Back in the family, again! Well, more-or-less!

Feb 18, 2024 | 3 comments

February 18, 2024

Sydney’s Bay House c. 1985 Photo by Dick Hawes

Tucker is my seventh cousin on the Espy side if I’m remembering correctly what Cousin Ralph told us long ago.  That being true, his children are my seventh cousins once removed and (I think) they and Charlie are eighth cousins!  Which is really neither here or there except that Tucker’s daughter Lina and husband Dave  have bought my old “Bay House!”  I couldn’t be more delighted that it’s back in the family!

They are the third owners since Nyel and I sold it in 2001 to Ann Chiller who, in turn, sold it to Cyndy Hayward.  Ann kept all the furniture and knick-knacks we didn’t have space for in this old house,  and she added and outside bat house and bird feeders with microphones.  Inside ssounded like outside and we often sat there over a cup of tea just wondering what those birds were chattering about!

Charlie made a model house…

It wasn’t long after Ann moved in that our cat, Bowser, died  — of old age mostly (she was 19) — but she never really adjusted to being an inside cat here in Oysterville after having 18 acres as her own personal prowl.  Nyel used some of the left-over blue-stained pine from the inside walls to build her a little coffin — so she’d be surrounded by “home” –and Ann allowed us to bury her under a large spruce just south of the house.

I can’t remember how long Ann had the house — maybe six or seven years.  She returned some of its treasures before she left — she thought they should stay with us.  One was “Fern” the granddaughter of a plant Sue Cowell had given me from the library back in the seventies.  (Fern is still thriving, now at age twenty or so.)

… and sent instructions all the way from Valencia, CA where he was a Senior at Cal Arts!

My friend and neighbor Cyndy Hayward was the next owner.  I don,t think she ever lived there — maybe for a minute or so — but mostly she provided it as housing for her CEO at her Artist’s Residency.  He and his family were there for a good many years and it was during that period that a number of changes took place to the house.  Even so, like other aging beauties (human or otherwise) her bones are good and she is still a delight.

Today Lina and Dave came by and picked up the original architectural plans and other “beginnings” — including the first rough sketches Noel Thomas made when I was confiding my dream to him back in, 1977 or ’78.  I also showed them my first house “scrapbook” documenting the step-by-step building process by Ossie Steiner and the Mack Brothers!  Lina and Dave would like a  copy of the whole book — “I’ll bet Tucker could make one!” Dave said.  “Maybe two,” we agreed.  After all,  the other seventh cousin should have one, as well.

Fern’s Grandmother Would Be More Than 50 by now!


  1. Cuzzin Ralph

    ……….Josiah E(m.Priscilla Mitchell)
    Samuel E……….0…………George E
    Robert E……….1…………John E
    Alexander E…….2…………Thomas E
    Johnson E………3…………Robert Hamilton E b. 1778
    John Houston E….4…………Robert Hamilton E b. 1826
    Jessie Lucella E..5…………Harry Albert E
    Ruby Kathleen Miller…6…Helen Dale E
    Martha Van Fleet..7…………Sydney

    Cuzzin Sydney, you are Tucker’s 7th cousin once removed. Lina is Charlie’s 8th cousin once removed.

  2. Pam

    I remember seeing this house and reading about it in one of the Northwest Home books. It was so charming with student art work on the walls, lots of books, cozy kitchen..I loved it!

    • sydney

      Thanks for remembering, Pam! Yes, the house was written up in “Northwest Style: Interior Design and Architecture in the Pacific Northwest” by Ann Wall Frank with Photographs by Michael Mathers. It was/is a wonderful house and one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make was to choose between that one (“my baby”) and this generational home in Oysterville where I spent so many of my formative years! Sydney


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