Sketches of Yesterday

After Maltby came to Dead Creek, extra parcels of land were added to the original 139 acres. In 1852, the farm was divided 9 ways, there being 9 children of the deceased owner. Once the place was sold for $5,000. Next, through a bank foreclosure, the farm brought $800.

Mrs. Kratzer suggested the fact that during the 1872 time her mother and Harvey's mother were young ladies and the girls' father, Lou Rouse, owned the house. He built for them the left wing, shown in the 1880 photo above, for a "courting parlor." In 1912, this part was detached and moved to the rear of the house to be used as a kitchen.

The growing of flowers currently carried on by the Messinas is not the only business that has flourished on the place. Several other small industries were in operation here in the 90's through the efforts of George Rouse, who was sort of an inventor. He tried his skill at perfecting perpetual motion machines but did not succeed. He did manufacture a form of sulky plow (a plow on wheels) and sold some in the neighborhood. These were made in the barn across the road. A kraut-making business was operated in a building that stood back of the house. He also made a powerful windmill which with long rope belt conveyed power to the barn for cutting corn stalks.

George Rouse's enterprise of raising carp in the nearby creek will be told at another time.