Friday, October 30, 2009


This old house was not just lumber and nails it was a treasure chest that held the memories of pioneers, teachers, Moms and Dads, brothers and sisters, yes it was my treasure chest. A place where ear aches were cured with warm towels warmed in a cast iron stove and gently stoked with the hands of a worried Mother. A place where real buried treasure was found between the many layers of wall covering and early tokens from local merchants of days when the stagecoach rolled across the San Juan's, lay in the ground underneath. The old chicken coup also held its own treasures, found between the walls was a 1879 Springfield rifle barrel without the stock.
This was a gathering place for high school boys and girls to bring their friends and be part of our family. No one ever need worry about a place to warm their hands on a cold snowy day or place to lay their head to rest as long as the Willett's lived there.
A room in back served as my Dad's printing shop, a place where he felt at peace no matter the time of day. For a time there was a chicken coup out back but gave way to a place to park a car, called a garage. As young boy, I once thought it would be brave to steal a chicken or two but figured the safest hunt would be in my own back yard. Dad told me years later of watching my antics from the window upstairs. Once he even watched me attempt to get out of a ditch in front where new water pipes were being laid, he never told my Mother of his drunk son trying to get home.
Christmas in the 1950's and 60's were always filled with joy around this old house. Months and years of Mother and Dad searching and designing just the right yard decoration to put in the yard for the enjoyment of all who passed by always brought some new excitement to Lewis street. Nothing was put out that was not hand made except for the lighting.
The old house became quite lonely as time passed, my brothers and I all became sons of Uncle Sam and set out to protect this country from what ever evil lurked. Even though the folks were left alone they always found some one in need of place to stay and took in a young girl to live with them until she finished high school.
Seeing the changes that have taken place leaves very little resemblance to the place I grew up, its amazing what money can do, my only regret is that my parents never reached the mountain top of wealth to enjoy the grandeur in their last years.
The old home is now a bed and breakfast, listed on the web as,


  1. great photos and great memories. hope I can keep my wonderful memories of my growing up years

  2. mr willet,
    your folks did reach the mountain top in wealth and joy! from reading this post, i believe wealth and joy came to your mum and dad in the form of the love they had for all of you, and in the love you gave to them. it came from the kids who spent time in the house and the young girl they took in.
    you mentioned that there was always a warm place to lay a head or warm a hand. and that your mum cared for and tried to help people. this is were the real wealth and joy comes from. it lay in the heart of your mother and in you and dad and your brothers. freely sharing is what makes people joyful.
    i want you to know i love this post about your folks home and the treasures you found with in its rooms and walls, and the peace and the comfort you enjoyed there. it makes me want to go to such a place and be welcomed.