Yesterday, as you can see from the picture, was an absolutely gorgeous late winter day up here. Thus, I was out in the garden, getting more cauliflower and peas and such planted and tending to that which was already up and going. I noticed a minivan I didn't recognize doing a slow drive by; not unusual, many folks stop to look at the house, especially this time of year. It went down towards the mill and I gave it no more thought. About an hour later, back it came, and this time it pulled into the driveway. A lovely, older lady popped out the passenger side and I went to see what she needed - I figured they were lost, which is also not unusual around here. Instead, I got the surprise of my life. She said she hoped she wasn't intruding on my day, but she just had to tell me how wonderful the old place looked - and then she said "I'm Evelyn Baker. My mother was Dorothy Baker. I lived in this house." Thus began a visit like no other in the nearly 8 years we've lived here. We knew that the Bakers had bought the ranch from the Cheeseman's back in the 30's. Evelyn was born in 1936, same year as my dad, and she went to school at Bellfountain, along with Don Oakes and a bunch of other pioneer family children. Evelyn, with her daughter Valerie, led us on a thoroughly delightful tour of our home, and it was quite a history lesson! It's amazing how much has been changed over the years and owners, and how much was still the same. Many questions we'd always wondered about were answered by the delightful lady, who bounded up the stairs to show us how it used to look, where her room was (Dale's office) and the 'haunted' room (sorry everyone, that would be the guest room). She talked a blue streak about how it was growing up here, the dairy life (kindred spirits), the people and when it was time to go, more than a few tears were shed by everyone. She lives fairly nearby, in Canby (NE of Salem), and we hope to see her again.
Evelyn and daughter Valerie pose in front of the old homestead
Here are two links to the home when Evelyn lived here: