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....
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!