THE SWARR FAMILY IN LEETONIA
1948 - 2002
remembered by Philip C. Swarr, Homer, NY
My Grandfather Christian Cassel had a friend named Brubaker who had a cabin in Leetonia. He arranged for my family (
While exploring Leetonia, we noticed that there was a "For Sale" sign on a nearby cabin with a
Dad learned that the owner had been riding his horse in a
The agreed upon price was, I believe, $3,500. My father paid $1,500, my uncle $1,500 and my grandfather $500. My father painted the hanging "
I was married in 1964, moved to
By 1970, the
By chance I received an ad in our mailbox describing prefabricated redwood garages and cabins. The elderly salesman visited our house at our invitation and told us we could specify the configuration we wanted and the walls would be prefabricated at a factory near
In February 1970, I drove two company representatives in my Dodge Dart sedan to Leetonia. While there, snowflakes began to fall as they carefully measured the driveway around the corner Maple tree at the top and determined that their truck could make the turn. That set in motion some intense planning on my part. We could not have accomplished the project without the help of permanent Leetonia resident Paul (Wally) Walleisa (sp?).
Wally arranged for a lumbering company operating nearby to provide an operator and equipment to level the site in preparation for laying a slab. He also arranged for cement delivery from Wellsboro. In the meantime, in my home shop, I fabricated the basic plastic plumbing which would be buried under the 36 x 24 foot slab. All this was to come together in April.
The building crew of three provided by the manufacturer set up a tent on the property where the foreman, his family and the other two young men stayed. They day of the pour arrived. The cement truck driver seemed extremely worried about the 3-ton limits on the Leetonia bridges and Wally was worried we would be shorted in concrete. We were relieved to find that the water pressure from the spring at the Turtle Shell camp was just enough to come out the hose from the
It took all day into the dark of evening for four loads of concrete to be delivered to the site. It began to sprinkle rain as the last load was poured illuminated by car headlights and as I held the plastic plumbing in position.
During the several hours it took for the cement truck to make round trips from Wellsboro, Wally was determined to compensate for any possible shorting of concrete by driving us around in his beloved Jeep pickup to pick up large slabs of rock to put down before each pour.
Sometime in June the flatbed truck with our building panels and materials arrived in Homer from
So by the Summer of 1970 we had the shell of our building erected. We hired the same crew to haul finishing materials from home and to help me install all the studding inside. We had a well drilled. I proceeded upon many trips from home with materials to finish the interior. I fabricated the shower base, insulated the walls and ceiling, did the plumbing, put up the paneling and the ceiling tiles. We were wise enough to hire an electrician to do all the wiring according to my plan.
Long before the advent of SUVs, we ordered a 1971 International Travelall four-wheel drive for our anticipated recreation. The 345 cubic inch engine gave us about ten miles to the gallon. I bought a 4 x 6 utility trailer which I used to haul the carpet from
By 1972 our son Peter was born. Wally helped us find rocks for me to use in building the stove hearth. I really enjoyed that project. Meanwhile our children enjoyed coming to Leetonia. Wally was a frequent visitor. But as the years passed, our visits were less frequent but my parents continued to enjoy their visits. Dad was always present for the opening of trout season. We once had our family Thanksgiving dinner there but we were surprised how much the quiet of Leetonia changed with the arrival of hunters in anticipation of opening deer season.
One July 4th vacation, we saw an elderly couple coming up the drive as we sat on the screened in porch. We were surprised to learn that he, "Bill" Bailey had been born in the house with the elk horns over the entrance. But even more surprising, they lived within a few miles of our
Upon my father's death in 2002, the use of the place would fall solely to us since my mother did not plan to drive there by herself from near