It has always been called the Home Place, a 160-acre tract of land on the Oklahoma prairie. My great-grandfather, Harry Liebhart, claimed it in the Cherokee Strip Land Run of 1893. He brought his soon-to-be bride, Norma Cox, down later from Missouri.
Together they fulfilled the five-year requirement to settle and improve the land. From dugout to soddy to a little house on the prairie, they built and cultivated the virgin prairie into productive wheat and cattle land.
My grandmother grew up there as did my mother and uncle. My sister and I spent summers there being farm girls and enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. For city girls like us, farm chores like gathering eggs, feeding the chickens, helping with the milking, laundry, the garden and feeding the harvest crews were more fun than work.
The land has been unoccupied except by cattle for more than 40 years. The old wash house (over 80 years old) and a couple of outbuildings are landmarks and placeholders in my memory. Wobbly with age, they are at the mercy of frequent Oklahoma winds and tornadoes.
The pasture to the east is virgin prairie – becoming more and more rare in our time of gobbling up land for commercial use. It’s never been plowed – except by the hooves of the cattle. Where prairie animals like buffalo, deer and coyotes once roamed, cattle now peacefully graze. We see occasional deer and hear coyotes in the distance.
Now, it is becoming my home place as my husband and I build our dream home on the centennial farm. My intention is to build a house filled with a collection of memories and memorabilia where we can gather family, friends and friends we haven’t met yet to enjoy our piece of quiet and to create new memories.
Stop by and enjoy our prairie tales as we start a new chapter in our lives!