What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Interesting Places I've Lived-The Story of the Doughnut Tree

I think this would be fun to do.  Perhaps you have lived in or worked at a very "interesting" or unusual place, house, town...some place that was unique in some way and different from the ordinary.  Wouldn't it be fun to share these experiences and places with each other, and maybe learn a little history about the person or about the location in the process?  Is anyone interested in doing this?  Maybe you lived in Alaska, or another part of the world, or in a commune or convent or who knows where we all have been?!

 I have been chatting with an "old" friend on Facebook about a place where we used to live about 20 years ago. It had a very unique history and many interesting stories.  I will attempt to remember what I can here...and may have to go digging through my old photographs to document this place better, so this may take a while.

Maybe this will help stir up some of your memories of places where you've lived...and perhaps you could share them with us in a future blog.

The house where we lived was in the little town of Fryeburg, Maine, which is an interesting place in itself.  It is the home to The Fryeburg Fair...one of the best country fairs I've ever seen.  (Check on the link for more information about this annual event).

But the place where we lived, albeit, for only about a year, was in a beautiful old New Englander home that was built in 1848.  My hubby was born in 1948, so the house was exactly 100 years older than he was!
This is the front of the house in the snow...Yes, it snowed a LOT in Maine! And that old drafty house used a LOT of fuel to keep us warm!  Another reason we didn't stay there long...
This was the connected "carriage house/barn/attic above where the "treasures" were stored.

I truly loved all the history and interesting nooks and crannies of this old house.  We were only renting it, so we couldn't do much with it except just enjoy it.  The owners were rather particular about our "snooping" too far into the attic of the old house, as they still had many boxes full of family "treasures" stored up there, and they didn't want us to get into them...but we did have one good tour...and there was so much history there I wish I could have stayed up there and gone through every last box.  But anyway, that's another story.

Here's the only souvenirs I wound up with somehow...a couple of old skeleton keys and an iron spike that looks like it was forged in a blacksmith shop...so it must be pretty old...not sure how these made it into my treasure stores...I think it was purely by "accident"....
I wonder what doors those keys would open?


 This picture was taken when my Mother and Dad had come up to visit from Florida. My mother and I were having so much fun together in the kitchen.  I loved this old fashioned kitchen. All of the cabinets were the old white steel cabinets, and the sink was a large farm style sink.  The old electric range was really special, with double ovens and the old warming well on one of the burners...right out of the early 50's, I'd say. As a matter of fact, the whole kitchen was circa 1950...not one thing had been modernized in all that time....but it still worked!

And here I am visiting with my sweet mother in law, "Nanny", when she came up to visit for Christmas.  Notice the lovely built in china cabinet here in the dining room. There were actually two of them.


I won't bore you with tons of family pictures, but suffice it to say, the house was a fun place for us to live, and we had many happy gatherings with friends, church family and loved ones during our short tenure there...but it ended up being a little too expensive for our budget after we barely survived the winter heating costs. Our next home was back home to Florida, as our parents were getting older and we needed to get back "home", to a warmer climate and to be there to help care for our family in the years to come.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about this house was that it was the "caretaker" for the famous "Doughnut Tree" of Fryeburg, Maine.  This was not the original house where the giant Dutch Elm tree had grown into the shape of a doughnut, but when the 100 year old tree was struck with the Dutch Elm disease back in 1965,  Mr. Harry Eastman took the "doughnut" portion of the old tree, and had a special covered shelter built on his estate to keep the "doughnut" for all the world to see and remember.

I happen to own a couple of the old original postcards that were famous about this tree:




These postcard pictures were taken in front of the original house where the tree had grown...before it was removed to the Eastman House.

Google Picture of "The Eastman House", where the remains of "The Doughnut Tree" are kept now.

Here is a photograph of the shelter with the "doughnut" remains that is on the Eastman estate property, as it looked when we lived there.

Click on this link for more information about this famous Doughnut Tree:

https://www.mainememory.net/artifact/6169 - Information about the "Doughnut Tree", Fryeburg, Maine

Here's another old news article about the Doughnut Tree, and it tells where Mr. Harry Eastman took it to his "estate".

We were proud to be able to be a part of this historical old home and the "doughnut tree".  While we lived there one of the classes from the local school came over and helped  clean up and plant some flowers around this display as a class project.

I truly loved this old house, with all of its quirks and stories...another thing I remember was that in the attached woodshed/carriage house/barn, which is the way the old New Englander houses were built so that in winter you didn't have to go outside to get to your wood and feed the animals, there was also an indoor "outhouse"!  Yes, that's right!  There was an actual outhouse built into the attached buildings...and it was still fully functional.  I know, because shortly after moving into this house the indoor plumbing malfunctioned, and we had to use this indoor outhouse for a few days until the plumbing was working again! Now, that was great fun! Ha ha!  It came equipped with corn cobs and Sears Roebuck catalogs...but we didn't use those antiques.

The reason I started thinking about this old house again was in my online conversation with a friend we were discussing the demise of the old Dutch Elm trees, due to a disease/blight many years ago. Elm trees were on my mind because I had posted pictures of me on Facebook planting a Drake Elm tree in our yard yesterday, as a memorial to my father, whose 6th anniversary of his passing was this past week.  (The Drake Elm trees are not susceptible to the blight of the Dutch Elm trees).

We chose to plant an elm tree because my Dad had a huge elm tree in their home (where I grew up), and it had died of old age several years before my mother and father passed away.  We all grieved over that old tree when it had to be cut down, because it gave such lovely shade to their house and yard, and it left such a bright, bare spot when it was gone.  Our current back yard is much too sunny and in need of some shade, so hopefully this elm tree will grow and flourish and provide shade for many years to come.

