Monday, January 19, 2009

The Old Home Place

My family used to have a farm south of Altenburg, MO. It doesn't exist anymore -- it's now a tree harvesting farm owned by the local lumber company -- but I can remember going hunting there as a kid with my Grandpa and his brothers.

My Aunt Emilie (my Grandpa's aunt, actually) wrote a poem about the farm during the Depression era (hers was the musical branch of the family).

She married Charles Moeslein ("Uncle Charlie") who was a printer at Concordia Publishing House in St. Louis. They retired to Altenburg, MO when they got old and Uncle Charlie took us fishing every time we visited my Great Grandma Scholl up there (Emilie's sister). We went all over the place: Apple Creek, Brazeau Creek, the Mississippi River at Wittenberg, Kasten's Pond, Gerler's Lake, Stueve's Lake. It was a lot of fun.

The farm itself had been long sold off and planted with rows of trees before I was born. Every year we'd go squirrel hunting there and see how much more the farm house had collapsed upon itself. The house has vanished by now.

This poem was written in the early-Thirties in St. Louis. Our Brother Curt [Hoehne] came home from the War and settled down there in 1946 and lived there quite a few years. Then his wife died, and he sold the place to the East Perry Lumber Company. They have planted the whole place in Trees.

The Old Home Place

by Emilie Hoehne-Moeslein

I love the old Homeplace.
Away back in the River Hills
Among the rocks and rills.

I spent a happy childhood there'
Twas not so long ago
With Mom and Dad, and all the kids
And how we all did grow.

We had an old spring box there
Where the coolest water flows
How many a pail I carried
Goodness only knows.

I loved the smell of the Pine Trees
When they were covered with dew.
And the sound of the whispering breeze
Such secrets the Pine Trees knew.

The old Homeplace is still the same
It's just that we have gone
We roam the wide world over
Until our work is done.

It's peaceful here and quiet
No noise can follow there
The peaceful sounds of nature
Hush every worldly care.

We would sit on the porch in the Twilight
And hear the Whipporwill call
The fireflies dancing about in the night
Wove a magic spell over all.

It's waiting there for someone
With a strong and patient will
To carry on the work and chores
Its promise to fullfill.

1 comment:

  1. Addendum: The Hoehne farm was referenced several time in the book Zion on the Missippi, available from Concordia Publishing House. Much of its content was supplied from the Hoehne brother's correspondence to their brother in Saxony, which was published in a German newspaper.

    The farm was originally in the settlement of Dresden, one of the Saxon colonies absorbed into nearby Altenburg, MO and the first congregation of C.F.W. Walther in Missouri before he left for St. Louis. The gravel road leading south from the highway at Altenburg to the area of the farm is still called Dresden Road.