As you have read in previous blogs, Long Hollow Ranch has been a working central Oregon ranch since the late 1800s. In spite of a good deal of searches of Deschutes county and Crook county historical records, we have been unable to find the historical records predating the early 1900s. We do know the ranch has 1895 water rights so we have concluded that the old house that used to be known as the bunkhouse was really the original ranch house. We have concluded from that information that it would have been erected in the late 1800s. Since we understand that the bunkhouses on the old working ranches were never built two-storied, but with a single floor and since this building has an upstairs, we believe that it must have been a private residence before it was a bunkhouse. Therefore, we have named it “The Homestead House”.
When we first acquired the ranch in the mid-80s, this house stood rather forlornly at the back of the farmstead near the barn and corral. There was evidence of an extinct well nearby, and an outhouse leaned wearily to one side behind the house. Irrigation equipment and miscellaneous things were stored in it. About eight years ago, the building was sagging and leaning in a twisted fashion so we decided it was time to either destroy it for safety reasons or restore it; we chose the latter option. The building needed to be moved to a better location, but first it needed a floor and bracing to hold it together for the trip.
After the skeleton had been constructed and the house seemed strong enough, it was moved to its present location by lifting one end onto a round pole. It was then pulled forward and additional poles were added as it moved forward, as the building was moved forward, the poles moved back. As they reached the back end, they were carried around to the front and this process continued until the house reached its final destination.
Then, the interior was completely remodeled and the house became our guest ranch Gift Shop. It continued in that capacity until recently when we realized we needed more space for lodging guests.
The interior was fitted out with beds, linens and décor appropriate to its new function in life. There is now a queen size bed downstairs along with amenities such as a refrigerator, coffee maker and microwave. Upstairs there are two twin beds, a nice bench, and tables. There are window AC units for summertime and electric heaters for cool weather times. We couldn’t be more pleased with the final results.
Guest families from around the country and Europe have stayed in The Homestead House and have expressed to us that they enjoyed it very much. For families of four or five who wish to experience life on a historic Central Oregon working ranch, The Homestead House at Long Hollow Ranch is the ideal, some would say perfect, place. Guests staying in The Homestead House join the other guests at the main house for meals or other activities, but enjoy their own private quarters for the night.
This beautiful, old building with its weathered exterior has withstood many a storm and countless years of bright Central Oregon sunshine. It is truly an awesome addition to the guest facilities of this historic working ranch. Visit our website for more information about The Homestead House and our other residences. We look forward to seeing you here on the ranch, soon!