For more information  about the history of the  little town of Fryeburg, Maine, please check out this website:http://www.fryeburghistorical.org/index.html   

Also, for some wonderful reading into the history of Fryeburg, a friend of mine has written four historical fiction novels about the area. (The Fryeburg Chronicles).  I highly recommend these excellent books.  You can find out more about June O'Donal's books here: http://www.xulonpress.com/bookstore/bookdetail.php?PB_ISBN=9781626979468&HC_ISBN=


So, now back to my original idea: I wonder how many of you will accept the challenge and share some of YOUR stories of interesting places you've lived or worked in over the years. I'll bet there are a lot of wonderful stories out there just waiting to be told.  I actually have a few more up my sleeve and will be sharing them in the future.  If you do post something of this nature, please make sure to call my attention to it here somehow so I will know to check it out.  I don't have one of those group blog connectors, but if this becomes a popular idea, maybe someone can tell me how to set that up!


I don't usually post something like this on Sunday, so please forgive me!  I actually wrote the bulk of this last night, and wanted to get it published before I forget!  I trust you and yours are having a wonderful, God-filled and blessed SONday!  

Joshua 24:15(NKJV)

15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. 
But as for me and my house, 
we will serve the Lord.”
Amen.

17 comments:

  1. I truly enjoyed hearing about the donut tree and your memories long ago in Maine. Loved the pictures as they helped tell your story so well. I pray you are having a blessed Sunday.

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    1. Thank you! I am so glad you enjoyed this little "history lesson" for today. It was fun to go back in time and remember this place again. I hope you and your family are enjoying this wonderful Lord's Day as well.

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  2. How fascinating this post was, Pamela! No, I've never lived anywhere that I would consider historical or noteworthy, although my mother's home in Oxford, Georgia, is an historical landmark in the area. Maybe I'll get some photos of it next time I visit, and share them with you. Going to visit some of the links you provided here.
    Blessings!

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    1. Sometimes we don't think our home was anything extra special, but if we look around or remember "when", we might be surprised at what might be of interest to others. I love YOUR stories right now and am looking forward to the next episode. Thank you for stopping by today. I hope you will tell us about Oxford, GA. I'll have to look that town up.

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  3. How interesting!! I really enjoyed the history, the doughnut tree and seeing that great circa 1950 kitchen. I've lived many places (15 in my lifetime) but none of them have a great history or any interesting stories to tell. I sure enjoyed hearing about your temporary home in Maine! Nice that you could plant the Elm tree in memory of your dad. A wonderful memorial.

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    1. thank you Terri. I'll bet there are interesting stories from places you've lived if you just dig a little...you may not think they are interesting, but they might be to us because we've never been there! Yes, I loved that old house...and esp. the kitchen. It even had a dishwasher that still worked, and I know it was from the 1950's...even though I never knew anyone who had one then. It was very unique. There were a lot of other things that I didn't mention, like the old wood stoves in the "parlor" and an upstairs bedroom, but they no longer had safe chimneys so we couldn't use them. I wish I had more pictures of the interior, but most are of people instead of the house! But that's what is more important anyway...the people!!

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  4. What a beautiful home, Pamela. I love that kitchen. You must have enjoyed the time you lived there, but not the cold. Interesting tree. I like the idea of posting about a special home or place where we live or lived. I'll have to think about that.

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    1. I hope you will think about it...I know that if we look deep enough and think hard enough, we might discover some interesting facts or memories that spark memories for the rest of us. I always enjoy your posts about the different parks and historical places in and around Georgia that you have visited. GA. is so full of beauty and history...one of my favorite places!

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  5. Pam: I enjoyed reading about your sojourn in Maine. I will have to really think on your challenge. You see, I live in the same city/town where I was born.

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    1. Hmmm, well, then, think about the most interesting place/spot in your town...the places that mean something to you especially since you've lived there your whole life. I am certain there are places that have sweet memories for you and perhaps even some interesting "history" that you may not have thought about since you've lived there so long. Might be a very good challenge to think about! :)

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  6. Enjoyed reading all about the Doughnut Tree and of your time in that beautiful old home. I love old houses, they have so much character. It's so nice that you've planted an elm tree, it will certainly give you the much needed shade and also a great reminder of your parents.

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    1. Thank you Mary. It was a fun experience...but I'm glad I don't have the responsibility of the expense and upkeep of that old house. It definitely had character and charm...and we enjoyed it while there. Now we enjoy where we are in life and thank God for being with us all the way. And yes, my little elm tree is already making me smile!

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  7. What a neat story about the doughnut tree. I have enjoyed the pictures too. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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    1. Thank you Cindy. It was a fun experience, and I'm happy that I could share it with you all. Hugs and blessings back at you! :)

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  8. The Maine home was truly beautiful! I know those houses are drafty but what character they have! I remember a home that my first husband and I almost bought in the state of Washington. It was a one story but had all the character that you find in an older home. I loved it and wanted it badly but it was in a not very good section of the town and so we passed on it. I often think of that home. Love the donut tree!

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    1. I know what you mean...I think we've all seen/wanted houses that would have been perfect if we could just pick them up and move them to another spot. But I have found that when I give up on a certain dream idea, God always blesses in another way that helps to take away the sting of losing our "dream house" or other plan. Hence, "Closed Doors, Open Windows!". You are beginning a new chapter in your life...and hopefully you will find the place that is exactly right for you at this time in your life. Praying God will direct your steps and give you joy and peace in the journey.

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  9. Pam, Thank you for sharing some more of your past. The house in Maine looks very interesting and unique. I've never lived in an old house. However, I do live in the town where the state of Iowa flag was created!

    The doughnut tree is pretty cool! :)

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