It has been two months since we moved from California to our new home in Oregon. We purchased a beautiful, 3000 sq ft, 1910 home that is perfectly situated on 43 acres. Rich with history, an epic work load and a lifetime accumulation….of trash.
Yes folks, you heard that right. Trash. Junk galore. As in the previous owner never let go of a single item and hoarded it all away in and amongst the bountiful outbuildings. Cars, a big (rotten) boat, and enough emergency food to feed us for a lifetime (from the 70’s). And, while it may sound like I am whining, I am not. We bought the home owner direct from a gentle soul who was 93 years old and simply lost the ability to keep up with said epic work load. So, while we have a lifetime of things to clean up we are also grateful to have had the opportunity to purchase this gem in the first place we are also are enjoying the process and finding treasures along the way.
Pictured below is the view from Emily’s upstairs bedroom a few days after we moved in…notice the sleeping child 😉
Our new home is a 6 bedroom, 2 bathroom home built by the grandfather of the original occupants (The Liles family) and is a mixture of late Edwardian design elements and structurally based on the American Foursquare home that was so popular in that era complete with an attic dormer. Nothing has truly been updated since probably the 70’s and in some aspects since it was built in 1910. In many ways, it’s a joy because we are now afforded the pleasure of dreaming up the home as we would like it while we chip away (slowly) at remodeling. In other regards with respect to what upgrades have occurred we are left scratching our heads: exterior windows that instead of being properly removed were simply walled over and so were some doors. So from the outside you see a window, but from the inside it is a solid wall. Fun times. One of my favorite things about the house are the beefy door frames and windows sills throughout the home-all of which were hand carved/milled from timber grown here.
Outside there is no shortage of water, we have one large pond that is spring fed which sits at the top of our property and overflows into two smaller ponds before winding its way out to our pastures. There are also a variety of vernal pools that sit along the roadside of our property, no doubt a seasonal frog heaven!
Sitting west of our larger pond at the tippy top of our property is an A-frame guest house that has spectacular views of our property and the valley afar…it needs work, but is very cute.
There are a total of four barns (two original and in disrepair), a pole barn in good standing complete with a two room apartment upstairs, a large canning kitchen and likely the future home of our schoolroom as well as a shop and two large bays for tractor and equipment storage. There is a large feed barn near the main house that was built from the remnant of a fifth barn that collapsed 10 years ago.
There are a few other buildings on site, an old school room that was used to homeschool the previous owners 15 (mostly adopted) children, a fun water wheel that works off of the larger ponds over flow that is situated in a large fenced yard complete with two 100 year old Gravenstien apple trees.
The property used to be over 300 acres and the home to Liles Dairy & Poultry. So we have remnants of those operations on site as well. There are approximately 25 acres of open pasture with very basic fencing around its perimeter. We’ve already had fun chasing our cows back in from the road.
We get to look forward to this years bounty from over 30 established fruit trees and some 5+ acres of blackberries to tame. Most of the acreage has been relatively untouched since the 50’s and so has reverted back to its glorious wild state. Complete with wild roses which give way to rosehips that can be used for so many delicious things: Jams, breads and syrups to name a few! We even found a few wild blueberry plants! We look forward to replanting our elderberries and currants that we brought with us as well as a variety of raspberries and table grapes.
The two largest of the trees, the gravestienes produce at least 200lbs of large, delicious apples each per year. I definitely see cider, sauce and pigs for eating up what we cannot in the near future!
Some delightful things that we have encountered are the tremendous elks, the most colorful array of birds, the cutest Siskiyou chipmunks ever, bears and hearing mountain lions scream in the hills above our house…
scream….like a women running for her life.
While we are not remote in the true sense of the word only being 20 minutes from a major city (Eugene) and even closer to small towns that surround us is most directions (Noti, Elmira, Veneta, ect) we are definitely in the country and so have the luxury to feel un-plugged and plugged-in all at the same time! Take a look at our driveway (paved is sooo nice!) We consider it a luxury but also are aware of the many threats that loom for our livestock and small children and so we are working toward building a variety of fences and perimeters to keep all feathers, furs and little ones safe.
We are look forward to sharing our journey as we evolve and change and grow into this amazing space!
Thanks as always!