This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Ruins at the end of Vine

At the west end of Vine Street, a path that was once a driveway continues on to a clump of trees in the fields that are now being developed into commercial and/or residential use. In that clump of trees are the ruins of a house and an outbuilding. Not much more than foundations remain.

In the picture below trees are growing up in the foundations of what was an out building, splitting a wall from a concrete floor. What kind of outbuilding would have a concrete floor?
A bit to the west are the foundations of the residence. Facing south are stairs, presumably the front door of the house. The stairs have sunk a bit so they no longer line up properly with the foundation.
Below are the stairs from a different angle. There are many more trees growing up inside the foundations of this building than there were growing in the outbuilding. Not visible in these pictures, the rusted remnants of what appears to be an old desk resting a bit to the right and behind the stairs.
A closer look at the foundation shows that the concrete is very thin. The structure was set atop a stone foundation that had a veneer of concrete. There does not appear to have been a basement, only a crawl space between the ground and a wooden floor.
Toward the back of the house there is a concrete floor, but my guess is that this is actually the top of a cistern because an old pump extrudes from it. I have lived in two old houses that had cisterns to catch rainwater. Originally the water could then be pumped into the kitchen for use, but the pumps were gone by the time I lived in the houses.
Below is the same section of the house from the other side, with the rusted tank in the back instead of the front.
When I see ruins, I always wonder what their story was. When was the structure built? Who lived there? Why was it abandoned?

I would not be surprised if in a few years these ruins are removed and something else will be built on the site.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I believe the house you found at the end of Vine Street was the old Simonin homestead. They were a large family and I remember the father had a team of horses who plowed people's gardens. I lived on College and Vine and as a child loved the horses. You could hear their hoofs coming down Vine Street before you could see them and we would run to the road and Mr. Simonin would let us climb up on the seat and hold the reins driving them for a block or two. Those were good childhood memories.