The Morrell homestead. The brick part of the house was built in the 1830s. Haley Pal / For Lakes Region Weekly

I’ve been living in Windham for 35 years, and for all those years, I have lived in a beautiful, picturesque neighborhood on Haskell Road. My first memory of my time here was my neighbor, Linda Morrell, bringing me cookies to welcome us to the neighborhood with her two young sons, Timmy and Chad. I later met her husband Tim and then other members of the Morrell clan, who also resided on the street. Michael and Helen lived down the road with their children Sara and MJ. Right past their house was the home of Grace and Allen Roberts. Grace was Tim and Michael’s mom and Allen was her second husband. I began thinking of Haskell Road as my own little Walton’s Mountain, and some of my memories are reminiscent of that TV show.

 

As the property is a farm, in the summer when it was time to hay the fields, it was a real family affair. Tim, Mike and their brother, Steve, another Windham resident, would all take part in the haying process, as would Allen. The ladies of the family played their parts as well, and the kids enjoyed riding on top of the bales of hay in the hay wagon, waving as they went by. There were not too many houses on our street at that time and children and animals had plenty of room to run and play. Many a day in my garden, a local pooch or two would stop by for a visit. The boys sometimes searched for frogs in the brook in my front yard.

The Morrell family has lived in the pretty, 19th-century brick cape on the property since 1975. Tim’s father, Calvin, and his Uncle Jim had purchased the old barn and farmland across the street in the early 1960s. In 1967, the old farmhouse was purchased and, in 1975, Grace and her sons moved in. Calvin had passed away by that time.

The barn on the Haskell Road property was erected during the 19th century and has been lovingly renovated to its former glory. Haley Pal / For Lakes Region Weekly

The old house was in some serious need of repairs and the family had their work cut out for them. There was a hand pump in the kitchen where they got water and there was no internal plumbing. There was a five-stall outhouse that served as the bathroom. In the center of the home was a beautiful old fireplace, complete with beehive oven. Unfortunately, many of the bricks in the fireplace had caved in, and being in a hurry to get the building in living condition, it was covered over with paneling. Before enclosing it, however, family members put a time capsule inside and Linda and Tim hope to unearth it and fix the fireplace sometime in the future.

Michael and Helen built their house in 1979 on a parcel of land at the end of Haskell Road. Linda and Tim purchased the farmhouse from Grace and she and Allen moved into their new house at the very end of the street in the early 1980s.

Today, there are three new generations of Morrells living on the street. Sara now lives in the house that was Grace and Allen’s with her husband and two little girls. MJ built a house on farmland abutting his parents’ property a couple of years ago and Tim Jr. is finishing up work on his house, which is right down the road from Linda and Tim. The family tradition continues.

The Morrell family has a long Windham history. The first Morrell to settle here was Jacob Morrell, who purchased a farm from Joseph Elder in the early 19th century. Farming has been an occupation of the family for generations since. Jacob’s grandson, Stephen, was also a tiller of the land and keeper of stock as well as a staunch Democrat and Universalist. Tim’s grandfather, Elroy, was a farmer in the 1930s, living on Gray Road near Route 302.

The family line goes all the way back to the Mayflower. John Alden was of Morrell lineage. I consider myself lucky to live where I do. The idyllic setting, fields filled with cows grazing and alive with autumn color at this time of year are always a delight. They remind me that I have a lot to be thankful for and that there is truly no place like home.

Haley Pal can be contacted at [email protected]

Comments are not available on this story.