Louis Theophile Auger & Virginie Laflamme Auger’s old farmstead no longer exists, but as it once played such an important part in their family’s life, I’ve always been intrigued by it. Actually, perhaps because it no longer exists, I’m more fascinated by it. I’ve visited the site in East Poland, but the old farmhouse is long gone (apparently having burnt in the 1950's), the land has long since been subdivided and all of the former fields are now forested.
I’m still trying to piece together the exact timeline through property deeds but it appears Louis and Virginie made their first purchase of land on what was known as the Bray Road (now known as the Torrey Road) in East Poland in 1873. This road was also referred to as “Elmwood Extension” in the 1920 Federal Census for Virginie, who was living on the farm with her two youngest sons Oscar and Leon. Louis & Virginie continued to add to the farm with subsequent purchases (as well as a few transfers of land) throughout the years.
Below is a map from 1873 – Louis & Virginie’s land was approximately where the No. 6 is, just north of the land owned by F. Disosea.
Below are a series of photos given to me by Madelyn Provancher (thanks Madelyn!). As an important aside, it was Madelyn and her husband Alfred Provancher (my Dad’s cousin) and Laurette Provancher (Alfred’s sister in-law) who have been so instrumental in my knowing what I know about the old farmstead (and so much about this family in general). They blazed this genealogical trail in the 60’s and 70’s and I assume their work was at least part of the impetus for my brother Donald’s interest, which in turn inspired me.
The photo above appears to be of the old farmhouse. If you look closely at the door, the columns appear to match those shown in the photo I posted previously of Virginie and most of her children (in which Alfred Provancher makes an appearance in as a baby):
It also seems to be large enough to fit the description of the farmhouse in the real estate ad I posted previously – “a fine house of 11 rooms”:
What has thrown me off a bit, is another picture of a house, which is also labelled “the old farm in East Poland”, but which is clearly (or at least to me) a different structure.
One guess I have is perhaps it is the farmhouse on Empire Road in East Poland (just “down the road” from the Bray Road site) where my grandparents raised their family, but it doesn’t look like the same structure that now exists on that site and I never heard of any fire occurring. So, was it simply another structure on the old farm? That seems unlikely to me.
Lastly, I wanted to share a photo of Virginie, which I love. I assume is the old farm owned by my great grandparents, especially because of the topography of it, but again it could be on my grandparent’s land.
What is unfortunate is that these questions probably could have been easily answered if I would have asked them perhaps 10 or so years ago, when more of the family was still around, but now I’m left being a detective piecing together bits of old clues. Hopefully this will serve as an impetus to genealogists who still have lots of family members around – ask lots of questions now and write down the answers citing the sources of the info!