This was the homestead of a well known pioneer family of El Dorado County, and is tucked away on a half-mile long road, sitting there with a hopeful firmness, a stay-ability if you will, planning to sit for at least another century or two.
I went with a good friend to visit the owner, and she told us some of the history of the home as we poked around outside, sticking our noses into old pump houses and storage sheds, including this sturdy old one made of local stone,
Then she took us into the small two story home. You could feel the history and the age, but I don't think there were any ghosts. If there were, they were just going about their daily business, they didn't bother with us.
The tiny living room was a problem, with a leaky ceiling (which meant that the room above was also damp!) There was barely room for the wood stove, a loveseat, and a baby grand piano.
The long sunny kitchen with laundry room at the back was cozy and warm, just the place to house the purring recently-become-a-mama kitty and her tiny litter. I could sense a lingering odor of apple pie and perhaps biscuits and gravy. Listen and you can hear the screen door in the back slam as the children run in for lunch.
In the center hall the stairs went steeply up and this dark area seemed the most likely to be haunted. Carefully climbing, we found upstairs two long thin rooms with lots of cobwebs and windows with old glass that has flowed downward with the years.
The windows were fascinating. Gazing out, I imagined several scenarios. The wife, having just gotten the baby to sleep, watching as her husband comes back from working with the cattle on the hillside above the house.
A young son, sick with measles perhaps, peers longingly out the window watching his siblings leaving for school in the wagon.
An old woman packs up her belongings for a trip to her daughter's home, perhaps her last journey, and the last goodbye to the old homestead.
The somewhat mysterious photo above was something stuffed into the window frame, old fabric I think, and an old skull of some small animal.
Ancient house, how many stories do you have to tell us? Will you again house a lively family and watch a couple grow old together? Since I visited, I believe the owner and her husband have moved to more comfortable lodgings.
Spirits definitely reside here, and I hope whoever finds this place to be home in the future benefits by the many years of luck collected in the horseshoe above the door.