Harrison Farm

for now, the only thing we're growing on this farm is kids - not the goat variety

A Find for Ralph Moody (“Little Britches”) Fans

Fellow Ralph Moody fans, you won't believe what we (actually my sleuthing husband) found! We just finished reading The Fields of Home, the 5th book in Moody's autobiographical series. At this point in Ralph's young teen-age years, he goes to spend some time with his abrasive maternal grandfather after getting kicked out of Medford, Massachusetts by the town sheriff. His grandfather lived just outside Lisbon Falls, Maine.

This book is full of trials of a different sort than what we've seen in the previous books. Here, Ralph's trials are primarily relational ones - trials with an old, stubborn, prideful relative. There are lots of golden nuggets within the pages.

So what's the "find"?

Well, in the book, Ralph helps his grandfather clear much of his rocky fields. Ralph even convinces his technology-shy grandfather to use dynamite to expedite the process. They pile the blasted rocks into rock walls along the edges of the fields.

In the beginning of the book, Ralph recalls his ferry trip from Boston to Bath, then the trip to Lisbon Falls where, just off of Main Street, a road would take him to his grandpa's farm. We later learn that the farm was on a hill, the highest point for miles around.

Well, putting all these little bits together, Marathon found the farm on Google Maps! The farm is on Gould Road (Gould was the grandfather's last name!) Once we saw "Gould Road" we were pretty sure we were hot on the trail. Then we saw the high point, and when we looked at the satellite view, we could see the rock walls - piles and piles of rock! A hundred years later, they are still there. I wonder who owns the property now and if they know about the book written about their land.

If you haven't read any of Moody's books, do so. You're in for a treat.

The picture below is a view of the high field. Those white lines are the rock walls. The following picture is a close up of the rocks

75 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for posting this! Ralph’s books and family stories are treasured in our home. It’s a treat to see the Gould Farm like this.

  2. Thanks,
    Over the past 2 years we have been reading these autobiographies. We would get mad and then fell in love with grandpa. Even my 3 year old likes to listen. Of course we omit the harsh language.

  3. This is so cool!

    I’ve only ever read Little Britches and Family Man. I really enjoyed them both and would like to read more.

    Love, Wardeh

  4. Milkmaid

    April 22, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    Wardeh, you won’t be disappointed with the later books. Oh, just thinking about it makes me want to jump into the the next book, but we’re currently doing a review of Bible history during our family story time. So for now, I’ll have to wait. 🙂

  5. Thanks so much for your references to Ralph Moody. I have read all of the books in the series and can never seem to learn enough. My journey with Moody’s “Little Britches” began when I was in Fifth Grade in Airway Heights, Washington. Our teacher read the book to us and I was hooked. That was in 1971, while Ralph was still living. Man, if the internet had existed then like it does today, what a difference it would have made. At various times over the years, I’ll get the bug and attempt to dig a little deeper. Just today, I came across a publicity picture of Ralph for a speaking engagement and two letters he wrote to the organizers. I’ve included that link and the one from Littleton, CO, which I’m sure you’ve probably already read. There’s a picture there as well with a couple of his friends from the books. About 5 years ago, I took my two children and wife out to Littleton to see the area Ralph talks about in his books. I just loved it and was ready to stay. Anyway, If; you ever need anyone to bounce ideas off of, don’t hesitate to ask. I’m sure we’d both learn something. Thanks again, Patrick Garrett

    • @Patrick Garret. I too am a Ralph Moody fan. I managed to contact Ralph’s youngest sister, Elizabeth, and received a nice letter from her. I also contacted one of Ralph’s daughters because I was interested in seeing any family photos she might want to share. Unfortunately, she and a brother had had a negative experience with a similar inquiry a number of years earlier and did not want to share anything. Over the years I’ve found a few artifacts from other Moody fans and carefully bookmarked them. If you are interested, I could share with you or anyone else interested.
      — Steve Murphy

      • Hi, Steve –
        I would be interested in any info about Mr. Moody that you could send via email. I’m only 3 books into the series and have fallen in love with them! In a google search, I made the most amazing discovery: there is a Ralph Moody Elementary School in Littleton Colorado! And it’s a School of Excellence. I don’t know if it was built before Mr. Moody died, but what a tribute!
        – Cathy

      • Have read and enjoyed Ralph’s books for years now. Years ago, I had the pleasure of being in contact with someone who knew him personally when he lived in the California Bay Area and was told some of his characters were real and some figments of his imagination. Either way, very well done and very enjoyable. I have always wondered though as to what happened to his children. If anyone knows, please comment as over the years, I’ve never been able to find anything.
        Thank you

      • I would be interested in whatever you have found. My 10 year old wants to do his “research” paper on Ralph Moody. It is actually what we call the Faces of History in our writing program. We are finding little information, so anything you can provide us with will be helpful and very interesting to us. He loved the first book in the series and we’ve ordered the second one.

