16 years ago this weekend the house of my dreams burned down. It was on a day much like today, warm, dry but the smell of fall was in the air.
This house was built by the Spores family in 1856. It had a large driveway that led to a White House with a large covered front porch and white pillars. Large windows were in front of the house and double large doors on each side of the house. The back door went into a kitchen that has deep sinks wood cupboards and a wood stove. If you turned left from the kitchen it led into a grand living room with a large fire place and built in cupboards two large windows and one of the large doors that went to the front porch. You could then walk through one of two entries into a parlor that were surrounded by windows and another door that went out into the front porch. All the doors had skeleton keys for locks. From the living room you could walk up a small narrow staircase that wrapped around the chimney to a large great room with small wall and door separating two areas. My two kids slept upstairs. If you went right from the kitchen it went to add on to the house that led to a bathroom with a large claw foot tub. If you walked past the bathroom there was a large bedroom that overlooked the grape arbor an back yard. It was also surrounded by windows. No next door neighbors so window coverings were not necessary. The entire house had large width wood floors. The floors in the living room were rough and occasionally one of us would get a splinter. Outside the kitchen door was a small back porch where you could view the Coburg hills. Walk down the porch that led to a picket fenced back yard and a stone walk way that led to the garage. The backyard had the grape arbor and two small swings under the arbor which were perfect for kids. In the corner of the back yard there was a bench swing and around it were plum and apple trees. Along the fence were daffodils, tulips and gladiolus.
There was a small gated area next to the out building where we kept chickens and turkeys and goats. The birds didn’t last long because of the coyotes. If I walked towards the water well there was a large area with raspberry and blueberry bushes and large area I planted in vegetables. Lining the busy street were large walnut trees and bushes so you could not really see the house from the street. Along the front walkway I kept up the rosé garden the previous tenant started and planted other miscellaneous plants.
I was waiting for my brother to drive down from Portland so we could play tennis and then go celebrate my sisters birthday.
All of us were home two of my three children (#3 didn’t come till a year later) and my former husband. We were house cleaning and doing general getting ready on a long weekend.
I remember someone driving down the long driveway honking and yelling. I went out the back porch too see what the hubbub was about and he was yelling your house is on fire your house is on fire. At firs I thought this was silly he was just smelling the mont fields next door being burned for winter but as he pointed up to the roof indeed he was right. MY ROOF WAS ON FIRE. Hubby called fire dept and I grabbed the kids and went outside.
Today I happened to be in the area and I thought I would stop and see. The front walkway is still there along with remnence of the rose garden. The foundation is still there-I believe it is because it was a historical house built in 1868. The garage still standing along with the outhouse and old old grape arbor full of fruit.
The well they have covered with an actual pump house now. When I was there it was a large well covered in plywood and blackberries.
And of course the long driveway lined in Hawthorne trees. I walked down this driveway each day to get the mail.
Even though the ending of this house is a bad memory. I have many good memories from living in there with my family.