Monday, August 1, 2016

Marie Ogden's Garden

Back in June 2013, I wrote about Marie Ogden and Her Home of Truth (click on link for article).  Little by little I discovered more and more of her personal history, and her goals with the Inner, Middle and Outer Portals located in Dry Valley. Then I read a 2003 issue of Blue Mountain Shadows Magazine (Vol. 28/Spring 2003) - Monticello: Little Town at the Base of the Blues.  On page 65, an article by Lee Bennett told a detailed story of "Marie Ogden's Monticello Garden"  (this issue can still be purchased).  I was very interested in finding out if these buildings still existed, so worked out the location and yes, there were the buildings set back in an island of trees surrounded by wheat fields.  Now this was back in 2015 that I made this discovery; I needed to find out who owned the land and see if I could get permission to get out there and photograph inside and outside the buildings.  Foolish me, I shared my find with another person who promised to get me the information; a year later, the promise had not been fulfilled.  Usually I do things for myself, but I figured, "hey, this person is keen on helping me out, why not let her?" Yeah, probably won't be doing that again too soon; goes back to, "If you want something done, do it yourself."  So, a year later I went to the San Juan County Recorder's Office, got a name and number, but it was only for the folks leasing and farming the land.  They, however, gave me the owner's information and in a week's time; there I was, at Marie's Garden, photographing and filming away!

Here is my thank you to those who actually helped me out: San Juan County Recorder, The Halls Family of Monticello, and The Halliday Family of Monticello.  They were all very kind and helpful to this writer and photographer; thank you, thank you, thank you!!!   Also, thank you Lee Bennett for doing all that research for your article; now I don't have to!

Now I did give a lot of details about Marie in my 2013 write-up, so click on the link above to read that; or get a copy of the Blue Mountain Shadows and read Lee Bennett's article.  To rehash it all now if simply redundant; which leads me to a comment said to me when I was looking for the owner's permission, "Others have already taken photographs."  My response was straight to the point, "It's my turn!"  I like old buildings, they have character, they have stories to tell; when they are forgotten and let to ruin, it's sad, to me at least.

Lets get to the meat of this project, Marie's Garden is on property located on Route 491 (across from the Port of Entry) and Horse Head Road (Alan's Body Shop on corner, Electrical Power Station down further).  It is all privately owned, some is leased for farming; the owners like their privacy, just like everyone else does; so if you want photos, stand on the shoulder of the road, use a zoom lens and there you go.  This is what you'll see:

Marie's Garden from Route 491
Marie's Garden from Horse Head Road

Sorry, I have no intention of giving you the direct access route; just enjoy the photos and pretend you were there.

Looking West; Horse Head Peak in the Background.

Panorama Shot of Marie Ogden's Garden Buildings

A Quiet Oasis

The Tour Begins

A pile of stones sits in the shade of a tree; were they pulled from the gardens, used to line paths, or part of the buildings' foundations?  Nearby a rectangular outline in wood and stone; possibly the well?  North of the buildings though, a cistern surrounded by what.

 Possibly the well?

Concrete Cistern
The Main (First) Building

This building held a kitchen (the stove is a huge hint), cabinets and shelving line the walls; much of the walls, roofing, wooden doors and window frames have fallen away from, or into, the building.  From Lee Bennett's article, this is described as where the processing and canning of the garden's bounty was done.  Outside is the metal bottom of what once was a chair, and the full set of blades from the now defunct windmill.



Wooden Steps and Stone Foundation Eroding

Full Set of Windmill Blades

Metal Bottom of Chair
The Garden/Storage (Second) Building

This building has three sections, the middle section has fallen though.  Inside were remains of an octagon (8 sided) shaped table, table used for a train set, rotting carpets, bed frame, old fuel canister, and so much more.  My eyes, however, were drawn to the wooden apothecary cabinets that are still in good condition.  Were these used to store seeds?  As with the other building, the walls, roofing, doors and windows are falling apart; outside were piles of planking, and a heavy metal canister with no markings, so don't know what it was used for.




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Wooden Apothecary Cabinets

Octagon Table

Planking Piles
Fallen Middle Section


The Outhouse

Fallen over, the door now lies inside the small structure.


The Corral

There you have it, a photographic journey through another of Monticello's historic past, Marie Ogden's Garden.  We were there on a Sunday, very early in the morning; there was total silence and it was beautiful; that is until those ATVers went roaring up and down Horse Head Road.  We did, ourselves, scare the bejesus out of some locals eating breakfast at the Garden...wild turkeys and mule deer.

Again, thank you to everyone who helped us accomplish this goal; your kindness is so appreciated!!!

Mary Cokenour

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