The 1912 photo shows a prominent farmstead home in Congress Hill, near Lecontes Mills, in Girard Township.
Lecontes Mills is a part of the “downriver” area of Clearfield County that lies west of Karthaus and Frenchville along today’s state Route 879.
The farm was likely built by the Way family, perhaps as early as the 1880’s, and was their home when the photo was taken.
Pastor Ken Leonard, also of Congress Hill, remembers the site of the house as the Duncan family home. His farm was next door and he recalls the remnants of the home were striped mined in the 1970’s.
The photo shows a home that was once painted and, by 1912, in need of another coat. A separate back kitchen building, with a stone fireplace and chimney, was common for the time.
It would have been used almost daily in the summer for canning much of what came from the garden to be used for winter meals. Canning was a blasting hot job and it was better not to overheat the already warm main house.
The decorative woodwork shows up nicely on the home. The “gingerbread” curves are accompanied by canvas awnings on both the upper and lower porches.
The attic window looks to be a door size opening that would have a hinged screen door to allow ventilation during the hot summer months.
Two house flues meant the house had both a kitchen and living room heating stove fired with wood or coal. Registers in the ceiling would allow heat to rise to the second floor.
Home insulation, then, was next to nil and the place would be tough to keep steadily warm in winter.
The three adults and one small child seem to be admiring their landscape. Lawns were not as pristine as today and lawn mowers were rotating blades powered by human muscle power. The flowers, probably perennials, gave the yard some color.