Guest House, Part 3

written by

Sandra Ressler

posted on

May 31, 2023

Two weeks ago, I revealed our latest project to you, and I've been telling you the story of how we came upon this project.  If you missed Part 1 or Part 2, you can click the links to read them.

As I said last week, Glenn and Clara Ressler (Ken's parents, who had been working on the farm) purchased the farm from Glenn's parents, John and Ella, in 1967.  I forgot to mention that in 1948, John and Ella had also purchased an additional 80 acres on the north side of Burkhart Road...the "North Farm".

Ken would have been about 10 years old, the oldest of five children, when his parents purchased the Home Farm and the North Farm.  And since he had several younger brothers, there was plenty of help on the when Ken turned 18, he got a job off of the farm in a welding shop.

Ken's dad and brothers continued to farm until 1989. At that time the farm was rented out to a neighbor farmer.

In 1996, when our kids were young teens, we sold our house in Orrville, bought 12 acres on the northwest corner of the North Farm, and built a house there. Actually, as the story goes, we first built a 60 x 90-foot shop/warehouse to house our business, and lived in that for the first winter.  We partitioned off some office space and a bathroom with a shower, then next to that we installed a kitchen sink and a small section of cabinets.  We had a dining room table and some of our living room furniture.  We also parked a couple campers in there...we slept in one and the kids slept in the other.  I remember people feeling sorry for us, having to live in the warehouse.  I said, "Why?!  We're warm and we're dry...and the kids can roller blade in the living room!  Plus, we can have a 13-foot Christmas tree this year (which we did, just because we could!!)  This is the stuff that makes memories!

Ken's main source of income for the last 40 years has been as a dairy nutrition he's still been involved in the farming industry.  For a long time, he had a dream of some day owning the family farm.  He didn't necessarily want to FARM it (at least not to milk cows), but he wanted to own it...maybe do some crop farming, maybe have a few beef cows.

In the meantime, in 2001, Ken's brother, Bob, and his wife bought 15 acres across the street from us (part of the Home Farm) and built a house and a horse barn.  And in 2008, Ken's sister Marita and her husband bought 5 acres (also part of the Home Farm) and built a house and a small barn.

In 2011, we decided it was time to approach Ken's family about us buying (the rest of) the farm.  His dad was in a period of declining health, and we were able to finalize the deal shortly before he would have no longer been able to make his wishes known.

Ok, so I thought I could finish the story this week...but I still have too much to tell you, and this letter will get too long!  To be continued again...

And here's a sunset view from the back deck of the guest house...


More from the blog