Contractor Layne Westberg has finished a water-powered grist mill replica behind Joe and Linda Harris’ 1715-style Colonial saltbox in North Albany.
No flour will be ground inside, however. Rather, the couple is going to sell primitive antiques, furniture from Johnston Benchworks and lighting from Katie’s Colonial Lights — all made in the United States.
The couple enjoys American history, particularly the Colonial, Revolutionary and Civil War periods, so they frequently travel east, where they tour old homes and look for quality antiques. Some of the pieces they have collected are for sale and so are items the two are purging from their home.
The Pumpkin Hollow Mill at 2710 Whispering Oaks Place N.W. will open for the first time from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 15-16. The store will reopen during the same hours on April 29-30 and again on May 6-7.
“We aren’t going to keep regular business hours after that so people will have to make an appointment,” Joe said. “We will reopen again in the fall for limited hours. We’ve decided we are going to drive the business. The business is not going to drive us.”
To make an appointment, call 541-936-0847.
The 422-square-foot structure is built with 12-inch-wide pine boards taken from an old barn near Stayton. The service counter is an old door, and treads from a stairway in an old Corvallis home were placed at one end. The vaulted ceiling peaks at 24 feet, and the cement floor is imprinted with leaves.
Scattered throughout are jar candles, wooden buckets, bowls, spoons and a rolling pin, corncob brooms, beeswax eggs, dried tobacco, and signs that read Mules For Sale, Green Beans and Keeping Room.
“We wanted to carry what you don’t see in other shops,” Linda said. “When people come here, we want them to feel like they are having an experience.”
Joe added, “people like to hearken back to the old times and the old days and that’s what it feels like here.”
Outside are gravel walkways and raised beds, one of which will hold pumpkin plants in the fall.
Westberg was also the contractor on the Harrises’ home, called Orchard House. They moved there in April 2008. Previously, the Harrises had renovated a rural vernacular-style home on Calapooia Street. They have fixed up a total of four houses since moving to Albany in 1992.
Shortly after moving into Orchard House, they said they probably would build a Cape Cod-style home when they found the right lot.
“We’re not going to do that. We’re staying here because we love it,” Linda said, looking around her yard and out at North Albany Park, which abuts their property. “This is home.”