      • Hello, my family loves this series and would be very interested in any information that you have found. Why didn’t he inherent the farm? Was Lonnie or his family ever found. Thank you. brooks_darrel@yahoo.com

      • Hi Steve,
        I am a big Ralph Moody fan! I read these books in my age of 12 years, that’s now 33 years ago, in the german language.
        Now 33 later I found these, for me never forgotten books again in the original language. My boys made the same experience like I, they couldn’t stop to read until the whole series was finished and started again to read it.
        We would be so delighted, if we would know more about the Moody family.
        Would you still share your knowledge?
        That would be so nice!
        Thank you very, very much!
        Martina Niggli

  6. Like Mr. Garrett, I became hooked on the Little Britches series of books when my teacher read two of the books to the class (Little Britches and Man of the Family) when I was in the 3rd grade. That was back in 1965, when Mr. Moody was still living. Since I lived in Maine at the time, I took it upon myself to read Fields of Home, which took place in the next town over (I lived in Topsham and the Gould farm was in Lisbon Falls). Being an industrious little fellow, I decided to send Mr. Moody a letter and invite him to my house in Topsham. Sure enough, within a few weeks I received a reply from Mr. Moody with fond memories of selling potatoes with his grandfather in Topsham, and he even recited a song about “potatoes they grow small in Topsham, and they eat them tops and all in Topsham”. That began a long friendship with Mr. Moody that continued for many years. Although I was never fortunate enough to meet him in person (even though he always promised to stop by on his next visit to the old farm), we corresponded through letters, traded pictures, and sent Christmas cards. It was a wonderful experience for a 9 year old boy, and he was everything and more that he portrayed in the books. I still have all of the correspondence and if anyone is ever interested in seeing any of it, please send my an email at ggreen7@yahoo.com and I will be glad to share it. Ralph Moody was a class act and one of a kind.

  7. Dr. Iris St. John

    January 21, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Thanks so much for the pictures of Gould Farm! I first read Ralph Moody’s books when I was in high school in the 1960s, and have reread them several times over the years. In fact, I’m just finishing the final book in his autobiographical series right now. It’s been a joy to read them again.

    There are several questions that are haunting me as I finish the series, and I’ve been unable to find the answers: When Ralph’s father died, why didn’t his mother take the children to live at Gould Farm? Since her own father was alone, it would have seemed a good option. Also, why did Ralph leave Gould Farm? At the end of “The Fields of Home,” he makes it clear that he has come to see the farm as his home. So, what made him leave? If anyone knows the answers, I would be most appreciative to hear them! My e-mail address is: saintiris1@cs.com
    Sincerely, Dr. Iris St. John

  8. My son was having some “character issues” and I rather than lecturing, I decided to read Little Britches to him (he’s a good reader and reads on his own, but we’ve had a tradition of me reading to him at bedtime since he was in kindergarten). I had my own problems with honesty at his age and this book was instrumental in getting me to rethink some things.

    I wasn’t sure he’d take to it, but he was hooked right away. It also helped him understand my similar background, as I was born in the East and lived on a ranch in the Colorado mountains as an early teen.

    I think we’re now ready to follow Ralph and his family into the next book.

    Thanks for sharing your research!

  9. I am 7 years old. My dad read all seven of Ralph’s books to me. The books were brought closer to me by seeing the map. Thank you.

  10. Milkmaid

    March 31, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Hi Gabriel,

    Great to hear from you! You’re a lucky boy to have a dad who reads to you like that, and to have heard these stories at such a young age. Our family is almost done with the series — over half-way through the last book. We’re all hearing these stories for the first time. Boy, Ralph sure had a lot of ups and downs!

    Have you read any of Ralph Moody’s fiction books? We have not, but I bet they are very good.

    Thanks for commenting!

  11. I was so pleased to see others appreciate these books! My mother read the first four of these books to us six kids in the early 1960’s in the evenings with us all sprawled on her bed all over her bedroom. Ralph’s economic troubles, resilience and persistence are somewhat reminiscent of our hard scrapping childhood, too. It is good to know we are not alone in lifes struggles. My Mother’s editions seemed old in the late 1960’s. When were the first editions printed? I really did not know they were so popular and broadly read, since I am only now looking to locate a set to purchase for my grandson to read aloud to him. I am interested in finding more information on the actual location of other establishments in the stories.

  12. Mark Kislingbury

    May 14, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    Thank you for your photos and Ralph Moody information.

    I’m sorry to report to all the Ralph Moody fans that the Google photo you have produced was definitely not on the same farm as Ralph’s grandfather, Thomas Gould. For one, it’s on the wrong side of the road, and too far. I visited the farm in the 1990’s when an elderly couple whose last name started with “F” lived there, and the woman invited me in and showed me books and photos proving I was indeed in the same house, and farm, as in the book. She told me the house was rebuilt in the 1930’s after being burned down. But the house matches drawings in the inside covers of early copies of “The Fields of Home.”

