Family Patterns and The Great Grandparents’ House

August 3rd, 2006

First, a random amusing pattern: If you follow my family tree up, once you get back to the 1800s, you’ll see several generations in a row in which people alternated names between B. H. Friesen and H. B. Friesen. The pattern finally broke when D. B. Friesen was born in 1891. This was back in the day when people were often called by their initials. (The initials stood for Heinrich Bernhard, by the way.)

Now then…

Frequent readers of this blog know that Terah and I purchased the place my grandparents owned (where my dad grew up).

The part I haven’t mentioned is that my parents did the same thing — my great grandparents owned the farm that my parents bought after they got married. My dad’s mother grew up there.

My parents had an old farmhouse on their property, too. They opted to build a new house — the old house made a nice home for rats, but not such a great home for people by that time. But that doesn’t mean that the old house got torn down.

Nope, they had it moved to a museum, where a group of volunteers restored it.

Terah and I went to visit the 1911 Friesen House at the Mennonite Heritage Museum in Goessel a couple of weeks ago to get some decorating ideas for the house we’re renovating. I’m going to get some more photos this weekend — it’s THRESHING DAYS again at the museum! Cliff, there’s still time to drive down to Kansas! (Here’s a partial schedule)

Terah liked the idea of buying the farm. But I don’t think she’ll go for restarting the other family tradition…. (well, I wouldn’t, either, but it is funny…)

So I will end this post with a small collection of photos from Threshing Days 2004 (click the link).

Here’s the usual sample:

Categories: House Renovation

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  1. cliff

    Well John and Terah, this is agonizing reading about the fire. We lost our home and everthing we had back in the mid 50’s. Not a good memory even for one too small to do anything about it.
    The wedding is approaching and I must say it takes a lot of time even for someone who has no say in the planned activities so we’ll have to decline coming down for a look at the old stuff. Maybe next year.
    Stay safe have your lovely wife keep off her feet.


  2. Jim

    Thanks for the tractor info. I hope it can be salvaged, but retired tractors do look good out under a tree where people can see them from the highway.
    Your THRESHING DAYS link requires an account openning and sign-up.
    Most of the schedule and a good description is at
    It sounds like a fun thing. Dad’s first tractor was a 1942 John Deere B.


  3. John Goerzen

    Cliff, I totally understand, and you made the right decision. Jim, I enjoyed your truck story… I think next time you come up north, you need to make it the first weekend in August and drop by.


  4. The Changelog

    This is a steam-powered tractor, which I photographed last August at my hometown’s annual festival, Threshing Days. It is a massive thing, full of detail, noise, and action.

    Threshing Days (see earlier articles about it) brings people in from acro


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