All that’s left of the original home at the ranch is a foundation underneath an apple tree. Eventually, after years of sitting vacant, it was deemed unsafe and summarily demolished. I never got to see the inside, but I remember badly wanting to walk through the door and explore the rooms my great-grandparents had inhabited at one time.
I haven’t given the place much thought in the last 30 years, but it’s been on my mind lately as I sorted through the recently released Kansas Statewide Housing Needs Assessment, which is projected to be the first step in identifying how to address the needs and priorities for housing across the state.
While at one time that farmhouse at the ranch was a home, if it were still standing the number of people who would consider living there is vanishingly small. I know at some point it was retrofitted with running water and had electric service, but it also had a coal furnace, little insulation and none of the modern-day luxuries we take for granted.