You are standing on the front porch of the farmhouse. Construction on this house began in 1919 and the Rastoviches moved in upon its completion in 1920. In front of you lies the north pasture. Originally potatoes were planted in that field, then it became a grazing pasture for cows, and now it grows hemp. Look toward the carport and the small hill behind it - that’s where Anna’s garden used to be. She would grow assorted fruits and vegetables to feed her family and to take to market. Whenever visitors came to call, she would take them out to her garden, careful to close the gate behind her to keep out the family dog, to gather a “mess of this” or a “mess of that” for the mildly protesting visitor to take with them.
Even after it was no longer a garden, every year an alfalfa plant sprouted without fail for 80 years. Today, the carport sits in what used to be the garden. In the driveway, you can see the 1948 Plymouth that Helen (Rastovich) Barrett bought brand new and fully accessorized. It had back-up lights, curb guards for parallel parking, a radio, a heater, a spotlight - the works. She didn't know how to drive yet, so a friend drove it out of the dealership for her and then to Millie's until Mike or Danny could come get it. They taught her to drive by riding with her as she drove back and forth to work. She drove the car for 20 years, before giving it to her dad.
The family often gathered on the porch to take in the view. It was and continues to be a favored place to enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning.
From this vantage point, you can see juniper trees all around us. This was not always the case. While the juniper tree has always been native to central Oregon, between 1936 and 1988, the juniper tree count in Oregon increased 5 times over. This is due in part to how we’ve changed the way grasslands are managed. Native Americans used to set fire to the grasslands to keep them open. Not any more. We do our best to suppress fires because they threaten houses, livestock, and other things we care about.
To the northwest is the cistern, which was used to store the family’s water supply. The cistern used to be in the field, and the fence went almost right up to the front porch, as you can see in the photo of Martha, Danny, and Helen. On the north side of the cistern, you can see hooks where they would tie up the horses.
Along the west side of the house, to your right, is where many of the family’s photos with Bob were taken on his furlough home from the war in 1944. Along that side of the house, you will also find the door to the kitchen - you were family if you entered the house through that door. Only visitors came through the front door.
Scroll through the images to see this porch and the side of the house throughout the last 100 years or click “next” and head toward the bunkhouse for the next stop on the tour.