Thursday, August 25, 2016

They Inherited A 1905 Farmhouse (All Its Contents and 125 Acres!)


I'm so glad Katie and I connected through Instagram. The posts in her feed read like a movie script. Only this is for real!



I had to know more about the farmhouse her family inherited, all the pieces of history (and treasures!) they are finding along the way, and how they are restoring this beautiful old home. And I thought you might want to know too!


Grab something to drink, and daydream with me, as Katie shares her family's 
one-in-a-million farmhouse story...


How did this farmhouse become yours? 

JT's (my husband's) grandmother passed away in the early 2000's and left the home, the land (125 acres) and everything in the house to him.  



We were in college when she died, and it had been vacant for several years prior to that, when she was in a nursing home. Back then, we didn't have the time or funds to fix it up. We were around 20 years old. Living in it just wasn't an option. Military, school, and jobs have taken us elsewhere, until now. 


It wasn't until my husband was out of a job for quite some time that our only option was to live with JT's dad while we fixed up the old farmhouse. We waited until our girls were done with school in May, sold our home in the big city, and moved out to the country. 




My husband majored in Physics and was a geologist after the military. Since being laid off from his job, we have committed to living the simple life in the country while he is committed to following his dream of being an author full time. He has published two books in a planned series of seven. We feel that this is where God wants us to be, both with the house and his author career.  


Who will call this farmhouse home?  

JT and I and our three daughters, Taylor, Emma Kate and Caroline. One cat named Pumpkin. It will be our forever home. We are currently squeezing into my father-in-law's home while we renovate. He lives on the same land that's been in the family for 150 years.


Please tell us what makes this house so special?  

The house was built in 1905 by two German men for $1,700. It took them approximately 18 months to finish it. It's where JT's great grandparents lived and is outside of College Station, TX. His grandmother, Sara Cornelia (who left him the house), was born in the house on December 12, 1907. Our first daughter, Taylor Sara, was also born on December 12, 2008. 101 years later.  They share a name.  

In the picture below, Taylor is standing next to a tree that was planted the day Cornelia was born...December 12th, 1907.  



Where are you in the renovation process? 

We haven't done any renovations yet! The clean out took FOREVER! Currently we are ripping out all the old 70's panelling and ceiling tiles. We plan to restore the farmhouse as much as we can to its original state, making changes, however, to fit our family's needs.  


Have you discovered any treasures along the way?  

So much! The house was like an antique store! All the old furniture is solid wood that we plan to use. 




And ironically, we found this old book in the house...


We also found an old Army uniform from WWII and love letters written between Cornelia and her husband from WWII.



We found china and depression glass. 




We've uncovered photographs from early 1900's, a cedar chest that also dates back to the early 1900's, a quilt, and lots of luggage!



Have you had any scares or excitement while renovating?  

The whole experience is exciting!  Finding stuff, uncovering shiplap, taking up layers of carpet to unveil pristine wood floors. I did fall through the rotted boards on the front porch! I was ok, but have the battle scars to prove it.  ;)


What are you looking forward to most about living in this farmhouse? 

Living amongst so much family history. I am excited about the process of restoring the house, and going through all the blood, sweat and tears... Having it all done and knowing that we did it. It's going to be such an amazing sense of accomplishment and pride. I am also excited for my girls to experience it with us. They have already seen so much of the history with finding all the stuff we did, and they are going to see it being restored. I hope they have the same feelings we do when they see it finally done.


What advice would you give someone who is looking to renovate an old home?  

Oh gosh, we are at such an early stage that I don't have much advice except that it's definitely not glamorous.  It's dirty, grimy and not for the faint of heart!  


Where can people follow you to see all the treasures you've discovered, as well as watch your farmhouse renovation unfold? 

I'd love for people to follow us on Instagram, where I post often: TheCopeFarmhouse


Okay friends! Let's chat. What are your thoughts? What was most interesting to you about this story? Do you have any questions for Katie? Do you dream about inheriting a property, or maybe winning big? Do you think you will? I want to know!

22 comments:

  1. This is and will be an amazing adventure. Best of luck and enjoyment to the whole family. Perhaps Katie will stop by here on occasion with some updates?

