The area in which this farmstead is situated is pretty marginal farmland. The soil is thin, the ground is extremely rocky and the region is prone to flooding and deep puddles. Imagine being the settler granted this 100 acre parcel, opening it up, clearing out the trees and rocks (as much as possible) and then still not being able to make a truly viable go of it. In later years, many of these farms have become pasture for cattle and sheep, but the majority of them have been abandoned or allowed to fallow indefinitely. It's much better cottage country than it is farmland.
I didn't venture into the cellar because I didn't have a flashlight, and halfway up the stairs to the second level my eyes started to water because of the smell of guano. I decided I could live without a bird/bat poop party or asthma attack.