Sometimes we celebrate home especially when it is no more. Arline Kinsel’s spidery handwriting leaves a poignant elegy for “Refuge Ranch,” her mother’s homestead property in Beulah, Colorado. Arline and her sister Mercy spent many happy summers at their mother’s ranch relaxing with friends, posing for photographs, and putting on theatrical productions. When Arline and her husband Roy were separated in 1912, Arline retreated to Beulah with their small daughter Lucille to find comfort with her mother and sister. Mercy taught at the Mace School and built a small log house on the property as her own “little house.”
In December of 1913, Mercy was living at the ranch when she received this photo/postcard from either her mother or from Arline,
“Oh, you can drop the insurance if you wish for I don’t suppose we will have a fier.”
Arline’s note on the front of the card made when she was in her 60s are an ironic commentary to the sad end of “Our little Brown home in the West. . . it burned up finally” and was never rebuilt.