Monday, May 25, 2009

Catalpa Lawn Farm

We've lived here on our farm for almost 15 years, but it will always be known as the Shippert farm. John & his brother Henry, born in Prussia moved here in the late 1800's, along with John's wife Martha (born in Pennsylvania), George Coleman, a farmhand, and Julia Julfs, a hand servant. They bought the property from William Fritts. He settled the land in the early to mid 1800's. One of the timbers in our barn is stamped with his name, along with the Nachusa sawmill. There is so much history about our farm that I would love to learn. The Shipperts had 10 children, and lived on the property until 1973. Most of them are buried in a country cemetery 2 miles from here. I always try to take the time to take them peonies for memorial day. The plants are really that old, planted by the Shipperts. A good portion of them we discovered in the "secret garden", east of our house. It has become so overgrown through the years, so I've brought many of the peonies down around the house. I love them! I've just recently discovered the original name of our farm, Catalpa Lawn Farm. I wish I knew that earlier, I would have kept it. We have ancient catalpas lining our lane to the house. They flower in June. They are beautiful, almost like an orchid, and the scent permeates the air for days. Catalpas were planted by many of the early settlers. They grew quickly and made sturdy, rot resistant fence posts.
I find it kind of sad that I'm the only person to bring flowers out to the old Shippert grave site. I know that there are other Shipperts around, close by. It makes the Shippert ghosts happy, but that's another story.
p.s. I wonder why the gravestone has the log theme?

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