    Cheers, Ardith

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    1. I would love that too! Thanks for stopping by Ardith!

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  2. After looking at the Instagram feed, I am curious if Joanna and Chip will be providing input to the renovation? Looks like they are very aware of all things Magnolia!
    Best of luck to them.

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    1. Hi Roxann, Katie here! I wish Chip and Joanna will be providing input! I applied for the show months and months ago but never heard back. We are out of their 40 mile radius, and I am pretty sure they are rigid about that. Oh well.

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  3. Katie from TheCopeFarmhouse here!!! Julie, thank you so much for featuring our story on your blog, you did such a great job and I love it!! Much much love from The Cope family in Texas <3

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    1. You're welcome Katie! And THANK YOU for sharing your sweet story with us all!

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  4. Oh man, I am so envious right now. How lucky Katie and her family are! My mother's parents' estate (only 12 acres) is up for sale and I so wish I could afford to purchase it and live there. It was an oasis away from the city for me when I was growing up. Relay to Katie and Sara that I am also born on December 12th (1955). Richard in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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    1. Hi Richard - Thank you for sharing! If not now, maybe one day in the future... I've heard stories where people were able to go back later and purchase the place they so badly wanted years before. I hope it works out for you... sentimental / familial value makes a place feel like home...

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  5. Such a lovely story and inheritance ♥

    summerdaisycottage.blogspot.com

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  6. Russ (Katie's dad)August 26, 2016 at 6:36 AM

    Julie, you've done a great job of bringing this story to life in pictures and the story line with Katie. It's even better than a movie script. It's a real life history of family, faith and perseverance.

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    1. Thank you so much Russ! What a neat family story you have. The family is blessed to be able to stay with you while they renovate. We appreciate learning of your story and would love for you all to keep us posted!

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  7. What's so interesting to me is that they have been handed so much important history. I just wrote a few days ago about what it's like for children not to be given the history of where they came from. Tell your friend I have this recurrent dream that I have somehow stumbled upon, on the second floor of an old abandoned building, old furniture such as they've found. And for some reason I have been given free rein to take what I want. I am in heaven when I'm in that dream! This is a gift that can not be replicated and I know they appreciate it. They are so lucky! I would be in heaven to be given such a gift. Because a house itself has history, as does the trees, the stories, the old photos. I love it! I would love to watch her progress. Wish she'd start a blog!
    Brenda

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    1. Maybe she will Brenda! I knew you would love this story. I hope someone leaves you a house full of antiques and family heirlooms... :)

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  8. WOW what a blessing to be able to have this home and keep it the history alive! I love that fact that the old stuff is still in the home and they can discover all the goodness. Katie, I got ya on IG now and can not wait to see more. Thanks Julie for doing this story, awesome! Have a great day to you both. :-)

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    1. Thank you for reading Debra! So glad you are now connected with Katie on IG... I'm looking forward to watching their progress!

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  9. I'm so glad that you did this blog post. I've been following along on Instagram and I've enjoyed each photo along the way. What a beautiful story and a glorious family tradition for them. Thank you for sharing all of the details.

    Smiles,

    V
    Carol

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  10. What a great story behind this home! I know they have their work cut out for them, but it will be worth it in the end.

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  11. Our story is not much different, we renovated and moved into my grandparents' farm house that was built in 1915 but I'm still green with envy! Those first months are the BEST, finding the furniture, making the plans for both the furniture and the house, oh my gosh its just wonderful! I can't wait to see this place all finished!

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  12. I love that you are fixing up this old home! We have one in our family and I'm dying to get my hands on it. I've been following you on Instagram and would love for you to link up over at McCall Manor for our Link Party (Your Inspired Desgin).

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  13. So amazing! How I would love to get my hands on a house like this! You're not too far from me...I'm in Wichita Falls. Can't wait to see what you do!

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  14. Great story ! I think she is living the dream a lot of us have. Lots of hard work ahead but it will be well worth it in time to come. I too wish she had a blog since I don't do Instagram. I'm also fairly close, Watauga, Tx. next to Ft. Worth.

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