My daughter Nikki and I moved to this farm in January of 2010. The farm was previously owned by the Rittenhouse family for many years. Generations of families grew up here and the warmth and love still is evident in this unique home. We felt the "family" atmosphere the minute we walked in the back door. The home was put together from two houses many years ago with painstaking dedication and work to make it happen as was common "back in the day". The top of the barn was a local church that sat along the feeder canal in Stromness. The history of the barn is that the family had an unfortunate fire in the late 1930's and lost the barn that they once knew. The local elders of the community donated the church building to the family to put into its current position on the farm. (Hence the beautiful windows). Its hard to imagine back then dragging an entire building down an old road with a team or horses and whatever else it may have taken to get it here. Lets not forget erecting it many feet above ground to its current position. That's dedication!
Moving into the property wasn't without its struggles along the way, there was a huge financial commitment to bringing the property back up to a state of being comfortable and introducing animals once again after over 25 years of not being used. rebuilding stalls, fences, clearing brush, trees and of course a bit of interior house fix ups. Although we never looked back. Our family was an immense help. With my parents being retired contractors, we had a great support network. Removing old clapboard and finding those windows underneath was the first project we were determined to save and show with pride.
After experiencing a few struggles along our path, finding this farm was just what we needed to have a focus, goal and a plan for the future. We worked hard to get things settled and comfortable. Within about two years everything was in order and we had a nice little herd of horses to enjoy. Although along the way our beloved Canadian horse "Spirit" passed away. We were devastated to say the least. In 2013, I was hospitalized requiring spine surgery operation to correct a lifetime of Scoliosis. The thought of not being able to come back and continue on with our plan was frightening. Not only did we continue on, but I became a much stronger person both mentally and physically. The most appropriate name for the farm made sense (Iron Spirit Farm) after the passing of Spirit, but became more evident as many struggles turned into successes. Now.... fast forward. Rick has made his way here, and our home is even more complete.
The next chapter is starting this business to help others grow, experience horses, wellness and some kind of stress release here at our farm. My passion is both horses and mental wellness for humans. We hope that our Iron Spirit Services will be beneficial to many as that is our direction for the future. Please don't hesitate to contact us for more information.
We are also on fb at Iron Spirit Farm