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Haag, Rita / If you look back, it's not that far: memories of Mary Stella Sutter Haag recorded at age 103

Part I: Growing up in Perry,   pp. [2]-30 PDF (9.0 MB)

Page [2]

The Farmhouse
Mary Stella Sutter was born August 24, 1889, on a farm on
Sutter Rd in Perry, Wisconsin. She was the third child of Joseph
Sutter and Theresa Schmidt,Joseph and Theresa had six other
children: Adolph, Rose, Joseph, Albert (Ap), Leo and Herman.
Albert took over the farm when Joseph and Theresa moved to Mt.
Horeb. The house is still there, although it's been remodeled
many times over the years.
The original building had a kitchen, living room, and two
bedrooms--one for the parents and one for the children--on the
second floor. But after the family grew they built on an
addition that included a new kitchen and a first floor bedroom
for the parents. The addition was designed so that the new
kitchen opened onto the living room of the old house. Mary was
especially fond of one part of the addition: "...we had a big
porch all the way along on the new house with high steps. We sat
out on the porch a lot."
The farmhouse had an oak floor. "Oh ya, we had a nice
floor. That time they said oak was cheaper than other wood. It
was stronger than pine wood. Pine wood, even if you painted it
and varnished it, it always chipped. In the old house, part of
that floor was good and they even took a (sander) and they said
you could make them just as nice, you could keep on going and
going, because the floors were (several inches) thick."
There was no furnace, only the stove in the kitchen. As
Mary remembers it, the kitchen was about 12'x12' with a stove in
one corner. "We had a nice big stove with a water heater on it.
It was just a reservoir, built right in the stove. Then we
always had hot water. As long as you had a fire in the stove,
the water was hot. Ya, bathing, that wasn't like it is now. We
had a big tub and we had to wash ourselves in that."
In the corner opposite the stove were cupboards and the
dining table. Along the well between them was a doorway leading
to the living room. Dishes and food were stored on open shelves
around the room. The table, made of boards, was always covered

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