    The fields you have located are northwest of the farm, and north of Gould Road. The Gould farm rests on the south side of Gould Road.

    On a different trip, after a lot of searching, I was able to locate the “granite outcropping” on the farm! This was a great find!

    Ralph fans please feel free to contact me. Maybe we can exchange information. I have personally visited a number of sites Ralph mentions in his books.

    Sincerely,

    Mark Kislingbury
    Houston, Texas
    rtexcellence@aol.com

    • Do you have any information on his Kansas sights? I drove through the hills a few years ago but never pinned down the actual farms/sights.

  13. Lesly McDevitt

    June 26, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    I did not read these as a child, but I read the whole series to my first 6 kids before internet was prevalent. Now I’m reading them to my last, much-younger son and having just finished Fields of Home I just HAD to look up “Thomas Gould” online. I’m wondering what others have, what happened between Fields of Home & Shaking the Nickel Bush? Why did Ralph leave – did Grandfather die? I’d LOVE to see any pictures. (I often print such & tuck them inside the book – as with Little House books).

  14. Just recently I was looking up places in Medford, MA that are mentioned in Mary Emma and Company. Thanks for posting this and thanks for all the interesting comments. In Shaking the Nickel Bush, Ralph mentions that he worked in a munitions factory prior to going to Arizona. I don’t know exactly what happened except that he probably wanted/needed to earn more money or responded to the War effort. He was truly a marvelous man. I have read his Little Britches series to my four boys and re-read them for my own pleasure. He wrote many non-fiction works also and they are just as good. He was a talented writer.

  15. I am reading a book called “the house that Jacob built” it is all about the Gould farm. I am 99% sure it is the same farm and that John Gould the author is related to Ralph moody…

  16. Lesly, I’m also wondering why Ralph left the farm–probably because of WWI. The Fields of Home closes with him fifteen years old (c.1913). He applied to the military at the beginning (?) of the war, but was turned down due to his leaky heart and/or the fact that he was supporting his family. During World War One he worked in a munitions factory 80-90 hours a week and developed incipient diabetes. He was sent to the Southwest to improve his health. That’s the setting for Shaking the Nickel Bush, The Dry Divide, and Horse of a Different Color.

  17. Ralph Moody & his books have always been special to me. When I was in 6th grade at E.M. Grimmer Elementry School during 1962-1963 in Fremont, California, our teacher Mrs. Tarr would always read his books to us. Mrs. Tarr even had Ralph come into our classroom for us to meet & read to us from one of his books, and he even told us some other stories that weren’t in the book !!! Yes, I have special memories of Ralph Moody [and Mrs. Tarr]. I read his books over & over every chance I get.

  18. I read the first three Little Britches books around 1957 when I was in junior high school and some of the later works more recently.

    An Amazon.com review about one of Ralph’s books lead me to looking for information on John Gould, a writer, and I found his obituary at http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0903/p18s04-hfjg.html . From that it is clear that John Gould is a first cousin to Ralph Moody, the son of Uncle Frank in “Mary Emma and Company”. Once that connection is established the rest of the article fills in a gap or two. Ralph’s grandfather, Thomas Gould lived until 1929.

    Professions sometimes run in families, but it is interesting that two first cousins born 10 years apart were well published writers. It would be interesting to know if any of Mary Emma’s other seven siblings, or their decedents were writers.

  19. Alan, I am a distant cousin to Ralph Moody and the Gould family. Ralph’s cousin, John Gould, was the only one that I had any personal connection to. I have never been to Maine, but there are several other authors in the family that you might find interesting. John was a “teller of tall tales”; many of his stories were based on fact, but with good-natured embellishment. Some of his characters that he mentions are composites of various relatives. Some of the other reading available includes “A Maine Man In The Making”, by Franklin F Gould (John’s dad, Ralph’s uncle)plus 2 books written by Ralph Gould (Frank and Mary Emma’s older brother), “Yankee Storekeeper” and “Yankee Drummer”. Frank’s book is, in my opinion, the best for those who want facts pertaining to the farm and family. As for the farm, the original house burned around 1920, and John and his wife Dottie built a replica of it on the same site in the late 1940’s, it is this house that you see today. The farm remained in the family until 1973…

  20. To answer a few more questions about Ralph and his family; Ralph left the farm and moved back to Medford around 1915-16. His mother, Mary Emma, had found work as a school teacher, but was still having difficulty supporting herself and her children. In addition, her brother Frank and his family had moved to Freeport, Maine, and so were no longer nearby to help her. Ralph needed to make more money than he could on the farm, even though he worked some odd jobs around Lisbon Falls (including driving a hearse for Fred Crosman, the local undertaker). Tom Gould lived alone on the farm then until his death in 1929. In his will, he left the farm in equal shares to his grandsons, with the hope that one of them would buy it; Frank’s oldest son, John, bought out the other grandsons. The house had burned (flu fire) around 1920, but John built a nearly exact replica of it on the original footprint. (After his house burned, Tom built a small log house next to the ruin). He and his wife lived here until they retired in the early 70’s, when they sold it to a family that still owns it today. Ralph moved back to Massachusets after his wife, Edna, died in the early 70’s. His mother, Mary Emma, was still living then, and she passed in ’74 at the age of 102. Ralph then lived with his younger sister, Elizabeth, in Shirley, MA, until his death in June of ’82.

