The Buck House

View from Bald Mountain & The Buck House

In the spring of 1978, we moved from The Sauer House in Central City out into an even more rural area of the already rural town. Dad built a house for someone by the last name of “Buck” and in keeping with Central City tradition we dubbed this house The Buck House. As it was so far from civilization the owners were worried about vandalism and my family stayed in the house while it was finished up and before it sold. Dad called it a “spec house” which just meant that the owner built the house on the speculation that it would one day sell. Well, it didn’t sell right away and we lived there in the mean time.

The Buck House was a much larger house than we had ever lived in. In fact, it was so large that to conserve on the electric bill Mom and Dad closed off the entire basement and turned off most of the heat down there in the winter. The upstairs already had enough room with a master bed & bath, a main bath, three additional bedrooms, a living room, kitchen and dining room. Downstairs was a huge rec room, two additional rooms and the laundry. So, in the winter, they stuffed a door-sized piece of foam in the doorway.

This house was located on Bald Mountain in an area called Kings Flats. Mom and Dad bought a 5 acre mining claim not too far from where the Buck House was built and they prepared to build their own house. But… the bank wouldn’t loan money to build a house on an unimproved road. Unimproved?? What was that supposed to mean? It turns out that the property sellers didn’t fully disclose that the road wasn’t plowed in the winter time on a regular basis (only when the county got around to it). That meant to the bank that it was unimproved road and they weren’t going to loan money for building.

So, mom and dad decided that if the bank thought we were too rural and they had to build without a loan, then we were just going to get even more rural. They set about finding out what other properties were owned by the same real estate agency and traded a five acre mining claim on the outskirts of a very small town for a five acre claim way the hell out in the woods.

That summer dad and I moved into a tent on the property while we started building the cabin.