Tuesday, March 13, 2007


After a 12 hours drive from Turlock, CA to Forest Grove, OR, we arrived with plenty of daylight left for me to spot a most unexpected sight.

The trip was target-rich for barn scenes from Willows, CA north. Once we were above Redding, CA the landscape became almost entirely rural. I have several barn pictures I will post tomorrow but tonight the building that captured my attention as we entered Forest Grove must stand front and center.

I've tried to find out a little bit about this house and perhaps I will have more to add here tomorrow if I get a reply from the Chamber of Commerce. The little I did learn is from Susan and Mark, my son's future in-laws. I haven't been able to determine when the fire occurred but it seems that two sisters lived in the old house and cared for their mother. One of the sister may have been a bit odd as she seems to have been a character around town.

I have the family name but will wait to post it until I can confirm the story of the family who lived there and the circumstances of the fire that destroyed the house yet left is standing.

By the time Sunday morning had come around, there was no question in Don's mind but that we HAD to stop by the side of the road so I could take a picture. As we approached, Don spotted a clearly defined driveway and turnabout at what was at one time the front entrance to the house. Without a thought regarding private property, in we drove.

It was apparent that someone was maintaining a clear cut area around the building. This kept weeds and grass down and I suppose thereby inhibited the growth of a fuel source against future fires.

I was surprised this house was left standing. In California it would be down. Lord knows we don't want to deal with liability in lawsuit-happy California. At the least it would be surrounded by a security fence. But no - here there was a slight but futile effort to protect what was left evidenced by the blue and green tarps.

I do hope that the chamber of commerce answers my email with some interesting information. Somehow I think there must be quite a story waiting to be told about this old house.


organicpixel said...

Sad to see a house in such a state but also interesting and an enjoyable read.

Star said...

Properties such as this one always invite speculation in my mind about the former residents and circumstances that have left it abandoned. I love that last shot of the moss growing on the roof.

Gypsy Purple said...

I`m totally fascinated...can`t wait to hear the whole story and answer to your letter!!

vicci said...

Me too! I can't wait to hear the rest of the story. This makes me sad...I don't like fires! The place still holds so much beauty for me...I see it...and imagine how it once was.....neat post Annie!

LisaOceandreamer said...

This home really gets the imagination in high gear - thus I, too, await what will be some further interesting tid bits on the owners. Looking at the photo that shows the old porch you can almost see an old screen door that with each entry and exit, it slammed. Whenever I see old, abandoned homes I try to imagine the people who lived there - I think it's great you took the initiative to contact the Chamber of Commerce to get such info. Always thinking Annie!!
I also wanted to say how wonderful for you to have 90 minutes with Corey and also to meet her mom and Sacha. What a joy!
I haven't been around commenting much, been taking a wee break.

Britt-Arnhild said...

I can't stop thinking of all the stories lived out in these houses!

paris parfait said...

Ooh, I love to hear tales about old houses and their occupants. Great photos and I look forward to hearing more. xo

Daisy Lupin said...

What an amazing ruin of a house, I have got to admit though it looks slightly creepy. I think there must be a good story attached to it.

Rethabile said...

I'm surprised, not that it was left standing, but that it is standing. It looks like a determined autumn gale would move it, like those plants you see rolling in westerns.

Great photos, and I hope you do get more info. Can't stop, now that you've started.

Becca said...

This just excites my imagination! I would love to know more about this place...it definitely looks like it has a story to tell.

Naturegirl said...

Look at all that wonderful ~~~MOSS~~~
on the roof top in the last photo!!
LoVe to get my hands on that!
The first photo...it looks as though if you huffed and puffed you could blow the house down!Interesting story behind the house! hugs NG

Autrice DelDrago said...

Sadly, many bypass these old dwellings without giving them a second thought. I find them fascinating and I can't wait to read the tidbits that your discover.

tongue in cheek said...

Oh Annie
Thank you for sharing the urban decay art! Fantastic photos! Wow!
I hope you can show me around this summer!

Susie said...

Some stretches of 5 are just endless road, but that part of CA can be very scenic. Love all the barns and thinking of the history they have!!

krista said...

Wow, that is such a mystery. I loved the pictures though- it's amazing really.