story. I paid him $200.00 and the Weather Vane now sits in our family museum.

Before being put in the museum I had it in the backyard of our house here in Titusville, Florida for several years and you can see it by clicking:..  HERE

During the remodeling of the barn, I can remember Carol Felts and I crawling all over the roof before they put the shingles on because the roof was kind of like a ladder just before the singles got installed.

GranPa's collie dog, Lassie choose the barn to have many a litter of her puppies.

Once when my sister Iva came home from school and was going in the back door of the house, Lassie's husband, Jumbo grabbed Iva's hand in his mouth and took her to the barn to show off his and Lassie's new puppies.

Therefore, the Lueders barn has lots and lots of history and a fond place in GranPa's heart for all his childhood memories of the barn.

Also, a few other moments of sorts. When I first wrote the story of the barn, My sister Eileen ask why I didn't include the title that my sister Ellen had bestowed on me relative to the barn and then reminded me that Ellen use to call me "Daddy's Old Shit Shoveler" which means that when only 9 and 10 years of age it was GranPa who shoveled the shit out of the cow stalls and corral of the barn.

Eileen had a good laugh reminding me how I really could get mad at my sister Ellen for calling me that.

Always remember Grand Kids, memories are forever so, do all you can to make them joyful ones.

And remember you can not only stand in the street and see both houses of your GranPa's youth but, also what was once a power house shed and then a car garage and finally a barn.

Sadly, the barn was allowed to deteriorate and you can see it's condition in 1993 by clicking:..  HERE

However, I am happy to know the place now has new owners and things are being fixed up.

A picture of the barn taken in October 2003 when GranPa was attending his 50th High School Class Reunion can be seen by clicking:..  HERE

We come to the end of a story about a tree which became a board which witnessed a man die and then became the protector of a man's brand new car and then became a barn and got to be in a city were it saw many a calf and lots of collie puppies born and provided a hay loft where once a little boy made himself a hideout and club house.

The End

Menu - All Stories

Current Page - TOP  ]  *  *  *    *  *  *  [  Menu - The Old Chief  ]
 
Copyright © 2005 by E. Ray Smyth