  21. I meant to include this on my last post; it is a link to an aerial map of the Gould Farm near Lisbon Falls. From this, you can see that, sadly, the forest has reclaimed most of the fields. However, if you pan down and to the right, you can still see the stone field-walls snaking among the trees.

    http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=rb3ppq94vhcw&lvl=18.476127079301044&dir=10.781010067956685&sty=b&where1=51%20Gould%20Rd%2C%20Lisbon%20Falls%2C%20ME%2004252&form=LMLTCC

    • Thank you so much Mr. Edwards for your information. We have spent many hours laughing and crying with the books!

  22. I’ve provided an updated link to the one I shared before.

    I would be interested in learning more information about Ralph and his life and family. Several years ago, I devoted quite a bit of time to researching about Ralph and where his father Charlie was buried in Denver. I also searched for a grave for Ralph and while unsubstantiated, came to the conclusion that Ralph was cremated and his ashes scattered or held privately.

    I did find and talk to his youngest sister Elizabeth in Massachusetts, where he lived until his death. She was elderly and I believe has since passed on. I simply thanked her for her brother’s work and saluted her family whom I felt like I knew.

    Here’s an idea for a young fan of Ralph Moody (or young at heart). I’d be willing to help if I can. How about creating an internet tour of Ralph’s books using maps and whatever other information is available online?

    I’ve learned via this blog about where the Gould Farm was in Maine via Google Maps, albeit it was actually across the road according to someone who has been there. I’d love to see photos of these places.

    What I’d really love to see (and own if ever given the chance) is one of the plaster sculptures/busts that Ralph created in Shaking the Nickel Bush.

    If anyone would ever like to cooperate on something like this, shoot me an email to pggarrett@hotmail.com.

    Thanks,
    Patrick Garrett

  23. I am hoping someone here can help with this question. I grew up on these books, loved them. Loved the resourcefulness and that feeling I’d come home when I read them. I grew up in Ohio, but now live in Massachusetts. I have read that Ralph Moody lived in nearby Shirley until his death in 1982, but cannot find where he is buried. Shirley Historical Society tells me he is not buried in Shirley. Does anyone know where?

    Thank you
    Kim

  24. My 5th grade teacher read Ralph Moody’s book to the class and we were fortunate enough to have him come visit us. That is Still one of my favorite memories of school; over 40 years ago.

  25. I just love reading Ralph’s books and I decided last night that I wanted to visit his home in Colorado sometime, but then I figured that it was all torn down. Well, this is close to it! I’m so excited! I wish I could just fly out there and visit it. I think Ralph is my favorite author, and I like a lot of authors! Thanks!

  26. Wow, your find gave me chill bumps. Thank you so much for sharing with us!! I love all of Moody’s stories, but I think my all time favorite will always be Little Britches, it still clinches my heart when I think of or re-read it, the last two paragraphs get me every time. “That first supper was the most memorable meal of my life… Father had always said grace before meals; always the same twenty-five words, and the ritual was always the same. Mother would look around the table to see that everything was in readiness; then she would nod to Father. That night she nodded to me, and I became a man.” The coming of age is how I always describe this book to people followed by you must read it; the unity, love, and devotion of family, perseverance and integrity from this book is something every needs to connect with. Thank you again for sharing your find of the old Gould farm, you put a smile on my face.

  27. Like all of you, as a Ralph Moody fan, I just can’t help but want to find out more about his life and visit one of the places he mentions in his books. My 6.5 and 8.5 y/o’s are just as enthusiastic as I am about his stories and life. And we live only 10 minutes from Shirley, MA! I would love to know where he last lived, if anything just to take a drive over and show the kids. And to pay our respects to where his final resting place…but I guess we don’t have that info. If anyone know’s his younger sister’s married name, I might be able to research it. To me, Ralph Moody was an American hero and I wish they would read his books in the public schools today.

  28. Ralph Moody’s books (esp. Little Britches) brings tears to my eyes for the memories it gave our family of studying the days of yesteryear piled up high on our king-sized bed, night after night of our boys begging for one more chapter (and girls) This summer I’m reading it to our blind daughter who missed the first time, and we will conclude it this week! Thank you, Ralph for taking a stab at writing at 50! What a legacy you left all of us! Hi to all the Ralph Moody fans. I’ll be blogging about Little Britches as soon as we finish or just before. I might be too teary afterward!

