The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.skelton.vigil
    MORENCI’S three Skelton brothers were remembered with both tears and laughter last week during a candlelight vigil at Wakefield Park. Several people came out of the crowd to give their recollection of the boys who have now been missing for five years.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.

Fayette home tour #3: Cooley house

Written by David Green.

tour.cooleyCurt and Nancy Cooley's farm at the corner of County Road R and County Road 23 is a long way from northern Michigan where the family spent many a summer vacation in the past, but the memories remain.

Curt recalls that one week a year as a child, his family made the long excursion north and that tradition continued after he and Nancy were married.

Four years ago they decided to recreate a bit of the past right in their own yard southeast of Fayette. In October 2008, they ordered a cabin in the woods—minus the woods.

It was once an all-day venture to go north, but not anymore. 

“Now I can walk a few feet and get a similar experience,” he said. “It’s really relaxing. You can feel all the stress of the day go away.”

The 20- by 30-foot cabin was constructed  just north of their home by an Amish crew. Creekside Sawmill of Topeka, Ind., furnished the nine-inch logs for the walls of the structure and the cabin was assembled by an Amish man, his three sons and two grandsons. There's tongue-and-groove flooring on the ground level and also on the floor of the 200 square foot loft.

For outside enjoyment away from insects, the Cooleys added a 10- by 16-foot gazebo with a double roof covered with cedar shakes. A sidewalk of paver bricks connects the gazebo with the cabin.

The cabin is decorated in a northern cabin style and includes a Jenny Lind bed and a vintage washtub with wringer on a wooden folding stand.

For the home tour, the antlers are decorated with lights, small bears climb the beams and a seasonal evergreen tree brightens the scene.

The cabin took just four days to build, but another 40 days to stain. A former student of Curt’s—he taught science in Wauseon for four decades—and her fiancé did the work, along with staining the fence.

That long, long fence is something Nancy really appreciates. In addition to cutting off the corner cutters who used to drive through the yard, it simply defines the lawn from the landscape beyond.

“That fence is the best thing,” she said. “It serves a purpose that we never thought about.”

She sees her grandkids playing out in the yard more often now that the boundary is in place.

The cabin serves as a popular spot for many family activities ranging from family Christmases to grandchildren’s ball team gatherings.

“It’s been the center of a lot of activities,” Curt said, but when people ask why they built it, he has a pat answer.

“When my wife and I feud, I tell her I’m going up north. Thirty steps and I’m there.”

They’ve kept it somewhat rustic—for example, there’s no plumbing—but don’t get any ideas about using the little outhouse tucked in among the trees. 

That’s just another reminder of the north country, Curt said, and the door is nailed shut.

• For parking during the tour, look for the long driveway near the cabin off County Road R. Park off to the side of the drive to allow other traffic to pass through.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016