Friday, April 11, 2008

spring update

some interesting things I’ve discovered about my new place:

This used to be a town. Everything burned down except for the church, which explains why it’s in the middle of nowhere.

The lumber baron who started the town and built the church had an interest in horticulture. He cultivated his own variety of lilacs, naming them after himself and the now non-existent town. These lilacs grow on both sides of the front door. Lilacs are my favorite flower, and I can’t wait to see the color. I’m guessing white, but I’m hoping for lavender.

I haven’t run into anybody in the area who can tell me anything about the history of this place or the history of the family who built the town and church, but I’ve found some info online. Here is just a small section of the founder’s bio that covers the later years of his. It looks like he semi-retired and lived out his final years here. I know the church was built in 1895, so that fits the bio. It’s so strange to think of someone buying ground and building a town in just a few years. He and his wife had one son who was always in poor health. At one point they moved to California hoping that the weather would improve the child’s health, but the son died and it sounds like both parents were never quite the same after that.

online bio:

"In 1892 he purchased a larger tract of hardwood timber. Here he gave his attention to the manufacture of railway material, chiefly crossties and car stock. Besides his own mill he controlled the output of many smaller mills, which business he conducted for several years, from 1895 to 1899. He passed away June 22, 1903, at his residence in Wis., and his body was taken to Santa Rosa, Cal., for burial at the side of his son. His health failed him during the last five years of his life, though most of the time he was fairly well and able to attend to his business. During the last three years only the care of the farm engrossed his attention. There he seemed most happy since he was particularly fond of animals and outdoor life. Two weeks before his death he had a slight paralysis of his left side, apparently of a few hours' duration. He sat up and read thereafter every day until the end came. His charities were large and unostentatious. He maintained a free hospital bed without disclosing his name, gave liberally to other hospitals, and assisted several young men to an education and in business. He was a large-hearted, generous, kind considerate man, a noble citizen, endeared to his family." Of him it was also said: "No man in the great Northwest more deserved success and none has left a more honorable record."


Jeff said...

Ouch! That tick bite looks sore. :(

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for two things, Anne.
1. Success with your manuscript.
2. Lavender Lilacs.

cinderelly said...

ugh...i hate that part of gardening, the bitey things! best of luck with the part that comes next on the manuscript, cool that it's coming along faster than expected! very interesting to have a house that has a history to it, and an iteresting one at that!

Heather Harper said...

"He was a large-hearted, generous, kind considerate man, a noble citizen, endeared to his family."

And then the horror author moved in... ;-)

Much luck with your manuscript. The trailer reeled me in. :-)

Stephen Blackmoore said...

Excellent news. A new book for a new year (Spring is officially a New Year - I don't care what the calendar makers think).

anne frasier said...

thanks, jeff! i think the lilacs are going to be white. i should know in a few days. i've had a cut branch in water for a few weeks, and it's getting ready to bloom. i'll keep you posted.

cinderelly, i'm fascinate with the history. so strange to think of a town that existed such a short amount of time.

heather -- LOL! so funny! i imagine some people wouldn't approve of my being here.

stephen, i like your idea of spring being the beginning of the year. so much better than starting in the middle of winter.

Kelly Parra said...

I'm rooting for you with this book! I know it's scary writing something different and I believe you'll make this happen.

That's really cool on the history of your place! haha, part of my word verification: dweeb!

anne said...

haha! i love those kind of word verifications.

yeah, it's weird to write something that doesn't have a real plot after writing fiction for so many years. it feels really wrong, and really right at the same time. i keep thinking of directions the plot could go, but i have to ignore those ideas!

vanessa jaye said...

Good luck with the book, Anne. Man I swear it's karma you ended up in that church/house. How cool to be able to dig up the history.

anne said...

vanessa -- funny that you should mention dig. i keep looking at the grave. i'll have to post another pic.

Tami said...

Hey Anne...great to see you posting again! Good luck with the manuscript ! That is so amazing the church was the only survivor of the fire! It must have some luck built in, right?

anne frasier said...

tami, i hope so! i could use some luck right now!!