  29. Great stuff! Great Book. Question: In Wagon Wheels West Moody describes sculpting busts of bank presidents to finance his trip west with the cowboy. Do any of the pieces of art survive?

  30. My husband grew up on Ralph Moody’s books, and is now sharing them with me. We are just finishing Horse of a Different Color. I have been researching the internet for info to fill in the gaps between books, and other unanswered questions. So thankful to have great answers here!

  31. Elizabeth Howard Poe

    January 1, 2014 at 8:07 am

    I am thrilled to find this site. So far I have only read Fields of Home (several times). I live on a farm in Michigan and remember my dad discussing the Yeller Colt with a neighbor who had also had draft horses. I love Ralph Moody and the Goulds and am also a fan of Gladys Hasty Carroll who was born in 1904 and grew up in York County, Maine and has written extensively about Maine farm life during the same period that Ralph was living there. Her grandfather was also frugal. I wonder if they ever met each other or if any of you have also read any of her books. Elizabeth Howard Poe

  32. Que gusto de encontrar este sitio web. Yo he leido los libros de Ralph Moody en los 60s. Existe una versión en español, editado en Argentina en 1957 y de allí pasó a Bolivia (donde yo vivo)y fue como un tesoro familiar.

    La versión en español es “La tierra Heredada” (The Fields of Home) y aparece como “Rodolfo Moody”. En esta versión muchos de los nombres están cambiados: Rodolfo Moody o “Rolfito” es Ralph Moody; Tomás Gould, es Tom Gould; Maruja Durkin, es la ama de casa; Anita Littlehale es la vecina y novia de Rolfito, y finalmente el tio Leví, el tio bueno de 64 años.

    Tambien es interesante el potro Bayo y Sabela, la perra del abuelo.

    Es una obra encantadora, se ha convertido en una especie de referente en mi vida de adolescente. Ahora soy arqueólogo y me encantaría conocer todos los lugares que se menciona en el libro. Agradezco sinceramente por esta investigación de la ubicación de la granja, y espero de todo corazón que realmente sea exacta, y si no lo es, que importa, sabemos que ha existido en algún punto entre Lisbon Falls y el río Androscoggin.

    Quiero pedirles un favor, ¿alguien puede enviarme un link o el libro original en ingles The Fields of Home?

    Muchas gracias, realmente estoy feliz porque existen personas como ustedes seguidores de la obra de R. Moody.

    • Robin Morales Cabral

      January 1, 2015 at 1:15 am

      Gracias Adolfo!
      Mi mama fue Edna Moody Morales, la hija de Ralph. Pocos personas saben que el pudo leer y escribir en Español tambien 🙂

      • Adolfo Pérez

        January 26, 2015 at 8:49 pm

        Estimado Robin:
        ¿En serio? ¿Podría contarme un poco sobre ese detalle? No tenía la mínima idea sobre ese aspecto.

        • Robin Morales Cabral

          March 10, 2015 at 4:58 pm

          Yes, Grandpa realized a personal goal to learn Spanish. His library reflected literature in that language and I learned the hard way Mom had way more comprehension than she ever let on 🙂 p.s. Tengo copias del libro.

          • Laura Rodriguez Wall

            July 21, 2015 at 4:26 pm

            Hola Robin, dices que tienes el libro en español de “La Tierra Heredada”? Yo he traducido casi todo el libro de “Little Britches” mientras lo leo a mis niños. Es muy buen libro, y como tengo 4 hijos chiquitos, les fascina la vida de Ralph. Hay manera para conseguir copias aquí en los Estados Unidos? Saludos y gracias.

          • A nuestra familia nos encanta leer los libros de Ralph Moody. Los tenemos en inglés, pero me gustaría compartirlos en español con mis chiquitos. ¿Dónde los puedo conseguir en español?

  33. I’m thrilled to find others who love Mr. Moody’s books as much as I do! My dad once mentioned that the Little Britches bookseller were his favorite so I sought them out and have read them again and again. I think they should be required reading for all young people. Few nowadays understand his admirable work ethic, and whenever I feel lazy I try to remember his father’s words.

  34. Ellen Fiskum Martwick

    February 10, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Delighted to find this site. It has answered many of my questions about Mr Moody’s life after his marriage. My mother read these books to my brothers and I in the late 50’s. I just finished “Horse of a Different Color”. Mr Moody is one of my favorite authors and am so grateful for the values he exemplified.

  35. Read the summary of Ralph Moody’s life on the town of LIttleton’s page. It fills in some gaps.

    https://www.littletongov.org/index.aspx?page=319

  36. My first experience with Ralph Moody was when my mother offered “Little Britches” to me at about 10 years of age in 1960. I was pretty selective about my reading choices but when I started reading about a young man and seeing the world from the perspective of someone close to my age it captivated me. It still does today.
    The “Fields of Home ” will always be my favorite book even as Ralph Moody remains my favorite author to this day.

