Charles E. Nelson house.

Also known as probably the most photographed home in Central Oregon. The next description and historical past was collected and written by Theresa L Peterson, not myself.

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The Historical past of the Charles E Nelson Home of Dufur, Oregon
copyright – Theresa L Peterson – all rights reserved.

The "Nelson" home is arguably probably the most photographed home in Central Oregon, actually in Wasco County. It takes the viewer without warning when it is available in to view, sitting alone in just a little swale alongside Emerson Loop Street, overwhelmed and tattered to the purpose of collapse, however nonetheless in some way it stays standing. Even in its precarious place it’s nonetheless stately . Misplaced in the course of a wheat area however but it belongs, as a testomony to the previous.

There may be positively one thing particular about this explicit home that makes it a lot totally different than the handfuls of different deserted properties within the Dufur space that had been constructed by homesteaders that got here and went on the flip of the 20th century. You realize simply by trying that it’s nonetheless crammed with the hopes and goals of those that crammed its rooms. Lured by guarantees of a greater life, single males and households got here by the 1000’s to Oregon and to the rolling hills south of The Dalles totally free land. All they needed to do was dwell on it for five years and present enhancements and it was theirs. It appeared really easy but it surely was something however. The profitable ones had been capable of bear the extremely scorching dusty summers the place the specter of a lightning storm usually meant wildfires that may take their livelihood in minutes and chilly, windblown winters which may lock them snowbound of their drafty properties for days if not longer, and kill their livestock. Lots of their descendants nonetheless farm the hills close to Dufur. Those who couldn’t quickly left for higher climates, promoting their homestead goals to a different dreamer or a longtime rancher who made the nation work for him.

Maybe it was this dream that made Robert Lowe (1858-1939) and his spouse Isabella (Cochrane) Lowe choose this plat of land to homestead. Each natives of Scotland, they got here to America as babies and lived in Albany, NY the place they met and Robert made his residing as a boiler maker. They had been married in 1882. Quickly they began to dream of going west.
In 1892 Robert obtained the patent for the land the home sits on from the U.S. authorities. They began with nothing however the uncooked land and lived right here till 1903 after they determined to surrender their homestead and transfer to Portland the place they lived till they handed. Each Robert and Isabella are buried within the River View Cemetery in Portland.
In 1903 Sylvester V. Mason and his spouse Mary purchased the homestead for $4500. Sylvester had moved from New York state as a single man to the realm round 1900 and had already taken up farming. He quickly discovered a spouse and so they moved in with their new born son, Nicholas and had a second son, Charles in 1906. They offered the property in 1906 and went on to construct a big wheat operation close to Boyd. Charles is buried within the Rice cemetery.
The following house owners had been searching for a distinct kind of recent starting. James Leroy Holgate was from an outdated pioneer household of Oregon. Born in 1859 in Benton County Oregon he later moved to Junction Metropolis. In 1883 he married the primary cousin of President Herbert Hoover, Clara Hoover, however in 1906 in what should have then been a scandal, he divorced his spouse of 23 years and instantly married Anna Case. Anna had additionally divorced her husband and collectively the newlyweds abruptly had household of seven, with the kids’s ages starting from 21 to six years. They received a mortgage for $5500 and began their new lives collectively. The home should have been bustling with exercise. Sadly the happiness was reduce quick when Anna died in 1910 solely four years after they moved in. James ,not letting any grass develop below his ft and an enormous brood to take care of married once more someday earlier than 1912. This time Hattie was her title. James and Hattie finally moved to the Portland space. Particulars of what occurred to the kids are onerous to seek out aside from this fascinating be aware. In line with the e-book "Historical past of Wasco County" by Wm. H. McNeal (1953), Bert, Anna’s son, who was one of many kids who moved in when she married, is buried on the property. He isn’t. He lived a protracted life, died in 1976 and is buried within the Willamette Nationwide Cemetery in Portland. Maybe it’s one other youngster but it surely appears odd that their mom can be buried in a cemetery whereas the kid can be buried on the ranch. We’ll in all probability by no means know who or if anybody is buried there.

In 1912 James and new bride Hattie put the property below contract to William Fulton for $6000 and moved to The Dalles. Mr. Fulton paid $1200 and agreed to ship the primary half of all of the crops of any type to an agreed warehouse earlier than Oct. 15th of every yr till the steadiness was paid with 8% curiosity. Mr. Fulton additionally agreed to pay the taxes AND proceed to insure the home for $2000. (So we all know the home is standing as of 1912). As close to as I can inform this contract was efficiently accomplished in 1915..nonetheless there may be guarantee deed for the property dated in 1917 between William and A.B and Lizzie C Carlock of Multnomah County. Mr. Fulton paid $3795. for the property on this doc. I’ve not been capable of finding any reference to Mr. and Mrs. Carlock shopping for the property . * I am unsure if Holgate transferred the contract or misplaced it in a poker sport…extra analysis wanted right here. The Fulton’s lived in the home and labored the land till 1926 when it grew to become the birthplace of yet one more household’s dream. This time the brand new household stayed…for 78 years.
Lengthy earlier than Charles E Nelson handed over his $10 and "different good and precious issues" for the home and land on Emerson Loop, the seeds had been sown and the roots ran deep for his love of the land close to The Dalles. His grandparents, each of Wigtownshire, Scotland, James and Elizabeth Nelson had come America with their two youngest of 11 kids, David Dalziel and daughter Janie, arriving in San Francisco in December of 1879. Losing no time they got here to The Dalles the next February the place they claimed land on Dutch Flats. For some time they had been the one settlers on this space, the one highway being an outdated Indian path and really tough terrain. They made an enduring house there and daughter Jane married William Harriman a rancher who later grew to become a county commissioner. James and Elizabeth are each buried within the Eight Mile Cemetery.

