Rita Rozelle Schimpff
Water catchment system
The long building is a completely new building, now part of the water catchment system repurposed from the old pit. It is built right over the pit that is in the photo on the left with my father as a boy standing on the tank inside the pit. We have now re-purposed that enormous tank into the our entrance signage.
My father, Pete Rozelle, is the little boy
In the photo taken by my grandfather about 1937, my father, Pete Rozelle is the little boy. The man might be Mr. Scheibe that lived nearby and often helped my grandparents on the farm. The picture is taken looking east with the windmill and farmhouse in the background. They are standing on the large tank that may have held fuel to run the gasoline powered Atlas engine also in the back. It was submerged in this concrete pit until about 1937 when my grandfather, George Rozelle filled the pit with water to float the tank up and then he pulled it out of the pit with the little orange Allis-Chalmers tractor still on the farm today.
The old tank sat next to the pit for the next 79 years. Then it was upended and used to make a wonderful entrance sign to the farm. A low rock house (the long house) covered with a vintage tin roof now covers the pit and serves as water reserve for the water catchment system.
Ice House Ice House, Milk House & Wash House. This is the ice house in a photo I took around 2014. The original cypress shingles are still underneath the tin roof my grandfather put on around 1957, the same time he roofed over the wood shingles of the main house. Because of the hard drought in the 50’s he worried about fire and in order to retain as much of the original integrity of the house, just covered the shingles with the tin. The little house had its original earthen floor until 2016. My grandmother, Erma ‘Kiddo’ Rozelle said the Herff’s must have used it as an ice house because there were never any signs of smoke for use as a smokehouse. She said for the few months that Mildred and Ned Herff used the home in 1935 they raised mushrooms in here. My grandparents called this little house the wash house as this is where my grandmother’s gasoline powered washing machine was – as there was no electricity on the farm until 1949! It does make sense it could have been used as an ice house for the summer use of the Herff’s with only two small and high windows and thick rock walls. Straw or hay could have held ice blocks that drained on the earth floor. Charlie Herff had a small dairy farm here in the early 1900’s and milk might have been kept cool here as well.
Presented Rita Rozelle Schimpff