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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Down the country Lane





There sits a Country House at the end of a country lane




That changed our lives forever




At the beginning of this lane you will see many newly born lambs.  This one will spend the summer on the big mountain.  He wears red numbers on his back so he won't get lost.







 This is where I stop my bicycle...it is always shady and cool.






Next is the old Allred Farm.







I couldn't resist, the photo was a natural.






Farmer Allred has passed on.







Little Lambs are growing up in other places.






And at the end of the lane is the Crawforth  House. 
See the inset?  That is how I found it. 

In my years of working for my clients in the oil business, I spent many days checking mineral ownership records in county courthouses and I also spent many years traveling Highway 89.  A highway that begins in Canada and goes all the way to the Mexican border. 







The house had been empty for more than fifty years.  There were no doors or windows.  Sheep and livestock, pack rats, badgers and squirrels had taken the place over. Yet I still wanted this beautiful old stone house.  I could see the possibilities.  It had just the right amount of windows and the architecture was classic and clean. 

No matter how I pleaded and how I begged the man would not sell it. 







 So we bought a 100-year-old farmstead in the same town.  It had also been neglected. We spent our weekends in the country restoring the farm and lived in the big city during the week. 






Our property had a beautiful old barn and an acre for a large vegetable and flower garden.






In an empty lot, across the street stood an old log cabin.  I bought it for $500.






The sheep had lived in it.






But I wanted it, so we moved it over on a flatbed.







I wanted it for our guests.





We spent many weekends enjoying the country life. We worked hard and we played hard. 




And then one day, four years later, the Gentleman who owned the beautiful but abandoned old stone house, called to say that he was ready to sell it to me. 



We were still living in the big city during the week and didn't see how we could take on the task of restoring another farmstead.
Instead we told our friends that the house was now available. 

I had offered the Gentleman $20,000 he now only wanted $7,500.  One of our friends from the city decided to take on the formidable task.





Renovation Style Magazine, September 2001

Our friend Scott has completely restored the entire property, the main house, the carriage house and root cellar.
The beautiful old stone house has seen many happy occasions and one thing is for sure, the house found its rightful owner.

And when Scott had finished restoring his farm house, Farmer Allred came visiting, sitting on his tallest mule he took off his hat, placed it over his heart and he said
"I came a'calling" 

Now, that is not the end of the story.





Soon I will tell you the rest of the story.  How my saddle, made by the famous saddle maker, Jim Kelly of Cody Wyoming,  changed our lives once again.

Happy weekend to you my dear
Blogging Friends.

Gina




40 comments:

  1. Gina, you are a natural-born gentrification expert! Well done. I have a friend who also has a small guest house that I thought of when I viewed your photo. How much fun that would be to stay in either small cottage!

    Mary in Oregon

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  2. It is amazing how the different twists and turns often work out for best in the end. Scott has done a wonderful job restoring the property. However, that small wooden sheep house is divine, every young girls fairy tale home.

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  3. I CAN'T WAIT TO HEAR THE REST OF YOUR STORY!! THE PHOTOS ARE BEAUTIFUL! I LOVE THE OLD HOUSE IT JUST SPEAKS TO ME!

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  4. What a very lovely story, Gina! Yet another example of your ability to envision a welcoming home and beautiful surroundings where they previously didn't exist. That is quite an accomplishment.

    Thank you for your supportive comments recently – I do so appreciate them. Hoping you have a wonderful Sunday. xo – g

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  5. Oh Gina - This is "the stuff dreams are made of" - "Der Stoff aus dem die Träume sind"!

    What an interesting, wonderful and rather touching story and history. Together with all your beautiful and expressive pictures one of the best post I came across for quite a while.
    Simply good!
    Looking forward to the "Fortsetzung..."
    xxxkarin

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  6. Hi, Gina - If there is a moral to this story, it must surely be that patience and persistence pays off in the end. Your log cabin is very welcoming, and Scott's renovation is gorgeous — both great visions. I can't wait for the story to continue! Are you sure you aren't related to Scheherezade?

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  7. Hi Mary, Sometimes small is appealing. Even though we had the Big House (actually not so big) we always stayed in the little cabin when we didn't have guests.

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  8. Dear Rosemary, Scott is one of the best Interior Designers. The way he approached this restoration was quite remarkable...it is the quintessential Genleman's Country House.
    We were told that 11 children were born in this little cabin...all to one family.

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  9. Liebe Karin, Die Fortsetzung kommt in ein paar Tagen. It has a very interesting and unusual twist... and a very happy ending. Schönen Sonntag wünsche ich dir und deinen. xo, Gina

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  10. Dear Mark, How does that story end? Did her head get chopped off AFTER ALL?
    Our little town was settled by Danes and Norwegians. They knew how to build fine barns and sturdy Log Cabins. Even though the cabin was almost destroyed, the corners stood straight and proud. When we restored the old barn it was only 1/4 inch off on one side.

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    Replies
    1. OF COURSE there was a happy ending! And she lived happily ever after, too!

