Barg Homestead, Franklin, Wisconsin

Description

In the 1860s, an 83-acre property on what was then Smith Road, now South 51st Street, in Franklin, Wisconsin was bought by our great grandfather, Johann (John) Barg and his wife Maria (nee Tietgen). The Barg homestead's main barn was erected in 1877. Later, his son, our grandfather, Edward J. Barg and his wife Annette (nee Meyer), operated the farm. Still later, the farm was maintained by our dad, Vernon E. Barg and his wife Virginia (nee Stepke).

Over the years two substantial private gardens were planted and tended primarily by our parents. They grew, canned, froze, and preserved on the earthen floor basement: beans, carrots, corn, cucumbers, melons, onions, peppers, potatoes, pumpkins, radishes, squash, and tomatoes. In the vast yard, many fruits grew wild for picking, eating, baking, and cooking including: apples, blackberries, crab apples, mulberries, raspberries, and strawberries. Near the sewer field, there was a patch of rhubarb that was harvested to make desserts.

During the growing season, the air was fragrant with the aroma of: apple blossoms, black-eyed susan, daffodils, daisies, forsythia, honeysuckle, irises, lilacs, lily of the valley, peonies, Queen Anne's lace, roses, trilliums, tulips, and wild violets dotting the landscape around the yard. Alfalfa, clover, hay, oats, soybeans, straw, and wheat also contributed to the heady scent in the fields.

A herd of dairy cows lived in the barn and fields and had to be milked on a daily basis. Long before it was fashionable, we raised free-range chickens and ducks. We also had our share of dogs, field cats (and mice), one horse, two workhorses, rabbits, cooing pigeons, and squirrels. We were expected to pitch in and do chores, but when those were done we were free to roam most anywhere and everywhere without fear. Our paternal and maternal grandparents lived a few miles away on either side of the homestead. So in a sense we were being monitored from a distance while our parents and extended family tended to their everyday activities.

Respectfully submitted,
Marsha Barg-Karp, Hamilton, Virginia
Geanine (Barg) Maurer, Brookfield, Wisconsin

Photos Show

The Barg Family Homestead in Franklin, Wisconsin

The Barg Family Homestead in Franklin, Wisconsin

The main red barn was built in 1877. Photo courtesy of Peter J. Mandli, 2010. [View Additional File Details]

The Barg Family Homestead

The Barg Family Homestead

From Barg family photos, 1982. [View Additional File Details]

Aerial view of the Barg Family Homestead

Aerial view of the Barg Family Homestead

From Barg family photos, 1982. [View Additional File Details]

Aerial view of the Barg Family Homestead

Aerial view of the Barg Family Homestead

From Barg family photos, 1982. [View Additional File Details]

View of the Barg farmhouse in winter.

View of the Barg farmhouse in winter.

Photo courtesy of Peter J. Mandli, 2010. [View Additional File Details]

The Barg Family Homestead

The Barg Family Homestead

From Barg family photos, 1982. [View Additional File Details]

The Barg family settled on the homestead in the 1860s.

The Barg family settled on the homestead in the 1860s.

The family thinks the Victorian house was built around the same time as the main red barn, circa 1877. From Barg family photos, 1982. [View Additional File Details]

The Barg Family Homestead in winter

The Barg Family Homestead in winter

Photo courtesy of Alan D. Karp, 1980. [View Additional File Details]

Barg Family Homestead house.

Barg Family Homestead house.

Photo by Geanine R. (Barg) Maurer, May 2010. [View Additional File Details]

Barg Family Homestead  barn.

Barg Family Homestead barn.

Photo by Geanine R. (Barg) Maurer, May 2010. [View Additional File Details]

Barg Homestead garage with gas tank.

Barg Homestead garage with gas tank.

Photo by Geanine R. (Barg) Maurer, May 2010. [View Additional File Details]

Barg Family Homestead barn (sideview) with shed.

Barg Family Homestead barn (sideview) with shed.

Photo by Geanine R. (Barg) Maurer, May 2010. [View Additional File Details]

Barg Homestead house

Barg Homestead house

Photo by Geanine R. (Barg) Maurer, May 2010. [View Additional File Details]

Barg Family Homestead outhouse with playhouse.

Barg Family Homestead outhouse with playhouse.

Photo by Geanine R. (Barg) Maurer, May 2010. [View Additional File Details]

Barg Family Homestead smokehouse

Barg Family Homestead smokehouse

Photo by Geanine R. (Barg) Maurer, May 2010. [View Additional File Details]

Cite this Page

Marsha Barg-Karp & Geanine (Barg) Maurer, “Barg Homestead, Franklin, Wisconsin,” Community of Gardens, accessed September 22, 2017, https:/​/​communityofgardens.​si.​edu/​items/​show/​12219.​
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