Evidence of A Past Homestead

by Texas Homesteader 

When we purchased this property we were told there was a home that was once located near the front that had burned down in the late 50’s or early 60’s. The story was that it was struck by lightening and had burned to the ground. The only thing that remained standing was the brick fireplace. 

The burned-out house had laid in rubble for years, even decades. When the previous owner put the property up for sale he attempted to spruce it up a bit by having a bulldozer bury the old bricks and residual rubble, but it was still quite cluttered. 

Of course when I first laid eyes on this piece of paradise I couldn’t get much further than that 1880’s barn. Even though both the barn and the property were in pretty rough shape I was fully enamored with it and we could see this was where our future lies. 

RancherMan and I both stumbled over ourselves to get to the realtor’s office to purchase this beautiful property. And in 2000 we called it our own.

1880's Barn on our NE Texas Homestead. On our ranch we have a barn built in the 1880's and evidence of the lives from those that lived here before. #TexasHomesteader

We built our home here several years later & have utilized one of the old homestead features by diverting rainwater from our home’s roof to the deep underground cistern, now used for garden irrigation. (You can see the cistern here )

We have renovated the exterior of the barn and use it still for our ranching operations today.  (You can see a post about my beloved barn here.)

But curiosity got to us and we purchased a metal detector last year just to see what evidence we could find of this past homestead. I find that I’m fascinated about the family that used to call this property their home. Who were they? What were they like?

I try to imagine what a day in the lives of this family might have been like back then. I get a tiny peek with finds from our metal detector.

57 Gillette super speed flair tip. On our ranch we have a barn built in the 1880's and evidence of the lives from those that lived here before. #TexasHomesteaderResearch says this is a 1957 Gillette Super Speed Flair-tip razor.

Razor blade box, On our ranch we have a barn built in the 1880's and evidence of the lives from those that lived here before. #TexasHomesteaderThe Schick blade box cover to go with the Gillette razor

Lucky charm. On our ranch we have a barn built in the 1880's and evidence of the lives from those that lived here before. #TexasHomesteaderSome kind of lucky charm – 4-leaf clover, #7, wishbone and horseshoe

Brass hose nozzle. On our ranch we have a barn built in the 1880's and evidence of the lives from those that lived here before. #TexasHomesteaderWe found several large & very heavy brass hose nozzles.  These were cleaned up and with a new washer they are now being used again!

Firestone Cruiser plate. On our ranch we have a barn built in the 1880's and evidence of the lives from those that lived here before. #TexasHomesteaderFirestone Cruiser plate from a bicycle made in the 50’s

horse ties. Evidence of past lives on our homestead. On our ranch we have a barn built in the 1880's and evidence of the lives from those that lived here before. #TexasHomesteaderThese appear to be old horse ties based on my research.

We’ve found many other things, from frying pans to outdoor faucets, tractor parts and appliance knobs. We’ve found old door knobs, cast-iron stove parts, tools, buttons and parts of a child’s toy among many other items.

It’s fun to play a small part of a story that this family was writing so long ago!


Other Homesteading Posts

Love Our 1880’s Barn? See More!

See ALL Our Barn Posts

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17 thoughts on “Evidence of A Past Homestead

  1. Pingback: Evidence Of (Another) Old Homestead

  2. gtyyup

    Great finds!!! I love to collect that kind of stuff…if only those ol’ pieces could tell their stories~

  3. KarenLynn@Lil' SuburbanHomestead

    My other love besides Science Fiction is history this post so made me want to come visit your farm and get a tour! We used to live in a house that was 100 years old that we renovated and flipped and had to leave because my husband got a job offer in the coastal area this has inpsired me to do a blog post of some of the treasures we found while we lived there! I love the old cistern and the old barn pics. You guys are sitting on a treasure and are so blessed! This post was so inspiring

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Oh, I’d love to see pics of your finds. It’s so much fun to glimpse back into the past of your own homestead & peek into the lives of those that passed through there before. I’m hoping to get to do a little more searching soon before the temps get high and the ground turns to concrete. LOL ~TxH~

  4. Robyn

    I find abandoned farmsteads fascinating also. I always wonder what the story behind the place is. You are lucky to know some of the history behind this farm.

    Interesting finds.

  5. Tricia

    Oh my goodness, incredible finds & what a beautiful old barn! I love hearing the history of these old barns. Fantastic post =)

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Thanks Tricia. I do have a barn tour post in the works where I’ll feature a pictorial stroll through the barn. Can’t wait to get that finished, it will be so cool! ~TxH~

  6. artmusedog and Carol

    Wonderful photography of your historical finds in your piece of heaven ~ ^_^

  7. Brenda

    You have a lot of interesting artifacts. I love old properties. We purchased a home that was built in 1911, prior to that the owners lived in a house that later became their smokehouse and before that they lived in a log cabin, the log cabin has pretty much fallen down, but if you peek inside you can still see wallpaper they had hanging on the walls in the log cabin. They had later on converted it into a place to store hay.
    We ended up burning the smokehouse down and it smelt like bacon/ham!
    They used to make their own brooms here, so we had some old brooms up in the barn. We also found a hand-carved bat they made and a lot of horse drawn equipment in some of the fields. In the barn we also have pitchforks with 10 foot handles. Those were used in the day before hay balers. I would of loved to see the farm in it’s heyday. The picture of your barn kind of reminds me of ours. The front boards were intact, but we did have to replace sills (i think that’s what my husband called them) and put in some footers. This is my first visit to your site. Thank you for sharing. I’m going to bookmark it and add it to my list of favorite homesteading sites.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Brenda – how fascinating your home and property sounds! I would love to stroll around looking at the old artifacts and imagining their lives – how fun! Than you so much for your kind words and for stopping by to visit. ~TxH~

  8. Evelyn in Oregon

    I know of a couple of barns that look very similar to the one in your first photo. They are always fascinating…and it’s especially fascinating to own property with a history.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Evenlyn, I always just wondered if I was weird that way – I’m fascinated by the whispers of the past. The barn was in such bad shape when we first purchased the property, but it was the main reason THIS was to be our new homestead some 13 years ago. I’m glad the inside of the barn was still in such good shape as it allowed us to have some of the “skeleton” repaired and new exterior boards placed. After allowing them to age for 1 year to gain that patina I love, we sealed the wood and I’m confident it will stand many, many more years. ~TxH~

  9. Texas Homesteader Post author

    Thanks Joan – it really IS a blast to metal detect here and fun to glimpse into this family’s life from so long ago. I don’t understand laws that would not allow you to capture rain that fell on a structure you owned on your own property – I’m sure there are good reasons but I certainly can’t figure it out. ~TxH~

  10. Joan @ The Chicken Mama

    Treasure hunting on your own property – what a blast! That barn is a beauty and I love the cistern. (I second the the commenter from Colorado that noted we have weird laws about rainwater collection here.) You’re very lucky to have found your own little paradise!

  11. Madge @ The View From Right Here

    That last shot, look like the hardware that goes on the end of a ‘single-tree’ for harnessing a horse to a wagon or cart…

  12. Fiona Gregory

    Good prospecting there. Great that the brass nozzles are back in use and that lucky charm looks like it needs a clever repurpose too. Found you through Clever Chicks BH my first time.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Thanks for commenting Fiona. I had begun buying brass spray nozzles to replace the crappy plastic ones they make now. I noticed that I could usually find the brass ones at garage sales, and except for the fact that you’d have to replace the washer from time to time, that nozzle will be in service forever! I was thrilled to find about three brass nozzles right here on our property and true to their reputation, a quick cleaning and a new washer and these babies are as good as new! ~TxH~


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