Thursday, April 21, 2016

Bella's 9 Days Old

BreZaak invited us over for a quick visit. Look at this little girl! It's incredibly fun to watch a person's personality blossom. The poor little darling really wanted to sleep - and Grandpa and Granna had the job of keeping her awake. She's not very happy looking in most of the zillion photos we took.

9 days old
 Grandpa's in trouble! 

Ah, he still has a few tricks! 

Daddy and Bella 
We tore ourselves away from BreZaak Bella, and stopped in at Arielle's and Krista's. They invited us for dinner, the kids gave Arielle an hour of study diversion, and Michael earned our dinner by editing various college and graduate level writings.  Another full day - the weeks are packed.

Skinner's Butte ~ Eugene, OR

We were so close to Skinner's Butte, and finished the tour earlier than expected, so we drove up the butte. I love this picture of Mom and Dad. 

A big attraction for the kids is sliding down the "O". 

 This plague is in a seating area. The view is beautiful from up here. 

My grandmother, Katherine, was a Skinner. Reading the plaque on the terrace, I wanted to try to locate the site of the cabin built on the western slope of the butte.  Michael suspected he knew where it was - and he was right. This is the location of the first cabin built in the area in 1849,  by Eugene and Mary Skinner. I wonder if they had rock climbers out their window in 1849. LOL

This was another fun outing with my parents and Lorri. I'm thankful they're willing to be drug along on some of these outings.  Nolan was introduced to Dominion at a Game party last Friday night. He has a gift certificate to Target and asked if we could stop and buy the game. 

Alas, there are no copies of the games at any of the "nearby" Targets. 

However, to put the cherry on the top of a great day, we were invited over to visit with our favorite one week old, and headed from Target for a visit. 

Castle on the Hill ~ Eugene, OR

Completed in 1888, the Shelton McMurphey Johnson House, or the "Castle on the Hill" has watched over the city of Eugene, OR for over a century. We noted the house on our train rides in and out of Eugene and have tried twice before to visit.

I read the website wrong and we showed up just as they were closing a bit after 1:00 p.m. The curator was gracious and allowed us in and told us to take our time. She answered our questions, gave us self-guided tour notebooks and made herself available for more questions at the end of the tour. Wonderful customer service. 
Can you see the "1888" on the side of the home? 

Alex, Dad, Stacia, Lorri, Nolan, Me, Mom 

Dr. Thomas Shelton, and his wife Adah, originally bought over 300 acres from Mary Skinner. They owned the entire Skinner's Butte.  Early pictures show a grassy knoll with grazing sheep. They (and the McMurphey family) planted the many trees and bushes which currently thrive on the butte. The property now consists of 1 acre.  The house has survived two fires. The first was started by a disgruntled workman before the home was completed. The house had to be reconstructed. Total cost came in at $8,000. The second fire occurred during a remodel. 

Dr. Shelton established a lucrative medical practice.  He was also a druggist and part owner of the first water utility company in Eugene. The Sheltons lived in the Castle on the Hill until 1893, when Dr. Shelton died of Leukemia at the age of 49. Adah sold the house to her daughter, Alberta. 
Site of 4 McMurphey weddings
Alberta married Robert McMurphey in an alcove in the parlor. The couple had four daughters and two sons. Three of their daughters were married in the same alcove. The house is currently hosting an exhibit called the Traditional Bride. Informative reading on various wedding customs, along with antique wedding attire are sprinkled throughout the home. 

Alberta was one of the first graduates of the UofO's school of music in 1886. She taught music in the high-school until her marriage, and then offered lessons in her parlor. Robert McMurphey was involved in real estate, insurance and became manager of the Eugene Water company - founded by his father in law. He also owned a woolen company. 

Eva Frazer Johnson returned to Eugene with her mother, after the death of her father while she was an infant. She lived around the corner from the McMurphey family and was good friends with the McMurphey children. She grew up loving and dreaming of living in the Castle on the Hill. She married Curtis Johnson and both became doctors. Curtis specialized in Pediatrics, while she specialized in General Medicine. Eva became a pioneer in Psychiatry and specialized in personal and divorce counseling.  When the home came on the market after Alberta's death in 1949, Eva purchased the home for $30,000. 

The Johnsons had the turret restored and Curtis created the ultimate man cave on the 3rd floor. He once locked himself inside and so cut a small hole through the wall to reach out and open the door. I'm not sure why they didn't install a knob that would open from the inside. LOL

In her later years, Eva rented the upstairs rooms to university students and single parent families. She offered the home to her children in 1975, but none of them were able to take it. She gave the house to the Lane County Historical Society with the stipulation that she be allowed to live in the home until her death. Eva died in 1986 at the age of 97, the home was transferred from the county to the City of Eugene. 

Mustache cup - love it! 

My dream kitchen window

Several public teas are offered throughout the year at the house, the house is also available to rent for weddings, private teas and meetings.

This was a fun tour and provided insight into local history. The cost was only $5 per adult with a Triple A discount.