casa dolce casa: home is where the heart is.

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casa dolce casa: I found this old photo that really resonated with me because it bears some resemblance to the 1850s farm house I grew up in outside of Chicago, Illinois, in a small rural town called Plato Center. The house was built with horsehair and lathe plaster with chicken wire, wooden floor planks and square nails. I don’t have a historic image of the old house, but here below is the street view of the approach to the farm, circa 1850s. Before our old house was built, there was a log cabin on the site. There is also evidence of American Indians living on the property. I remember finding arrowheads with my father.

My great grandfather settled his homestead and farm on the road, later to be named after our family — Muirhead Road. The street wasn’t even paved until the 1970s when I was a child. All this is to say that the image I found above at a flea market gave me some nostalgia. Although I am not certain where the image originates from, if you look closely, it seems there is a classical statue in front of the house, just to the right of the door on the left. I find this possibility a little odd, even if the photo may be from Italy. It must be a 3-family home in the countryside.

Muirhead Road, Plato Center, IL
Before it was named Muirhead Road, Plato Center, IL (circa 1850

The found image turned into a brooch/pendant made in sterling silver with resin over the photograph. It was, after all, someone’s home sweet home. On the back side is a classic quote from Pliny the Elder (A.D. 23 -79): La casa è dove si trova il cuore (home is where the heart is). Incidentally, he also once said, In vino veritas (see cufflinks). See more pieces related to the home series.

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