  37. Thank you all so much for your posts. My husband grew up on the Little Britches series, and had passed his love for the books on to me and our two (now teenaged) children. We live in Colorado and have visited Ralph Moody sites there and in Cedar Bluffs Kansas. We are currently visiting Maine and, thanks to these posts, tracked down the Gould farm in Lisbon Falls! We talked to the current owner (the son-in-law of the couple who bought it from John Gould). He was very nice and let us walk back to one of the stone walls. We tried, based on his directions, to find the granite outcrop, but it was really overgrown and we weren’t able to. It is very dense and wooded, it gave us great appreciation for what it must have taken to clear and farm this land. We found a whole bunch of strawberries in the undergrowth and wondered if we were walking across the field where grandfather and Ralph planted strawberries. This was a great stop for our family, and inspired us to download Fields of Home from iTunes to listen to as we travel through Maine!

  38. Dan Suthers of Gould Rd Lisbon Falls Maine

    June 28, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    I grow up just down the road from the Gould farm that Ralph Moody writes about in Fields of Home. In fact the piece of property my parents own borders the old Gould Farm starting from the Gould Rd and going back to the southern boundaries of both parcels . I have heard about the Moody book but have not read it (I soon will), however I am familiar with the setting and some of the stories. Having not read the book I don’t know specific descriptions of the landscape that were given but I do know the satellite images of the rock walls posted on this site are NOT part of the old Gould Farm. The Gould Farm is not the highest point in the area, and the satellite images of the rock walls are not even from a farm on the Gould Rd, but rather the Ridge Rd. On the first image at the top of the page the Gould Farm can be found by going from Route 9 following the Gould Rd east (right), at the curve/bend in the road the old Gould Farm is the first clearing starting at that curve and to the South (or under side) of the Gould Rd. Upon closer examination one will see the clearing consists of an old apple orchard close to the road and a field behind that. These are the only remaining fields left on the farm. Although the elevation of this property is not as high as the Ridge Rd farm there still is plenty of ledge on the property, and many moderately high( approx 3 ft) stone walls do exist on the property, but are hidden from satellite view by the forest that has grown up. I know the specific area very well as I spent a great deal of time in those woods as I was growing up. If this site is still being viewed I would be happy to answer and questions about the lay of the land.

  39. I was introduced to Ralph Moody in the early 60s and have read them numerous time. Have read most of them to my three children when they were little and re-read them for myself every few years. I stared collecting 1st editions of his series back in the 80’s (before the internet) and was fortunate to have found one of each of his Little Britches series. I plan on purchasing a copy of the new publication series for each of my children’s families so they can read them aloud the my grand children.
    They are an American treasure as is Raplh Moody!

  40. I was introduced to Ralph Moody in the early 60s and have read them numerous time. Have read most of them to my three children when they were little and re-read them for myself every few years. I started collecting 1st editions of his series back in the 80’s (before the internet) and was fortunate to have found one of each of his Little Britches series. I plan on purchasing a copy of the new publication series for each of my children’s families so they can read them aloud the my grand children.
    They are an American treasure as is Raplh Moody!

  41. I am also wondering…What did happen with the other kids?

    Thanks!

  42. Thank you- This was indeed a find! We just finished the last book and are wandering around the house, wishing there was more about his raising his 3 kids in Kansas City, and living his older hears in such different times- he died in 1982.

  43. It has been several years since you posted this, and I just wanted to say thank you. I just finished the Fields of Home. The satellite map on Google Maps has changed since you posted. There is now a lot of folliage (trees/bushes) growing on the rock walls, but if you look at it in GoogleMaps’s terrain view (it shows elevation), you can see the rock walls clear as day. No other farm in the area has walls dense enough to see in the terrain view. Also, if you follow Ralph’s instructions at the beginning of the book, “Mother had told me that the easiest way to find Grandfather’s farm was to go up the main street, follow straight ahead for three miles, then turn up the hill road when I came to a big three story brick house.” Now, it seems to me that writing this as an adult, he may have exaggerated numbers (or his mom did), since Gould Road is two miles up the main street from the train tracks in Lisbon Falls. Or their could have been some dirt roads that are no longer in existence. If you use google’s street view you can find a a 2 story brick house (which looks old enough) another quarter of a mile up main street from the Gould Road intersection. Even if you go all the way up Main Street the full three miles, the farm with the rock walls is straight west of there.

  44. Thank you for this post. It is so nice to find something ‘different’ about Mr. Moody. He & I corresponded off and on for years until just before died. I have one of the series in my library sent to me and autographed by him and a lovely piece of jewellery he sent me as a wedding gift. I often wonder about his family – are his children still alive? When did Edna die? etc.