Son David, married Joanna (Joan) Stewart in July of 1893 within the house of the bride at Mt. Hood Flat. She was additionally a local of Scotland and had moved along with her dad and mom to the realm. They took over the farm on Dutch flat and had three kids there, a son who died a delivery and two daughters. They offered the farm and moved to a ranch on Emerson Loop Street. Within the 1910 census they’re proven with 5 kids together with 9 yr outdated son Charles. Their neighbors, simply down the highway, are the newly married James and Anna Holgate and their collective kids. Maybe a few of them had been playmates to Charles. Within the 1920 census, Charles continues to be working as a hand on his father’s ranch however saving his cash…and maintaining a tally of the place down the highway.

In 1926 Charles set his eyes upon Miss Ormaly Walton and was smitten. Earlier than he made her his spouse although he wanted a spot of his personal, so in September of 1926 he purchased the home that may later be generally known as the Nelson Home. There isn’t any method of understanding what the Different good and precious issues had been within the contract however in any case Charles and his new bride would have a house to start out their lives collectively in.
Charles and Orma had been married in March of 1927 and moved in. There was 1 bed room downstairs and three upstairs. Warmth was created by a Globe Scorching’nTot parlor range within the entrance room of the home and an enormous Monarch cooking range within the kitchen. There was additionally no insulation, no indoor plumbing and no electrical energy. Outdoors there was a barn for the cattle and the horses that Charles notably loved, a machine shed, wooden shed and a rooster home. Water was provided by the windmill that also stands right this moment. There might have been a small Delco electrical system on the farm by 1930. Within the 1930 census, the query "Do you’ve a radio?" is answered sure, however grid energy did not come for a few years. Two daughters had been born to the couple. Rosemary to whom we owe the great particulars of the home and what it was prefer to dwell there and her youthful sister Charlene. Rosemary was born in 1931 as the good melancholy started. It hit the realm very onerous and Charles labored not solely his personal land however different ranches within the space as nicely, usually shifting his younger household with him. Rosemary went to the Fairfield Faculty which was throughout the highway from the home. She went there from 1st via fifth Grades. She was the one scholar in her grade and about Eight college students in complete on the college. Ultimately college students had been despatched to The Dalles and the college burned a number of years later. The property the home sat on was a small acreage. Charles usually rented different ranches to develop wheat and the household moved to the bigger ranch to be with him. Throughout WWII Charles cared for a neighbor’s property whereas the proprietor’s son was at conflict. After the conflict the household got here house. In 1946 the REA lastly got here to the realm and put in correct electrical energy. Joanna was excited and there was 2 issues on her listing that she wished. An actual fridge and an iron. The home nonetheless had no working water nor insulation. It was scorching and dusty in the summertime and very chilly within the winter. In 1949 they left the home for the final time and it has remained empty since. Rosemary married and after the passing of her dad and mom inherited the property and the home. Over time the home has been usually vandalized and used for midnight events. It is location makes it very onerous for the neighbors to observe over it. I requested her in regards to the reputation of the home to photographers. She laughed and remarked how she wished she had a greenback for each time somebody stopped to take an image of it however she is glad individuals get pleasure from it. She offered the home and property in 2004 to the present proprietor and hasn’t been again since however has fond recollections of Dufur, the lifestyle there and the outdated home.

Who constructed the home? I am betting on the Holgate’s and a deliberate journey to the tax assessor ought to show it out. He was a person of means and wanted an enormous house for his many kids. The structure additionally matches with 1906 and within the following contract to Fulton he expressly required that the home be insured for $2000. Some huge cash in 1912. It’s referred to as the Nelson home because of the longevity of the Nelson household’s possession. Ask an area resident for the Holgate or Fairfield home and you’re going to get a clean stare. Ask for the Nelson home you’re going to get an instantaneous response and instructions.

So what’s it about that home that pulls everybody to it? To me it invited individuals in, unusually even in its situation it nonetheless does. It nonetheless expresses a promise of fine issues to return .

Theresa L Peterson 8/28/2015. I’ll replace if extra data involves gentle.

Data for this text got here from county and homestead deed data, grave data, printed books on the historical past of Wasco county, household histories discovered on Ancestry.com and U.S. census data.

I wish to specific my deepest due to the Wasco County Clerk’s workplace who helped me kind via the deed data and raise the heavy books for me when my injured shoulder would not let me. I’d additionally prefer to thank the various new buddies and descendants of the above talked about households and neighbors who helped by permitting me to make use of household images and by directing me to extra data. Most of all I wish to thank probably the most pretty woman who referred to as the grand outdated home her house. Thanks a lot, Rosemary Nelson Wyatt. You made the home come alive along with your vivid recollections.

NOTES: Some individuals have put forth that this may occasionally have been a Sears "package" home. I feel it will be uncertain as this home just isn’t in both the Sears nor Aladdin catalogs however solely an inspection of the kind of wooden used inside would show it out as these (and different Midwest corporations) solely shipped oak or pine not the fir that so many elderly properties had in them. Gordon-Van Tine Co was in Chehalis, Washington however did not ship from there till after 1915.

*Per household lore J.L. was "fairly cantankerous and ….could not depend playing cards both"

Posted by TwistedJake on 2016-03-27 02:55:03

Tagged: , charles , nelson , home , dufur , oregon

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