This series was taken on a small dairy farm where my father grew up outside Blackstone, Massachusetts, a mill town on the Rhode Island border. My grandfather purchased the farm in 1910 and delivered milk directly to customers in neighboring towns. Mapledale Farm, as it was then called, had already ceased to be a working dairy operation long before I first visited in the early 1960s. My father sold the cow pastures to a developer decades ago, and much of the original pastureland is now a suburban subdivision. The house, barns and storage sheds remained on 2-1/2 acres. The oldest part of the house dated from the 1840s, and the interior still appeared much as it did when I first visited 50 years ago.
I have an obvious personal connection in the sense that my grandparents worked the farm, and my father was born there. Yet I grew up in the Midwest and have no childhood memories of the place, and I rarely visited as an adult. The project for me was more one of discovery than of remembrance. Since the farm was vacant when many of the photographs were taken, they necessarily depict objects rather than people: buildings, rooms, furniture, farm implements, miscellaneous artifacts and surrounding landscape. Yet my hope is they convey something of what once was and what is now lost forever.
© Eric Rennie Photography