SPRINGVILLE—Rick Iekel is taking a twist on history with his new book “House with a Heart.” The historical fiction story follows the lives of Michael and Sarah in the 1850s, told from the perspective of their house.
Set in the fictional town Franktown in northern Cattaraugus County, House with a Heart is a story of history coming “alive.”
“It is difficult to realize that parts of Western New York remained uninhabited and off limits to settlers into the 1800s,” a press release for the book reads. “While the forested hills and valleys of New York’s Southern Tier remained untouched, droves of pioneers headed past on their way to Ohio and the Indiana Territory.”
Iekel was raised on a 125 acre farm in northern Cattaraugus County, where he has memories of “sweeping green fields that turned to golden harvest at the summer’s end.” He was able to trace his family's land back to 1854, but the discovery raised more questions than it answered.
The author began wondering what life was like when the land was finally opened, who were among the early settlers and what would his childhood have looked like.
Those questions became the inspiration for “House With a Heart.” Iekel’s book is available on Amazon.com, at the Concord Mercantile and the Historical Society. He will be selling the book this weekend at the Fiddler’s Green Country and Bluegrass Festival.