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Ali Alabndi
Ms. Samantha Futhey
English 150
The Farm House.
The farm house was built in 1860 as the oldest building on campus of
Iowa State University; being in a position as a memorial to early Iowa State
olden times and culture. Settled on the central campus of Iowa State
University as a historical landscaped that is open for public showing a lot of
the history of ISU. Therefore, the first floor is the most interesting part of the
house that attracted my attention the house was very important for ISU for
many reasons. (Farm House Historical Time Line 1858 to 1976).
. Throughout its history, many tenants occupied it including the first
president of Iowa State University and several significant Iowa State
faculty members have made the Farm House their home for the last 150
years including the first president, Adonijah Welch, of Iowa State
University. The construction of the Farm House had not begun until 1860
after the Board of Trustees searched for a plot of land to establish the
college in 1858 and donated 10000 dollars. In 1859, Boone and Story
County donated an extra $5,500 and 1,000 acres of land. Many families
used to live at it and Local farmer William Fitchpatrick and his family are
the first family lived when they moved into it in 1861 after the
construction to the second story of the Farm House is done. In

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1864, Andrew Graves became the farm tenant with his family and finished
the inner of the Farm House. When President Adonijah Welch became the
president in 1867, he began the programs of study and a curriculum such
as majors in Agriculture. The Welch family moved into the Farm House
and 173 students from across Iowa joined the Iowa Agricultural College
When it opened its door in 1869. (Farm House Historical Time Line 1858 to
Many families moved into the house and one of the families was Mr.
Curtiss family in 1898 and before Mr. Curtiss became a president of ISU.
Mr. Curtisss family spent a lot of great time there and a lot of furniture
that is still there today such as a piano in the living room and panted
picture by Mr. Curtisss daughter (Farm House Historical Time Line 1858 to
Therefore, the Farm House is essential for Iowa State University and
decided to keep it as a momentum for many reasons. One of reasons is
that the early residents who prepared the land for agriculture
examinations and led to establish Iowa Agriculture College and Model that
opened its doors for students in 1869; thus establishing the Farm House
was the main reason why Iowa State University exists today. A second
reason is it represents a lot of the history of ISUs faculty members who
lived there. For example, the living room has a lot memories of Curtiss
family and has the original furniture of Curtiss family such as an old coach
related to them. Another reason is that it represents how the American

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families used to live there in past and women used to live there. For
example, from 1948 to 1860 many women moved into it and updated it to
become a home management house after Professor of Economics,
Elizabeth Hoyt, and two other women settled there. They did a lot of
activities and renovations such as cooking, buying groceries and caring for
an infant. Therefore, when the committee decided to renovate the Farm
House after several meetings in 1971 to let it represents the living
circumstances and lifestyle that succeeded throughout the entire
occupation. They opened it to public to the public on July 4th in 1976 as
historical and memorial landscape (Farm House Historical Time Line 1858
to 1976)

The earliest photograph of the Farm House dating to 1865.

Thus, The Farm House has three floors including the kitchen, two five
rooms on the first floor, five rooms on the second floor and two bedrooms
on the third floor. At the start, as you enter the house at the first floor, the
most important floor that made me interested at the house, you can see

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the remarkable hall centre of the main floor separating the house into two
sides with wall paper replicated from 19th century era covering the walls
of the house. The left side has the large room called the parlor with a small
room behind it and the kitchen. The furniture is the original furniture that
first families used it at the house but many items could not find their way
back to the house except to a black and white carpet from the Curtiss
family and the large upholstered chair from Knapp family. As you enter
the parlor room, you will see the furniture representing how the old
furniture looked like in the last 150 years including cabinet, the chairs that
are made from wood and covered by cotton. Also, there were several
changed that happened to this room in the early between 1910 and 1912.
Workers from the college placed golden oak floors above the original board
floors and built a fire place. On the right side of this room, there is a big
stunning painted picture was painted by Curtisss youngest daughter.
There is a pretty dark brown piano that belongs to the Curtiss family and
there is also an old brown musical instrument made of wood and related to
the first families of the house. Therefore, this room was the most room
that attracted my attention by its amazing furniture of Curtiss family that
represents a lot of memories of the family, there is also an entranceway at
the back that leads to the kitchen of the 1860s. As you walk through it you
feel that you are in different time period. The wall is covered with a bright
white color painting and the floor is made of wood grown on the college
farm. You can see also the dinning table that were made of wood having

