The Rudolf and Elsa Laemmlen Home in Reedley, California 2021

My brother Eric phoned this week for my birthday.  It’s been awhile since I’ve heard from him.  “By the way,” he said at the end of the conversation, “I sold the farm.”

I suppose I knew that the day would come when my childhood home and my grandparents’ farm next door would change–that they might even pass from our family to another, but still, it felt like the rug was pulled out from under me.

My grandparents came to America in 1929, landing in California.  They worked hard and saved to buy their own place and in 1933 when my Dad was a small boy they bought the old Krebbs place on road 52.  It was a 30 acre farm with grape vines and peach trees.  The value of the home in the 1940 US Census is $1000.

They moved there after renting an older home from the widow Bergen in Parlier.  Grandma said that when she swept the floor in that house, she never got the dirt to the door because cracks in the wooden floor were so big.

They were glad to leave that place behind.  Grandpa said he worked like a slave there because the land was sandy and not level.  He could never get the water to where it needed to go.  Everything was done by hand, shovel by shovel full.

These are some photos Eric posted this week after the sale of the homestead last fall.  A farmer named Peters bought the farm and the house.  They’ve been remodeling it and fixing things up.  The home was painted white until recent years.

Here is a link to the house as I remember it.  The photos inside were taken in 1988 when I went home for Grandma’s funeral.

Grandma’s House 42031 Rd. 52 Reedley CA –Rudolf and Elsa Laemmlen Home

The kitchen:

The wood stove stood where the 4 drawers are now.

Here is the den.  Grandpa’s desk was under the bookcase.  Grandma’s sewing machine was on the opposite wall in the corner by the door.

This stove/heater is a recent addition.  Grandma and Grandpa used a little electric header by their feet in this family room.

Looking toward the front door, with the den to the left of the front door (through the inside window) and the kitchen to the right.

This is the formal living room looking east with a door to the outside porch.

This was grandma and grandpa’s bedroom.  We are looking towards the front door, through the living room.  Grandma and grandpa had twin beds, a dresser and grandma’s big mirror with vanity to the left where she sat and combed her long white hair.

The bedroom dresser sat between the windows on the far wall. 

This is the main floor bathroom off of the master bedroom, all still original.

The tree outside the window was where grandpa would pee when he was too dirty to go inside!

These are the stairs going up.  I slid down these 100s of times as a child!

Here are the upstairs bedrooms of my dad and his brothers. 

This was all painted white when they lived here.

Small upstairs bathroom

This was my home away from home during my childhood.  I loved walking over to grandma and grandpa’s.  There was always a path through the orchard leading there.  I’m grateful for so many good memories of this wonderful place.

About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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