I’ll get to the bullet hole story, but first, a bit about how I found the farm for Dandelions on the Wind, the first novella in The Quilted Heart omnibus.
What fun to return to the enchanting Historic Main Street District of Saint Charles, Missouri, in 2012 to conduct research for the three novellas in The Quilted Heart—Dandelions on the Wind, Bending Toward the Sun, and Ripples Along the Shore. One of my first tasks was to find a farm for Mrs. Brantenberg—Maren Jensen’s home.
Carol Felzien, Director of Communication, City of St. Charles, Missouri, was one of the first people I contacted in preparation for my research trip.
Mona: “I need a farm on which to set the first story in my book.”
Carol: “During your visit, I’d be happy to give you a tour of the area, including the farming areas.”
Mona: “The woman who owns the farm is a German immigrant.”
Carol: “Perfect. I have a couple of areas in mind.”
In March 2012, Carol drove my hubby and I around the area, including the farmlands, but she did even better than that. She arranged for a hands-on tour of an actual farm, dating back to the 1830s! A tour conducted by a man whose family has owned the farm since 1870s, following the American Civil War.
I know I’m a writer, but I can’t begin to find words to accurately describe what a thrill that was. I experienced sheer joy in the opportunity, a deeper appreciation for farmers, sadness as I toured the historic slave quarters, inspiration for The Quilted Heart novellas, and so much gratitude.
That’s me at the Sandfort Farm on the outskirts of Saint Charles, Missouri, with Carol Felzien from the City of Saint Charles and Bob Sandfort.
Bob Sandfort and I going into what used to be a milk cellar.
Carol Felzien and I in the granary and headed up the stairs.
At the top of the stairs—what the previous owners of the farm used as slave quarters.
Bob Sandfort in the barn with me, showing me how things worked at feeding time.
Apple orchards were also part of the Sandfort Farm. This used to be a cider cellar.
During this amazing tour, Bob stopped at the front porch and told the story of Missouri Militia Men who on the night of June 10th, 1862 had finished a campaign in Troy, Missouri, and were headed home to St. Charles after stopping in St. Peters for supper and a couple of hours of drinking. The men were riding along Salt River Road past the Sandfort Farm, owned at the time by the Daniel A. Griffith family. Apparently, a couple of the Griffith’s dogs ran at them barking. The result was a bullet through the front door of the family’s home. No one was hurt, but the soldiers spent thirteen days in jail for their recklessness.
Many thanks to Bob Sandfort and Carol Felzien for an unforgettable tour!
It looks like you might have an opportunity to tour The Sandfort Family Farm with me on Friday, May 16, 2014. I’ll provide details in an upcoming blog post. In the meantime, I hope you’ll make plans to join me in Saint Charles, Missouri, for the Lewis & Clark Heritage Days events, May 17 and 18.