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  11. Wow. You sure know how to weave a tale. How exciting to see this property come back from the brink.

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  12. Gina, great story! Loved all the photos!

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  13. This story has my attention. What wonderful transformation the time and money and vision created for those lovely old homes.

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  14. Beautiful story, thank you for sharing it. I hope you have a great week:)

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  15. Love the stone house, wonderful! Laura

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  16. Gina, talk about a dream come true! I love the house that is now your home. The log cabin tugged at my heart. We had brought an old one into our previous home. I remember us lowering it from the flatbed. A bit scary for a moment. I made it into a playhouse for our youngest daughter. It was furnished with antiques and she loved it. When we moved a couple years ago we left it. I miss it so much. The only thing good is that our youngest son bought the home so it will stay in the family. Can't wait to hear the rest of the story. Love those darling little lambs! Now following you.
    Hugs,
    Jann

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  17. I loved reading this story, Gina, showing what vision and patience can achieve. The feel and spirit of these houses has been revived and re-created in these renovations. Fantastic pictures too - I love the sepia version of Allred farm!

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  18. Dear Georgianna, So many wonderful things you are doing and have planned so many exciting events for this coming year. Thank you for stopping by. I'm always so pleased to hear from you. ox Gina

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  19. Dear Vee, We were a few years younger when we tackled this project...it was so much easier then.

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  20. Hello Snap, So glad you liked the photos. It's Spring around here and little lambs are everywhere. Thank you for yourcomment. I appreciate it. Gina

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  21. Thank you Shutterbug for stopping by and leaving a comment. It isvery much appreciated.

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  22. Hello Garden of Threads, And I also wish you a great week. Thank you for your visit.

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  23. Hello Cottage and Broome, I always called the old stone house "The Fellini" House because it reminded me of a scene in "Amacord".

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  24. Wonderful story and images to go with it. I have always dreamed of doing such a thing - I love these old stone houses - and there is one I have pined after for years and years.....every time I go by it I sigh that is is not mine. So I am glad you have done it! And I love the little wooden cottage for guests. Perfect!
    Have a wonderful week.

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  25. Dear Karen, I'm so glad that you like the sepia version. The photo seemed a natural. Isn't it amazing what we can do with a little tweeking in a photo editing program.
    Hope you have a lovely week and thank you for your visit and kind comments. ox, Gina

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  26. Hi Jill, I think that I need to clear something up. Even though I wanted that stone house it now belongs to our friend Scott. He is the one who should receive the accolades. He has done a superb job in restoring it. We bought the other little farmhouses instead because the stone house was not available at the time. Only 4 years later did the original owner offer it to us. By then we were totally engrossed into another project.
    Thank you for your visit and maybe one day you will find your stone house. I hope so.

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  27. Dear Jann, How nice that the little cabin is still in your family. I see that you live near Spring City. Come by for a visit the entire town is open on Saturday, the Memorial Day weekend.

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  28. What a story, love the pictures and your project with the houses. I, too, was attracted to the sepia image. Thanks for sharing.

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  29. Great story and amazing pictures.I would love for you to visit me at My Dream Canvas :-) You have a lovely blog.

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  30. Oh this is such a wonderful story! So many people just demolish old farm places, as well as old architectural buildings that could be restored for far less than building new constructions. I Love what you have created along with the people that helped you with this enormous project. Just wonderful images shared...can you tell, I really liked this! Happy Easter season~

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  31. How absolutely charming. what a lovely wonderful story. Scott must be so so delighted, and you have a friend as a neighbour.
    Great photos Gina. Your country guest cottage is so cute.
    Waiting for the story of your saddle!!
    lovley post thanks for sharing ..
    val

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  32. Dear Judy, You have probably noticed that I love color but once in a while a sepia photo is much more interesting. Thank you for your visit.

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  33. Thank you Anu. How nice of you to stop by. It is so appreciated.

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  34. Dear Mary, and a happy Easter to you. As you well know it does take a few like minded friends to get things done.

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  35. Dear Val, I was so pleased to see your beautiful paintings on bisque ware. Can't wait to see how they look after they come out of the kiln.
    My saddle story will be posted next. It's a little complicated, wish you were here to help me write it. Have a lovely Easter. ox, Gina

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  36. Dear Mark, Whew! Thank Goodness for confused Sultans. Have a wonderful Easter. ox, Gina

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  37. Dear Gina, this story has me sitting here, feeling wonderful! What a beautifull and heartfelt rendition of how, why and the wherefore of things that come into our lives....houses for me are more than just houses ! I have lived in my one and only home for 37 years! Another story! These images are my idea of paradise!! I can't wait to hear and see the rest of the story!! N.XOXO

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  38. Outstand and beautiful photos. Although trained as an architect and an active artist, I was taken by the photo of the group of trees. Wow, more beautiful than a cathedral! May I do a watercolour of them?

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  39. Dear Anonymous, It would have been nice if you had asked with a name attached to your request. But I do appreciate that you have asked. One caveat, let us see your watercolor.

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