Death of the Dream: Farmhouses in the Heartland (Minnesota) (Minnesota)

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9781890434236: Death of the Dream: Farmhouses in the Heartland (Minnesota) (Minnesota)

Out of print, ORDER HARD COVER ISBN 1-890434-00-0

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William Gabler's artful, evocative photographs of Minnesota farmhouses amply illustrate the story of their rise and fall detailed in the introduction text and comprehensive captions. Wheat production stimulated the invention and use of complex machinery developed during the industrial revolution in the United States. This fact, coupled with the availability of inexpensive farmland, drew thousands of European immigrants to Minnesota. In 1883 Minnesota was the country's chief wheat-producing state and Minneapolis was the worldwide capital of flour-milling. Minnesota farmhouses are often termed Victorian with Gothic influences, but in fact they enjoy a style distinct from English architecture built in the time of Queen Victoria (1837-1901). The Minnesota homestead had qualities particularly adapted to the Midwestern prairie and differed from the European framing model in which farmers lived in the village and walked to work in the fields. American homesteaders preferred the more isolated, but in other ways satisfying, prospect of living on their own land.Typical farmhouses were sited on a low rise to provide efficient water drainage and proper air circulation. Their basic outline was an L-shape that could be expanded as necessary. Barns, situated diagonally across the barnyard from the farmhouse, were typically made of wood planks and featured gambrel roofs. Farmsteads included front yards, back yards, and various outbuildings. Gabler describes and illustrates the areas of the farmstead, the construction of its buildings, and the layouts of farmhouse rooms. He notes that, "Such beauty as they possess resulted from practical necessity and not from an imposed aesthetic philosophy." However, as the photographs in this volume demonstrate, it is nonetheless beauty, made more poignant by the gradual disappearance of these prairie homes. -- From Independent Publisher

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