“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”
― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
I was on my way to a friend’s birthday party when I saw the listing for the ranch. Typical me, impatient and rather curious, I took a drive up there myself, climbed through the ramshackle wire fencing and walked about 50 feet before I stopped. 2 beautiful horses and a donkey picked up their heads through the 5-ft. high overgrowth and stared at me. Heels were definitely not my footware of choice given the chance, but alas here I was, and I wasn’t leaving until I got a good look at the place.
Overgrown with trees, weeds, and materials, I stopped at what looked like a pipe fence originally. I couldn’t really tell what it was, but I knew it was something special to someone at some point. A structure like that was built with care by someone and they intended to use it for a very long time. There was a door sealed shut by vines and some kind of cross bar attached to a pulley among other odd things. I would come to find out through the abstract that dates back to the 1890s, that is was a 1950s-style cattle corral for loading and doctoring cattle.
Anyone that knows me knows that I LOVE old things and an adventure. This was certainly both. I remember reading The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett when I was little and it was a story about this little girl who stumbles upon what used to be a beautiful garden but it was locked up behind a stone door, neglected and left to be forgotten. She eventually takes the time to give it some care and allow the beauty to grow once again. At a time in my life that I really was looking for an adventure, something to throw myself into and build something wonderful, this was it. Every piece of that property had a story to tell back to the 1890s and I wanted to know all of them and keep the story going myself. It was perfect and the idea of that I had the opportunity to take something in this state and possibly bring 100+ years of history back to life was enough for me.
Ironically, one of the first projects we thought would happen turned out to be one of the later projects we did. But maybe that was by design, it was the last piece of the original state that I held onto. To some, its just a white fence, but to me it is so much more than that. So, here are a few pictures of before and after of the cattle corral that all our clients pass through to get to the arena and round pen.