This old house: Paying it forward
By Kris Leonhardt
Continued from a previous post: https://wrcitytimes.com/2021/08/06/this-old-house/
“My dad passed away in 2007, but then my mother continued to live there until 2018,” Peggy Wettstein said of the old farmhouse she, and many others, once called home.
“They lived there for 72 years.”
Wettstein and her husband leased the farm for many years and later purchased it.
“We farm. We’ve had cattle there. We’d leased it for the last 18 years,” she recalled.
The couple originally had plans to fix up the historic home, but soon discovered that it just was not feasible. They later decided to build a new home on the property, which meant that the old home would need to come down.
“The house will be the 13th building that we will either have moved or taken down. One of them was an old chicken coop that was built for the grandma Polzin. We took down some kind of memorable things — chicken coop, granaries, two corn cribs, shed, milkhouse. We moved the garage; the garage is down the road,” Peggy added.
But, with each building that is torn down, the couple is paying it forward by giving the items new life.
“I feel so strongly that I’d like to see people be able to use things, instead of just having it go to waste. We tried to give away as many things as we could. We are actually giving the log part of the house to a fellow who is going to be reusing the logs. We gave the windows to people who are going to build a greenhouse. Those same people are taking quite a bit of lumber. They are going to build, not only the greenhouse, but they are building a playhouse. So, they are using the siding.
“We gave wiring to a retired electrician; he does work for people and doesn’t charge them. So, he took quite a bit of wiring and the breaker box.”
But, paying it forward is also a legacy to the people who came before.
“My mother was always very giving. Anybody who came stayed for a meal. My mother would say ‘Run out to the garden and dig another hill of potatoes,’” Peggy recalled.
“It makes my heart happy to know that bits and pieces of the old house were given away to many area folks to be repurposed in a new location.”