Farmers always need another building! The property has a house, 3 barns, a well house, a summer kitchen, and a spring house.
The auction advertisement in 1814 listed 3 buildings, the farmhouse, the log and stone barn and a Spring house with an ever-flowing spring. The writer could not of penned the description of the spring any better. It flows very strong today! In fact there are several springs within 30 feet of each other and they are the source of an entire creek that runs for miles.
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The Spring house is a 200+ year-old treasure today that was the lifeblood of the farm in the beginning. The spring house protected the source of drinking water and provided natural refrigeration. The water emerging from the ground is less than 50 degrees, even in the heat of the summer!
Living on a farm means “lots of chores”, and this was more true a century ago. These chores included cooking, washing, candle-making and butchering. At one time the farm had over 150 apple trees, so processing the apples into sauce was back-braking work. The farm has a Summer Kitchen where all of these types of daily activities occurred in the past. It has a double bowled fireplace where two large kettles could be managed at the same time to wash clothes, heat bathing water, make candles and render animal products into fat and protein meal. This building also had a cooking stove at one time to keep the heat of wood and coal cooking out of the main house in the summer.
Walking all the way down to the spring house when you needed water must of been hard, especially in the cold of winter. One good aspect to having a farm in an area rich in natural springs is that water wells can be dug. Indeed the property has a hand-dug stone-lined well that is about 5 foot wide and 30 feet deep. This well must have been a major improvement at the time, but its hard to imagine the work of digging through the rock and the water. The well is covered by a well house, a small building to keep the well free from pollution. The building also served as a small milk house, where fresh milk was stored in tall cans partially submerged in cool well water. We still call it the Milk House, yet today it serves actually as a gardening house.
One of the oldest buildings on the farm is the small barn. It no longer looks like a small barn as the restoration in 2012 transformed the building from a run-down equipment barn to a modern 3 car garage attached to the old barn. This is not the barn’s first transformation. During this century it has been a corn crib and a chicken house. The timbers inside have been replaced and re-purposed. Some beams look to be hand hewned from way back. Others look to be old but sawed in a mill. And wooden hoist structures above the bays suggest it was an equipment barn before the days of automobiles and tractors.
Today the building is a combination of a very large 3 car garage, an equipment barn for the tractor and implements, and a fabulous recreation room for entertaining guests.
The garage/barn building is now adorned with 3 ft barn stars on each gable end painted by noted barn-star painter, Eric Claypoole. The hand-painted stars feature a six-sided geometric star symbolic of goodwill, marriage and the fertility that is extended to the farm. The initials JH and JH signify the new tradition of the current owners, Jane Helm and Jim Helm. These Pennsylvania Dutch adornments not only signify the King’s heritage but also give nod to the German heritage of Jane Crisman Helm. The Crisman’s, another local German family, built a farm in the 1700s just a few miles from the Three Kings Farm, and the house and barn are still occupied today!
The newest building on the farm is a horse barn across the street in the large pasture. The building, built in 2013, has two 12×12 horse stalls with a 12×24 porch overhang to provide shelter for the horses.
What’s the next building to be added to the farm? Not sure! Somehow the gardening tools and supplies are overwhelming the gardening house (aka the Milk Barn). The woodshed is full to the the rafters. The garage is at capacity. All the farm implements do not fit into the equipment barn. I guess you get the picture. You always need more space!