A bit more about "The Dwelling Place". On April 1st it will be 17 years that we have lived here. The first two as renters and then we bought it in 1993. A real "steal", as the price of acreage goes, but it is priceless to us. We have enjoyed this secluded life for all these years, although recently the rest of the surrounding land has been sold off and "McMansions" built near us. At one time the entire 250+ acres belonged to Dr. Wiallam Strout, the first doctor in Warren County Ohio. He built this house upon his marriage to Rachel Swallow in 1823. The house and farm property has had only two other owners after the Strouts. A family called Poe had it in the 1920s-late 1930s. Then Clifford and Edith Beuterbaugh owned it up until their deaths when their rotten little money-grubbing nephew inherited it. He had no regard for either the house or the land and rented it to another young couple for 2 years before we got it in 1991.(our property is where the cut grass area is. It also extends further back then in this aerial photo)
He promptly built himself a house on 10 acres of the land just up the street from us and then began to slowly sell off odd sized lots to various relatives. Since they were all as charming as Dennis (the Nephew) himself, they got in numerous fights and each one sold their property vowing to never see or speak to the other again. We jumped at the chance to buy ours in 1993 and got 4.75 acres, the house and three out-buildings for $40,000. At the time Dennis was moving on to "a less crowded area" to build another huge house and desperately needed the money. As his new house progressed he eventually sold about half of the remaining land to a developer. These 8 houses are on the opposite side of the road to us. He left us the option to buy the 5+ acre lot directly outside our kitchen window. In a sudden fit of greed/debt he gave us 2 weeks in 1995 to come up with the $25,000 ( in cash) to buy the adjoining lot. Of course we did not (and still do not today) have that kind of money laying around. The lot went to the local realestate baron(or baroness) Drexanne Evers who owns all the reamining land that the Strouts didn't oringinally have. The lot sat serenely empty for 12 years until Drexanne's greed over came her and she sold over 150 acres to a developer. We now sit in the path of "Mauerfield Estates-25 Beautiful Secluded Lots with Luxury Homes Built to Suit."(our property is outlined in red) What we got for it is a one acre rural easement in the form of a 5 foot wide strip running along the west boundry of our property. There are currently no "luxury homes" built yet, as the housing market has hit rock bottom. There is a series of paved roads that have become a mix of neighborhood park/dog walking,jogging path/skateboard, dirt bike and 4-wheeler testing ground/teen driver speedway course. We savor the five new pine trees that were planted on the 6 foot high dirt hill that was erected outside our kitchen window. On a regular basis we get a phone call from the developer offering to buy our "old eyesore" for some pitiful amount of money.
I close with another shot of Bud, proudly guarding the Strout Homestead.