The Ghoststead: A Bonus in the Bush

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When we bought the land for our homestead, the realtor indicated that there were no improvements of any kind, just bush with a small clearing of about five acres near the west end of the property. When I examined the Google satellite image, I thought I could make out a few vehicles near the east end. I thought that these were probably abandoned, just shoved into the bush and forgotten. I started out from the campsite in the clearing, to inspect the area near the east end, but found the bush so thick that I ended up skirting the edge looking for an easier way in. Along the way I met a man who turned out to be my neighbor to the east. After talking a bit, he asked me if I had looked at the building yet. “Didn’t know I had one” I told him. He went on to tell me that there was a building and a lot of junk back there, but it was just a little hard to get to.
After consulting the satellite image again to find the easiest way in, we walked, crawled and limbo danced our way into the old yard site. And there it was, one fairly substantial building about 20′ x 40′ with a narrow lean-to addition along the side. There was also a collection of chicken coops and other small sheds. No less than twenty vehicles mostly from the sixties and seventies were scattered around the area. There was also the remains of a small cabin. To our surprise there was no indication that the site had been looted or vandalized in any way. It was another indication of just how far out into the country we were moving. Even the windows were intact on the workshop. We spent a few hours as amateur archeologists, trying to piece together the history of the place from the artifacts left behind. The height of trees in what was once driveway and other clues told us that this ghoststead had been abandoned at least fifteen years. Another chat with our neighbor filled out the history of the property.
It seems that the people that we bought our property from also owned a one acre parcel on the east end of our property. They lived in a small house on that property from 1970 to around 1980. They then moved into town and rented both properties to a fellow who ran a small auto repair business out of the workshop on our property. At some point in the 90s that man left, leaving behind the vehicles and a large amount of salvaged car parts. Both properties stood vacant until 2011 when the owners sold all of their remaining property. A small building lot was sold to a man from Ontario who wants to place a trailer, to act as a hunting lodge. The one acre parcel was purchased by my neighbor across the road to the east. He was also dealing on the 50 acre parcel. He put in an initial offer as soon as the properties were put on the market. That offer was not accepted, so he thought he would wait a week or so to put in another offer. When he contacted the realtor with his improved offer, he was informed that the parcel had been sold to some crazy people from British Columbia. Life is all about the timing. There is a time to move slowly and deliberately, and there is a time to pounce!
Although cleaning up the ghoststead will be another big job, there is a silver lining. The main building is in need of much repair, but should require less time and money than building something new from scratch. Buried in the piles of junk are many items that will be of genuine use in establishing the new homestead.

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2 Responses to The Ghoststead: A Bonus in the Bush

  1. 99flyboy says:

    What a find! All that rusting tin can be valuable. If it works sell it on ebay. If it doesn’t sell it to the metal recyclers. You could end up with a little money for some projects. Congratulations on the purchase of the dream and the awesome find.

  2. Thanks Flyboy, There are a couple of vehicles that might be of some value, a 66 chevy stepside pickup and a 63 Corvair. The first thing I will have to do is move them all to a clearing out of sight from the house, so my wife doesn’t make me get rid of them right away.

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