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an old cups of coffee and white old dishes, pie safe for the storage of food,
a dry sink and water bucket. On the left side, there is an old coal burning
stove made of steel and wood representing how the families used it for
heating food and also heating iron.
On the right side, there is a narrow stairs leading to the second floor
and a doorway designed as corner to the two rooms of the right side of the
house. So, the kitchen is fitted out to show the early period of using it
before the water was piped into the house ( Atherly 2009).
Now as you walk into the right side of the house, where the dining
room is located. It is assumed that these two rooms were added to house
in 1886. The dining room was not always the dining room until 1890s,
before that it was served as the farm office and secretarys office. So,
there is a window with white beautiful curtain and there is the dark brown
dining table located on the middle of the room made of wood covered by
a piece of white canvas with white plates and dishes. Between 1897 and
1943 Mrs. Curtiss lived in the Farm House and provided frequent
luncheons in this room. There are also the Krystal bowls that were used by
Mrs. Curtiss and now they belong to Farm House Museum. The next room
is the library and there is a large archway in the dining room leads directly
to it. So, it was the main library of Iowa State University and students used
to come to study and eat their food as it was used as cafeteria also. It was
also used by Dean Charles Curtiss in 1907. There are some old books and

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a black carved wood armchair. There is also a fire place on the east corner
of it and it was renovated in 2006 after the discovery of the original box.
As you leave the library and enter the main hall way, you can see an
elegant walnut staircase along the west wall of the hall way leads to the
second floor. The stairway is made of walnut and banister still beams after
using it for 130 years. The second floor consists of five bedrooms and
curators office room. The bedrooms were usually for the wives and
children of the families. As you reach the second floor, you can see a
window with a curtain in front of you and there are an old antique
telephone hangs on the wall and a small statue of two women made of
wood. As you walk through it, you can feel that the floor is squeaking like
in the old houses because it is made of wood. So, the left side of the
second floor contains two bedrooms and one of them has a false dropped
ceiling and no window. The room adjacent to it has a big west window and
a large closet. These two bedrooms was for children and they represent
how the childrens bedroom looks like the past including old beds with
mattress and pillows from the old 19-century. From the adjacent room, you
can step through the window onto roof of the west porch ( Atherly 2009)
The north bedrooms; you can reach them by crossing the main hall
outside the L-shaped bedroom and through a doorway. They are located in
the north area of the house and this area is lower because it has ceilings
sloping on both sides of the house. There are two large rooms and one
small room. The small room is children bedroom and it is also a sewing

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room. So, Curtisss daughters used it for sewing their own clothes because
they liked creating their clothes. As you enter it, you can see a small bed
with a beautiful doll laid on it, white pillows and a mirror having wooden
brown frame with a small desk and chair made of dark brown wood.
( Atherly 2009).

On the right side of the stairs, there is a black wooden door. As you
open the door, you can see the stairs leading to the third floor. The third
floor involves of two bedrooms, the house keepers of the families used to
live at them. As you walk through it, you can feel that the floor is creaking
and it is made of wood. So, the bedroom on the left side is small and has
white wall paper having some decoration of flowers and has a window with
a curtain. There is also a beautiful grey vase on the ledge of the window
bicycle, an old brown rocking chair made of wood and a mirror with
wooden brown frame. The other bedroom looked like the previous one and
has some collectibles such as a medium white crystal bowl with blue

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decorations. There is also a small window with a curtain; you can see the
outside buildings through it. (Atherly 2009)

Overall, the Farm house was an essential factor in establishing Iowa

State University and has a great history in representing how the families in
the past used live there and kept renovating it.