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Family Moves Farmhouse to North Mountain Park Location

As It Was - Episode 2265

Ashland’s North Mountain Park includes 20 acres of ball fields, 17 acres of natural area, and a restored, turn-of-the-century farmhouse that serves as a nature center.  
The farmhouse was once part of a dairy located up the hill on North Mountain Avenue.  In 1965, the Williamson family decided to downsize and placed the farmhouse on sale. The Gunter family, who lived in a smaller house on the land that is now North Mountain Park, purchased the house for $500 and spent another $2,000 on having it placed on skids and pulled through three horse pastures to its current location.  
Bonnie Gunter and her five siblings loved their new farmhouse.  She remembers listening with her sister through their upstairs bedroom window to night trains whistling through Ashland.  
The Gunter family recognized the special value of their land along Bear Creek and the resident deer, beavers, red-tailed hawks, wood ducks, and golden eagles.  Even before the Gunter’s sold the property to the City of Ashland in the 1990s, the family invited schools and the community to visit and enjoy the wildlife.  
Beginning in 1999, local contractors and community volunteers renovated the farmhouse to its current pristine condition.
Sources: An Introduction to: History of the Rogue Valley. Ashland, Oregon:  April 2011. Web.  20 Sept. 2013. http://www.ashland.or.us/Files/HistoryBackgroundBooklet.pdf; Oral History of Bonnie L. Gunter by Samara Guyars. Southern Oregon Historical Society, April 20, 1998; Tuck, Kari. "An Opportunity to Work with Nature." Ashland Daily Tidings Aug. 1995. 

Amy Couture has a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Oregon, a master’s in teacher education from Eastern Oregon University, and a master’s in history from Minnesota State University, Mankato.  A former teacher and cross-country coach, she is the author of 14 historical vignettes in the book, Astorians: Eccentric and Extraordinary.