Snavely Family Farm in Waterloo, Iowa

We planned our 4-year cousin’s reunion for Orange Township, Iowa, just outside of Waterloo. This is where our great-grandparents settled when they moved from Pennsylvania in the 1800’s. Our grandparents and parents grew up here. As children, we visited our grandparent’s farm every August. So when we returned, it was reassuring to see the farm was still there. We took a tour of the farm from the current owner.

Here’s the home where my mother and her brothers first lived. A tiny two-story home. Later is was moved to this location and is used as a garage.

This angle better shows the second story which still has some of the original interior walls.

The daylillies are beautiful.

Mr. Boatman, the current owner, talked about the history of the farm and told us about our Uncle Paul, who farmed this property when we were young. Our uncle was a very generous and kindhearted man. Always trying to help his neighbors — both locally and throughout the world.

Here we are listing to Mr. Boatman.

Uncle Paul could graft an apple onto an existing tree and he could have 5 or 6 variety of apples growing on one tree. Here’s one of his trees, although Mr Boatman says it currently doesn’t produce many apples. But this would have been 50 or 60 years ago; it’s amazing that the tree is still growing.

Henry found it was a great tree for climbing.

Our grandparents and their children soon outgrew their tiny home. They build and moved to a larger home. This is the place where we always visited.

Here’s another view of the home.

Our grandparents had a well and a windmill. 

We would host the cool water up from the well and drink it straight from the holding tank. The well has been capped but the well house is still there.

And the barn where Uncle Paul milked cows is still standing.

This picture of the barn was taken in 1990. It is amazing how little it has changed. The picture is from a Kodachrome slide which has a little different colors.

I remember you had to be quiet as to not disturb the cows who were being milked.  Often Uncle Paul played classical milk while the cows milked. Incredibly, the radio was still playing music.

Uncle Paul loved to collect farm equipment. Some workable, some not. But he’d fix those tractors and implements that didn’t work. Some are still in his machine shed.

Here’s an old John Deere tractor with front loader. This tractor, I’m sure, still runs.

It was nostalgia coming back to where we visited as children. So many memories.

Here’s the view from their farm.

More Information:

Waterloo, Iowa Wikipedia article

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