It wasn’t until I was working in the pumphouse one night and had the lights on that I really had a chance to look around inside. Normally it would be a quick in and out sorta deal and during the day there was enough light to see but not enough to check for details. I went out there tonight to take a few pictures and thought I would share a part of the farm that has the most telling history.
Here is the pumphouse, standing since time immemorial, or at least a long long time. It is probably the oldest structure on the farm, and except for the house is the most ornate. Look at the little roof they built up on the sides, the wood shake roof and the corner posts. This building, for just being a place to hold a 50 foot hole to get water is a place that was made back in the days when quality wasn’t a add-on, it was a given.
There is trim around the windows and plaster walls which have long since decayed on the bottom few feet. If you spend the evening out there you will find mice running up and down the spaces in the walls, but that’s okay, it’s not like anyone else uses the place. A closer look at the walls, that took me about 11 months to notice, is that people have been scratching into the plaster for a long time.
This one reads “Jack W Hokanson, Dundurn Sask, 1936”. Jack is the son of the original owners of the farm, and his signature shows up at least 3 times. Also you find that the farmhands from over the years would put up their names and where they came from.
This one is from a farmhand that came from Paris, France.
This one I believe is the original homesteader of our land, Aron Hokanson. He was born in 1880 and lived until 1970. He is buried in the Dundurn cemetery. Below his name reads Moscow, but he was originally from Sweden but moved to the US at the age of 2 and settled in Dundurn when he was 22 in 1902. Maybe the Moscow was for someone else?
Here’s a more local one… Ontario Canada.
Here is another from across the ocean, Capenhagen. Or is it Copenhagen? Either way I’m guessing it is Denmark.
If you can’t read it here is the transcription, ”A man’s ambition must be small; when he writes his name ; on a pump house wall.”
And lastly, remember how Jack’s name is around a couple different places? Here’s one more:
”Jack is an arsehole; and so are you” (name illegible)
The last thing, if you didn’t see it before, was a date I had never noticed embedded under the little poem.
1910! This pumphouse wall predates our house by 2 years, so it is the oldest structure on the farm. How cool is that?