Thank you so much to everyone who has shared their excitement, stories, and memories about this house over the last few days! When we started planning our website, we never would have thought so many people (like community members and past bed and breakfast guests) would end up sharing their memories of this special place with us! We’ve also been contacted by numerous family members of the previous owner – all of whom have shared how special of a place this was, and how excited they are that we’re sharing our photos and story so they can follow along.
We are so excited about this passion project, but as we read through comments and messages, we realized that people have a lot of questions, so here we go!
WHY “THE BECK STREET HOUSE?”
We decided to name our website “The Beck Street House” because, well, this truly is the Beck Street House! It was built in 1876 by Fred Beck I, who was considered a founding father of the town we live in. The photo above shows Fred Beck (in front of the bottom left window), with his wife, Barbara, and his children. The photo also shows two maple tree saplings, which flank both sides of our house today. Not a lot has stayed the same since this photo was taken, but our house does still boast the original gingerbread trim, which we plan to keep!
When we originally talked about creating a website for our house, we threw around the idea of naming it something related to ducks, but it just didn’t feel right. We eventually came up with the idea of “The Beck Street House,” and we knew it was the name we had been looking for.
WHY THIS HOUSE?
Like we mentioned in our first post, we sorta came across this house unexpectedly. We had just moved back to the area (more on that in a bit), and Laryssa set up an appointment with a real estate agent to check out another house in the area that ended up not being the right fit for us. Afterward, he invited us to check out another house that he had just gotten the keys to the day before. In fact, the listing hadn’t even been posted on the real estate agent’s website yet.
We knew when we walked in the house for the first time that it was home. Seriously. It was everything we wanted – filled with character and charm, but still had room for us to make it our own. As we walked the house we could see ourselves in it for a lifetime. Nothing about the house felt boring, contractor-grade, or prefabricated. It felt well-loved and cared for. It felt like a home. It felt like our home.
WHAT’S UP WITH ALL THE DUCKS?
What ducks? No, just kidding. This house actually use to be the Tree Haven Bed and Breakfast starting in 1988. More specifically, it was a bed and breakfast popular with hunters visiting the area (our town is known for duck hunting and exceptional fishing.) The previous owner was also an avid decoy carver, and used the shed outback and a small workshop in the basement to practice his carving skills. A newspaper article from 2001 says “The hunters reap additional benefits from the owners, who provide a basement for duck cleaning, a freezer for duck storage, and a dryer and clothesline to dry and hang hunting garb.”
WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THE AREA?
Laryssa is originally from the area, and Alan grew up on the other side of the state. Never in a million years did we think we would find ourselves here. When we talked about our future, moving back to one of hometowns was never a part of our conversations.
A few days before our local school district’s calendar year was about to start, and a month before our apartment lease was going to end, we got an opportunity that we couldn’t say no to – the chance for Alan to work as the agriculture teacher at a district that means so much to both of us. It was a whirlwind. Alan went from working at home, to preparing for an interview, accepting a job, setting up a classroom, and teaching students in just five days. Above is a photo taken the morning of Alan’s first day of teaching. We didn’t really know what our plans were, or what the future held. We were fortunate that Laryssa’s parents lived right down the road which made this quick transition possible. We ended up staying there for five months (thanks mom and dad!) before closing on our forever house – The Beck Street House.
WHAT’S THE FIRST PROJECT YOU HAVE PLANNED?
We’ve been living here for close to three months, actually! Our first project was clearing out our storage units. We really lucked out on this one. We closed on a Tuesday, and in order to avoid another month’s worth of rent, we had to be out by the next day. We were able to empty both of our storage units the night we closed on the house (Thanks Aunt Sheryl and Uncle Dave!).
We lucked out again as Alan had an entire week of snowdays the week after we moved in. After unpacking all of our boxes, we got right to work tearing down wallpaper in our dining room, kitchen, and family room. When we took that last piece of wallpaper down, we realized we were in way over our heads. The walls underneath hadn’t been painted – which meant they had to be spackled, sanded, primed, primed again, and then painted. We went through almost entire gallon of drywall plaster between these three rooms, and then the sanding caused the dust to fly everywhere [we’re still finding trace amounts of dust almost two months later.] Painting these three rooms have already changed our house so much, and we can’t wait to share the results with you.
Thanks again for all of the love. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!
Alan + Laryssa