  45. We read the Ralph Moody books to our kids as they were growing up, but we have often found ourselves rereading them when they visit us as now-grown adults. A lady in our Sunday School class (a ‘kindred spirit’) recalls meeting with Ralph Moody in a nursing home in California. Two of our daughters live in the Denver area. On one visit there, we took a picture of Charlie and Mary Moody’s headstone in a local cemetery. Another nice treat of that visit was to drink tea in the main room of the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver.

    • Abigail Smucker

      June 4, 2016 at 10:49 pm

      Charles and Mary Moody are laid to rest at the Fairmount Cemetery in Aurora, Colorado. It is located on S. Quebec Street near Alameda Avenue. If you go to the office and ask for plot directions, they will give you a map and highlight the plot you are looking for. We did not know Mary was buried next to Charles until we looked up his grave site, because at the time we were reading the books (1980’s), she was still alive!

  46. Does anyone know if Ralph ever saw Hi again after they left Colorado?

    • Lisa Rohrer Sawyer

      August 25, 2016 at 10:24 am

      When I was 15 years old Ralph Moody’s legacy was still with me and my family growing up in Morrison, Colorado. I guess I felt the need to tell him that and wrote him three times in the spring of 1978 and he wrote me back! Since I am unable to copy and paste in this forum I will share what he wrote in the first letter.

      Dear Lisa,
      The good letter that you wrote me on January 28 and mailed in care of W.W. Norton Company, has just caught up with me here in California.

      If you’d written that letter to me last year instead of this, I’d have looked you up when I was in Morrison last August.

      My youngest sister, Elizabeth (not yet born when we lived on the Morrsion Road west of Fort Logan) came from Boston and met me in Littleton for the annual “Homecoming Celebration”. Then we spent several days in driving around to the places that I used to know so well when I was a boy — but which she had never seen. Among other things, I took her to what is now Red Rocks Park, but was then just the Red Rocks – but even more beautiful then than now. Then we drove up Bear Creek Canyon to Evergreen, and then up through Deer Creek and Turkey Creek canyons.

      Of course, the mountains haven’t changed a bit since I was a boy, but the modern roads have changed the looks of the canyons a great deal. When we lived on the ranch, my father and I used to drive up nearly to Evergreen to cut trees for fence posts. There was then only a one track dirt road (or rather, rock) road up Bear Creek Canyon. And some of the grades were so steep that we had to chain and drag the wagon wheels to hold the load back coming down. About every quarter of a mile there was a “turnout”, When two teams met on a single stretch, one of them had to back up to the nearest “turnout,” so as to let the other pass by.

      The name of the book I wrote was really “Little Britches, but they put “The Wild Country” on some of the paperbacks until I stopped them from doing it. You say you have lots of unanswered questions; write and ask them and I’ll do the best I can to answer.

      P.S. I didn’t know about the Two-Dog Trail, but am sure it must have been for my old friend Two Dog. Thanks for telling me about that. (There is a Two-Dog Trail on Mount Falcon just outside of Morrison)

      Your friend,
      Ralph Moody

      There are two more letters like this that he sent me in 1978. I was so thrill to be corresponding with him! I obviously kept those letters and cherish them still.

      • I just saw this site.My sister and my cousins were very fortunate growing up,
        in that there was always a very tangible sense of roots,history,and a road home.In my darkest hours,I could open ‘Shaking the Nickel Bush,’ dedicated
        to my late uncle and in addition to prayer,find comfort in the obstacles facing
        a young Ralph,knowing that he lived to be 82.His passing was not June 28th,
        1982,as Googled,but Sunday,Father’s Day,June 20th,1982,at Elizabeth’s home in Shirley.His wishes.

        • Ellen Pearson

          July 21, 2017 at 9:37 pm

          Kim and Robin,
          You are granddaughters of Ralph (?). So nice to find this website and also get to see a comment from each of you! I would love to know more of your mother and her life growing up with these good people as parents. Did your mother share many stories of her childhood with you?
          Robin, I am glad I learned Spanish so I could understand that communication between yourself and Adolfo. Like him, my family and I have been blessed by the Little Britches series. The life lessons taught by Charles and Mary Emma Gould Moody as shared by their son are still teaching me what it is to be truly good.

      • I would love to know if he answered any more questions in the other letters?
        So great you were able to write to Him!

