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Ben Sauter, a character, in his own words

My Birthplace


Farmhouse, latter 20th century.
The Sauter farmhouse - latter 20th century.

Try to imagine a large farm house 600 ft. from N. Rolling Rd. The entrance came right out where the Water Tower is now, only on the other side of Rolling Rd. The house was visible from a great distance. The driveway made a circle around the house and garages. The circle was 1/10 of a mile around it according to my bicycle speedometer.

Farmhouse floor plan.
Floor Plan

Where the driveway split in front of the house was a cement walk (1) which led to the front porch steps (2). Up 5 steps to the porch (3) which went all the way across the front. There was a center entrance. Double doors (4). Immediately inside was a steel register (5) which sent the heat up from the cellar. Right in front of the entrance was an open stairway (6). This was in one of the living rooms (7). The other front room was called a parlor (8).

Now walking by the stairway there was a door to the cellar steps (9) which were right under the main stairway. Past this door is the opening to the kitchen (10). There was a huge woodstove (11) with a pipe going up and an ell going into the chimney (12).

We had to pull this pipe down once in a while because it would collect soot. I've seen 2 chimney fires there. Across the kitchen in the far right corner was a small circular stairway (13) to the back bedroom. I think this house was built by people who had house servants. Thus the back stairway.

There was a glassed-in room (14) off the kitchen for growing flowers.

The living room had a winter rug and a sisal rug for summer.

As I got a little older and interested in buildings, I noticed that the cellar walls were stone up to 5 ft. Then above the stone was 30 inches of brick. I realized this house was raised. My parents knew nothing of this. But in later years a history book of this area came out and it showed the house before it was raised.

Farmhouse before being raised.
The farmhouse - before it needed 5 steps up to the porch.

One of our games after supper was on the front porch. One of us would count the cars coming up Rolling Rd. and another would count the cars going down Rolling Rd. In 10 minutes we would see maybe 4 cars.

The porch had the usual swing [just visible to the left of the large evergreen in the top photo] and wisteria growing around the top perimeter.

There was also a cistern (15) right outside the back of the house. This cistern was a huge concrete tank built deep into the ground. It held rain water drained off roofs. This water was used for laundry after heating. The water there was hard; it didn't make much soap suds.

It had so much iron in it that the hot water kettle developed a big rock-like thing in the bottom. I thought it was cast iron.


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Old photograph from "Woodlawn, Franklintown and Hebbville; Three Communities--Two Centuries" by The Woodlawn History Committee (Mike Drass, et al), 1977. An excellent job! Photo was supplied by Adelaide Hidey. Wish I knew the exact year!

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