Friday, May 29, 2015

February 1998 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace

Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
February 1998

This series of posts on each Friday during 2015 continues the stories of “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga, historical fiction families in the area of Oak Springs following the novel “Christmas at the Homeplace,” which ended as 1997 began. Here is a peek at ‘Life in Oak Springs,’ and the surrounding valley, in February of 1998.

The following are excerpts from an interview published in the Oak Springs Enterprise by Rachel (Nixon) Gates with Paul Gates, Manager of the Oak Creek Mill and Market, regarding planning efforts by The Bevins Trust, the McDonald Conservancy, and related entities up and down Oak Creek in the near future and in the long range:

“Based on the feedback we constantly receive from both our local and visiting customer base, several projects are now in various stages of development, Paul Gates explained. The Bevins and McDonald interests are also looking “outside the box” at opportunities that may be there that no one has yet recognized by visiting other sites around the country, even around the world, for ideas. The Internet has certainly begun to make this much easier, of course. I’m talking to you here, today, in hopes of giving the community some additional insights into some of things we are working on, recognizing that most of them are still in early stages of planning and development.

“Apportioning land along Oak Creek, owned by The Bevins Trust, through donations to the McDonald Conservancy, is an ongoing project. Roughly, all of the land on either side of Oak Creek, from the National Forest boundary on the north, just south of the county line there, to the south county line, is involved in this process. The challenge is to develop the proper mix of public and private use of that land both for now and into the future. Preservation and maintenance of the ecosystem is an over-riding concern. We hope to eventually have trails on both sides of Oak Creek, accessible to the public, with some, but limited, crossover opportunities.

“My most recent project, Paul Gates continued, is the possibility of putting in a Par-3, nine hole golf course, on the west side of Oak Creek from just above the Mill, down the slope and possibly around the Pond. Integrating this with the proposed Conservancy Trails systems and nearby other private developments is now being worked through with all persons and entities involved. The grant proposals submitted on behalf of the McDonald Conservancy currently being reviewed are a key element in those discussions as well, of course.

“The final major piece of this puzzle appears to be the desire of the families involved to create a residential housing development on original McDonald farm land just to the south of the Pond and Creek, that would also tie in from the west to the Bevins Stables and Trail Ride location, which is also the headquarters of the Bevins Agricultural Operations. These are complex projects, but it feels like we are beginning to see the long-term “light at the end of the tunnel” on this integration of ideas. While much of the detail work must necessarily be done “behind closed doors,” we do want the community to be aware of the outcomes being sought. That is why I’ve been authorized to talk to you about it all, today. I hope this has been useful.”


Big Thunder Lodge was advertising weekend specials for couples through the months of February and March.

Oak Springs Food Village ran a series of ads for their new fresh fruits and vegetables department through the month.

Social Notes:

Matt and Susan Winslow returned from a week of vacation that they spent skiing and relaxing at and around the Breckinridge area of Colorado.

The Valentine’s Day Dance at the Oak Springs Country Club was well attended and a good time had by all, according to several reports. The local band, Swingtime, was especially appreciated.

Cop Shop:

Three juveniles were arrested, booked, and remanded to the custody of their parents following discovery of their involvement in a series of recent break-ins and acts of vandalism in the downtown Oak Springs area, along Main Street, police said.

"May everyone have a homeplace, if only in your mind."
Dr. Bill  ;-)


  1. I'm trying to imagine what your organization board must look like, keeping track of all the characters and their histories so you can refer back....I'm exhausted just thinking about it, but you seem to thrive with it.

  2. And, I'm doing it for both 1880 and 1998... What fun! Thanks for the visit, and the comment, for sure!! ;-)