*The original blog post is from September 10, 2015 and can be found here.
Big news from the Bumbleshack!! After several months of searching, we found an awesome piece of land to put our tiny house on! But it is so much more than just a piece of land!! It is totally unrestricted, amid pastoral beauty, at 3700 feet elevation on the side of a beautiful mountain, just under 2 acres with almost 200 feet of rushing creek, an abundant spring, mature (HUGE) fruit producing apple trees, grape vines and a 100 year old 720 square foot house that we plan to renovate.
The property faces south and seems to be perfect for solar, lots of sun. I searched many different sites including landandfarm.com and landwatch.com, and I ended up finding this by owner on Craigslist! This property was $55,900, owner financed with $8,000 down…a little more than we planned on spending, but we got absolutely everything on our wish list so it was well worth it to us.
The property has some interesting history too. The same families, the Messers and the Suttons, have owned the majority of the mountain for many, many years…and still do. Our neighbors, a Messer who married a Sutton, have lived on their property for more than 50 years, and the wife’s uncle used to own our property. The woman who lives across the road from us grew up in our house, and all of the neighboring properties are still owned by family members. Ever hear of the famous moonshiner Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton? His old homestead is about a half mile down the mountain from us. There is an old still on the side of the road on the drive up to our place. Our neighbor has photos of our house from back in the day that she is going to dig up for us. I’d love to interview the remaining family members about their lives living on that mountain and create a coffee table book, for us and family members only of course.
Our next door neighbors are a super sweet older couple (the Messer/Sutton couple), and she is excited to have girls living next door. She had all boys and apparently no female grandchildren either. The first time she met Hazy, she had her up on her lap and told her she wants her to run back and forth between our two houses and bake cookies with her all the time, even though she is a diabetic :-). Her husband has a beautiful vegetable garden and butterfly gardens, and he grows vines that he uses to make baskets that he sells in the fall. He is going to make Hazy a rod for fishing speckled trout from the creek.
We have a ton of work ahead of us! I am letting a good portion of the property grow back to forest, and we have a nice spot picked out near the creek for the tiny house. The house needs to be completely renovated, including lifting the foundation in one place and new exterior siding. It has been pieced together over the years. Luckily, the house is water and animal proof, despite the years of being abandoned. It hasn’t been lived in since the 80’s. There is an adorable front porch, a metal roof, a stone fireplace that is completely intact, a root cellar with windows, a door and shelves along the walls, and it has 4 rooms, plus one tiny room in the back…one is the living room, one is the kitchen, 2 bedrooms, and we think the back room was a spring house and more food storage. There never was a bathroom, an outhouse only, and I’m not sure where that was located. The neighbors told us that they used the spring as their water source and had a pipe running down the property right through the kitchen window and into the kitchen sink.
The first thing we need to do is buy a large ladder and extension poles for fruit picking! The apple trees are ready to be picked, and we think they are honey crisp apples, YUM! Time to set up a road side fruit stand! We couldn’t be more excited about our new venture…check out the slide show below and share in our excitement.