Moving to the Country

Another excerpt from Gail Lee Martin’s story on the My History Is America’s History website. When the site closed, the stories were lost. Recently, we found this on the Wayback Machine so it could be saved on Gail’s blog. Photos added from the family album. 

west branch school from real estate listing

Photo of the West Branch School (from a recent real estate listing).

After living on Carr Street for two school years, we found a house in the country, three miles north on Highway 77. Moving in the summer of 1959. The kids went back to riding the bus school (West Branch School which had grades 1 through 8 in two rooms). They later rode the bus to El Dorado for high school.


The farmhouse was a big two-story house and the farm had lots of space for our kids to roam around. It had close to 50 acres of woods and pasture.

ginger childhood

The Martin girls – Cindy, Karen, Ginger, and Susan.

We went into the rabbit business again. Each of the kids had a different breed. We had New Zealand White and Reds, California, Chinchilla, and even some Dutch. They did great at the county fair and on to the state fair for many years.


Our rabbitry on a chill winter day. Fortunately, there was no snow

Note from Gail’s daughter, Ginger: The stone wall in front of the rabbitry was a huge family project. These are the foundation stones from the old farm house, I think. It took a lot of labor to maneuver them into place. There were three rows of rabbit hutches. Behind there, was a bank that dropped down steeply to a small creek.


2 thoughts on “Moving to the Country

  1. I do enjoy these stories. My first school had three rooms with three grades per classroom, kindergarten through eighth grade, one teacher each room, no aids, no lunch room. We learned to help each other study and to self-motivate. Good way to start out, IMO. Did you find it so?


    • We had a good teacher for the upper 4 grades, with only 2 or 3 students per grade. While the 8th grade had a class in history at the front of the room, the rest of us worked on assignments at our desks or read or listened in on their class. It worked quite well.

      Liked by 1 person

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