Thursday, September 1, 2011

Keasey Tree Farm Tour

When Shaun and I got married eleven years ago, it never occurred to me that we might one day have two boys and spend our weekends doing things like visiting the Oregon Tree Farm of the Year. How fun that it turned out that way.

Shaun's folks invited us to join them on the tour of the Keasey tree farm, put on by the Columbia County Small Woodlands Association in conjunction with the Oregon State University Extension Service. While the event confirmed for me that I am not particularly interested in forest management, the farm was a beautiful place to spend the day, and I wouldn't have missed it.

Here Grandma and the boys are enjoying some doughnuts before things get started. You can see the original homesteader's cabin, which stood on the property when the Keasey family bought it in 1889. The rest of the house was added in 1896.

A picture similar to this one ran on the front page of the local paper. Our whole family was in it. In that picture Willem has his arms lifted up to the sky and his head bowed. At first I thought it looked like he was conducting an orchestra, but his pose is too sinister for that. More like he's summoning his minions from the far reaches of the earth to come do his evil bidding.

Here we are in the woods listening to a talk on watershed management. This can be a touchy subject for tree farmers, but everyone was very polite.

The highlight of the day (apart from eating lunch under the beautiful old tree outside the house) was the opportunity to tour the house. We were shown through by an elderly man who'd married into the family. He had agreed to do some restoration work in exchange for being allowed to live there with his wife (who had grown up in the house) until she died. His work on the house was a labor of love in the truest sense. I thought it was gracious of him to come back now that his wife has passed away and show us around.

This is not the original wood stove, but it is old and charming nonetheless. It is from Sweden, and the wife picked it out during the restoration.

Here's an upstairs guest bedroom. So plain and peaceful. I fancied I would write something wonderful if only I lived in it.

I wish I could read his name tag, but at least I have a picture here of the gentleman who restored the house. He's showing us a little attic nook off one of the bedrooms. I want one.

Here is the bed he made for his wife out of a cherry tree from the property. We couldn't get a great picture of it on the phone, but I made Shaun take one anyways. It was so beautiful. The man got emotional, telling us about the bed, but I'm the one who totally cried.

This textile was stunning in person. It belonged to the husband's family and came from the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. Having recently read The Devil in the White City, I found that awesome.

I have the same print, but in a different original frame. I love that this looks like it could have been hanging here since the day it was brought home new.

This is an original light fixture in its original spot. Oh, how I love it.

Intriguing old formerly useful things in an intriguing old shed. I could identify absolutely nothing in it.

The Small Woodlands people are colorful folks, but for a big heaping helping of local color, you have to go to the Vernonia Friendship Jamboree. Which we did. Coming up next.

1 comment:

Annie Nannie said...

Wonderful post, Gypsy! The book sounds really interesting. Our G'pa Ross Martin and his dad P.R. visited the Chicago Fair. Dad and I had a great time visiting the location and exhibits a few years ago. It was fun seeing the displays and wondering if we were gazing on the same ones that they found interesting.

Yup - the Vernonia Jamboree was terrific. I took tons of pics and will post a few up on FB when I have a chance.