Day One:

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Francis M. Potter, civil war veteran and my great-grandfather. Taken shortly before his passing.

Our Farm was purchased by Boone Issac Potter and Ina L. Burris-Potter after their only son Frank Jay Potter, named for the pictured fellow above, after he was killed in WWII in the “Pacific Theater”. It was gifted to my mother, Delia Jeanne Potter and then to my brother Jan and me when she died, via a gift from her husband Keith.

Things like death can bring out the best or the worst in people, so it goes most times. I was lucky! Jan and I had a great relationship with our step father, Keith Cooper. Our family farm could have gone to his new wife after his death, but he and she, our wonderful great grandma Joanie Cooper, gifted the place to me. Why me? Good question! Again, only luck and fate. At the time I was living in Prineville and Jan was unable to financially take on the farm. Jan agreed that if Rick and I took over the farm we would see to it that he would inherit our Grandparents place up the road and I would take care of our Aunt Fran. To accomplish my part I moved Myself and daughter Beth to the farm. Rick would see to selling our Prineville house, and see if he could get a hardship transfer to the westside. I didn’t have a job. It would take a year to accomplish both Rick’s move and me finding good job. But we did it.

Fran was ok at this point, she had been diagnosed with emphysema, she would eventually decided to sell the old farm and move to town. This was heart breaking. She put farm up for sale, the house and remaining 10 acres for $60,000. In 1990 we were in no position to buy it and do the extensive maintenance required. Jan couldn’t buy it either. She sold it on a private contract and that was that. When she passed Jan did inherit some funds but it was sad compensation for the old farm and the memories from our childhood.

In the end we have Jan to thank for the opportunity to build this farm as we have for the last thirty years. Thank you!

The old farm and why we miss it: The Potter’s were a rugged bunch, a bushel of boys and a couple of girls. The original Potter farm was up the street a bit at the sharp turn. By the by that turn was created to reduce the cost of electricity installed from the road. I still have the coffee pot and toaster PGE gave my grandparents when the power was installed. Grandpa had to by the milk cooler for the dairy, as the law required. I don’t believe he would ever have bothered with electricity if the law hadn’t require it. Any who the Potter boys owned everything from the BLM lands to the Hwy. once. Lee and Roy had moved on when I was little but Boone stayed, I am sure he intended for his son, or my brother later, to take over the farm. That’s why I would get the lower 40. But he hadn’t figured on his daughter Francine needing a place after he was gone. But Fran sold the original farm so she would have money to live on. To bad too, I really loved that place with the log house, the beaver dam and old prairie barn. But things don’t always workout. I hope he rest well knowing that this place is still in the family and will go to his great great grandson. At least I hope it will, God willing and the creek don’t rise.

So, this brings us to Tawney’s Red Gate Farm. From Potter, to Cooper (my mom), to Abeita (my maiden name), to Tawney (my married name), to Lagler gen 1 (our daughter) and gen 2 (our grandson).
Its a beautiful piece, twenty acres of woods and 18 acres of farmable land. Two good barns, vegetable garden with shed and a little cedar green house. A 1962 1000 sq.ft. ranch house with a 1990 1000 sq.ft. addition. Its surrounded by gardens, deck, patio and orchard. A view of the Mountain to the East. Covered in wild flowers, hay and pasture fields, our animals enjoy abundant feed year round. This blog will cover what goes on thru the seasons. Maintaining‚Äč, building new, keeping living-things living. Finding joy in the every day and the luxury of retirement… hope you enjoy these little tales.

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