Ruckus Ridge Crafts
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the story of our South Dakota house.
The name Ruckus comes from Rokosz which is supposed to mean ruckus or tussle or something to that affect. John's father was a first generation American, born of Polish immigrants. His mother was Swedish and he likes to joke around that he is a very confused individual. His Swedish side wants to go out and see the world while his Polish side wants to sit on the porch and drink beer. For a while we actually had the best of both worlds because we were full time RVing for almost three years. During that time we visited every state west of the Mississippi except Louisiana which we crossed through a couple of times but never actually stopped to spend the night.
John was born in Chicago, IL and has lived in a number of places. Washington, Colorado, Arizona to name a few. I was born in a small town in California and though I had moved a few times, I had never lived outside of California. John happened to be working at Kings Canyon National Park when we met. And the rest (as they say) is history.
In October of 2002 we took off from Atascadero in my 1991, 36' Winnebago Chiefton to see the US. We would spend the Summer wherever John got a job, (he was a seasonal national park ranger) and spend the winter in Arizona not far from quartzite. After a year on the road, on November 17, 2003, on a Cruise ship in Galveston Harbor, we were married. And then in May of 2005, we started the South Dakota project. The total overhaul of a 125 year old farmhouse.
Well, only the original part is really that old.
The house was built in stages. The left hand section was built in the 1880s using rough sawn cottonwood timbers. Then some time in the 1920s they added on the second part (in the right in the photo) which included the kitchen and a bathroom. We think they may have actually brought in a portion of an existing house and attached it to what was already there, because the floors on the second floor did not line up right and the north wall had actually been extended about three feet. You can see where that was in one of the photos in the Kitchen rebuild section. Here you can see that the roof changes its pitch right about where the eve of the original parts joins the addition. Things did not line up there exactly either. This was what we had to work around when trying to do anything. The entrance to the basement was outside at that point and sometime in the mid to late 1900s the owners added that little extension that you see sticking off to the right so that the basement could be accessed from the inside. At that point they finished the basement to add bedrooms in order to accommodate a growing family. The bedrooms were no longer there when we bought the place. We were told that the basement had flooded once after the kids had grown and gone so all of the drywall, or what ever had been used for walls had been removed.
When the tractor shed blew over during a high wind, we decided that we had had enough and put the house up for sale.
It looked quite different from the photo you see above when it finally sold in December of 2014.
We had added a two story with basement, and a wrap around porch to sort of tie things together. We also added a dormer on the original part to open up the two rooms on the top floor and completely re-did the roof and siding.
To see the renovation go to our "building a home" page
We had also moved a few buildings around and added a new shop building.
It was hard to say goodbye to the place after all that we had put into it, but we decided that it was time to retire.
We are now living in New Mexico. We bought a 3 bedroom 2 bath modular on one acre (big downsize) and are right now in the process of adding on a garage and 4 season porch with fireplace. Ha Ha, I know, here we go again. But it's in our blood, we just can't help ourselves. :)
Anyway, we really love it here. We are both rock and mineral hounds and this area of New Mexico is a great place for exploring and rock collecting. And there was a small shop building already on the property that John has fixed up so he can continue with his woodworking. And I brought enough gourds with me to keep me busy for quite some time. So here we are, living the life in New Mexico and loving it.
last updated 12-27-2015
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