Crazy Corner Farm is really hardly a farm at all–an acre and a half surrounded by farms measured in the hundreds of acres. It is little more than an inconvenience for the neighbour’s centre pivot irrigator.
Our next door neighbour (a crusty old Canterbury farmer) explained shortly after we moved in that the locals had dubbed the place Crazy Corner Farm, because of the succession of ‘weirdos’ who have lived here.
Early in the 1900s, a woman who lived in the house taught Sunday school at the nearby St. Mark’s Church. She was wheelchair bound—nothing terribly noteworthy until you consider that she lived in this remote area that was little more than a swamp at the time, with unpaved, muddy roads.
About 70 years ago, a family lived in the house with 10 children. According to the octogenarian who stopped one day to look at her childhood home, the house was significantly smaller then, and was quite crowded with all her siblings! At that time, the house would have had just 2 small bedrooms and a lean-to kitchen.
Perhaps 50 years ago, a pair of brothers lived here. Both were fond of making moonshine, but neither wanted to share with the other. They hid bottles of booze all around the property to keep the other from stealing them. We are still finding those bottles—they were tucked under every calf shed and in every little crawl space and cranny on the property. I’m afraid I can’t report on the quality of the moonshine—all the lids had rusted off.
Someone, sometime in the past 40 years painted the house a shocking shade of blue.
In the 1970s when the ‘ablutions block’ was built to replace the long drop, whoever did it decided to drink on the job. The cement block walls get progressively more crooked as they go up. This ablutions block was connected to the house in 1992, becoming the bathroom and laundry room. When the well pump died a couple of years later, they realised they’d built the connection over top the well, and had to dig a new well to go with the new pump.
About 20 years ago, the owner bred greyhounds. He divided the entire property into dog runs, with large cement pads holding sizeable kennels.
The owners before us were an elderly couple. By the neighbours’ accounts he was an alcoholic and she had dementia. When they sold the house, they left everything in it, down to clothing in the closet and food in the pantry.
We have worked hard to maintain the property’s high standards of weirdness, and I have faith that, years from now, my crusty old neighbour will tell some new owner all about the crazy ‘bug lady’ who used to live here.