        Julie

  47. Our family was blessed when a friend, who grew up on a ranch introduced the series to us. The kids are grown up enough to be unaffected by the bliss l still experience when diving into Ralph’s world. I needed more. I found a couple of titles of his at the library and realized two things. One is that he had a high tolerance for digging and finding tidbits of factual information, and painstakingly arranging it into book form. The other is that it is much more delightful reading about his own life story than how modern highway systems came about, or the in-depth history of transportation and shipping via the stagecoach industry. Make no mistake, l can’t think of another writer who could tie together such mundane statistics as to the months and days of mail deliveries to which towns, and by whom, as well as how much money the government awarded to the recipients of the mail/express contracts. From Moody’s childhood stories, you can trust his knowledge of the best and fastest mules and horse breeds for the industry. The colorful cast of characters from the old west transportation beginnings was an eyeful. Moody exposes graph and greed and swindlers, as well as honest captains of industry who through vision, big dreams, and a lot of capital, bridged the gap between the remote and civilized regions of the west. He details, and l think fairly, raids on the stagecoach lines by various Native American tribes, and the loss of supplies, which was astronomical. He also exposes the same behaviors between competing stagecoach companies. The information he’s uncovered is endless, and because there is not much variance in the telling, the book on the stagecoach industry is hard for me to slog through. The book is large, and the bibliography is massive. He did his research. All in all, l cherish anything Ralph Moody produced, knowing from his childhood what an astounding human being he was. So venture forth and find out what else he knew. Keep the inspiration going.

  48. Lauri hazelton

    March 21, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    I lived very close to ralph moody elementary in littleton. I never gave a thought to the school name. I am wondering if anyone knows, we’re the moodys ever in Brighton, Colorado? I cared for a couple there, and am curious.

  49. Just curious, but does anybody here know whether the barn that was built at the end of Fields of Home is still standing?

    • I have “googled earth” the area. There are a couple of barns standing and you can tell they are quite old. I would love to know too, if one of these barns was the one they built!

  50. The link below has substantial information for Ralph Moody fans, plus photos of Grandpa and Uncle Levi.
    I’m currently reading John Gould’s “The House that Jacob Built,” which was published eight years before “Fields of Home.” John was Ralph’s younger first cousin and the son of “Uncle Frank.” For those who haven’t read John’s book, you must do so! It’s a fine companion piece to Ralph’s book.

    The two photos didn’t upload, but they are available at the civil war website link listed at the bottom of this comment.
    The additions in parentheses are mine..

    Thomas Jordan Gould
    Birthdate: April 10, 1841 (88)
    Birthplace: Lisbon, Androscoggin, Maine, United States
    Death: July 8, 1929 (88)
    Lisbon, Androscoggin, Maine, United States
    Place of Burial: Lisbon, Androscoggin, Maine, United States
    Immediate Family: Son of Jacob (Jake) Gould and Rebecca Gould
    Husband of Hannah Elizabeth Gould

    Children:
    Ralph Ernest Gould (1870 – 1954)*
    Mary Emma Gould Moody (1872 – 1974)* (Ralph Moody’s mom)
    Louise Hinkley Gould (1876 – 1902)*
    Franklin Farrar Gould (1878 – 1966)* (Ralph’s family lived with Frank and his family when the Moodys moved from Colorado to Medford, Mass, described in “Mary Emma and Company.” One of Frank’s children was John Gould, author and Ralph’s younger first cousin by 10 years. John, who died in 2003, became owner of Grandpa’s farm. He wrote “The House That Jacob Built,” which was published eight years before the publication of Ralph’s “Fields of Home.” )
    Lillian Wallace Gould (1881 – 1964)*
    Helen Shaw Gould (1883 – 1904)*
    Edgar Winfield Gould (1885 – 1913)*

    Siblings:
    Levi Coombs Gould, full brother.
    Also 11 half siblings (from Jacob’s first wife Molly): Stephen Gould; Jacob Gould 1 and 2; Nancy Gould; Niah Gould 1 and 2; Eunice Gould; Harriet; first Thomas Jordan (farm grandpa is the second); Joseph and Jerusha

    About Sgt. Thomas Jordan Gould (USA)
    Soldier and Farmer who succeeded his farther on his return from his country’s service and by his industry, resolution and self denial, transformed this rocky hillside into a fertile farm.
    http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Gould&GSfn=thomas&GSiman=1&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSst=23&GScntry=4&GSob=n&GRid=43220650&df=all&
    Lisbon Maine, The History of a Small Maine Town: pg. 21: “Jacob Gould, mentioned briefly in an earlier section, was born in 1768 and died in 1862 and was one of the pioneers who settled in this town and helped restore it from the wilderness. He was nineteen years of age at the time. His son THOMAS J. GOULD who was born in 1841 and died in 1929, succeeded his father upon his return from the Civil War. Through hard work and self denial he transformed the rocky hillside into a fertile farm. Sadly enough the farm burned flat at midnight in July of 1919. The deed to the farm was granted by Governor Bowdoin to Jacob Gould who built the first frame house on it in 1810.”
    http://capecodhistory.us/genealogy/getperson.php?personID=I24700&tree=Nauset

    Levi Coombs Gould (Uncle Levi)

    [most of the above is from]:
    https://www.geni.com/people/Sgt-Thomas-Jordan-Gould-USA/6000000023709450225

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