Recalling the huge, elaborate Brennan House
Thomas Brennan came to the Beaver Creek area of Crook County in 1882. He married Polly Hinkle in 1889. They moved to live in a log cabin on Grindstone Creek in 1902.
In 1908, Brennan had a stone house built near their log cabin. The house was constructed of native stone quarried about 2 miles west of the home site. The walls of the stone house were 18 inches thick.
There were four chimneys in each corner of the house that were built into the walls. That allowed for eight wood stoves, four downstairs and four upstairs. The stoves on each floor could utilize the same flues directly above the ones downstairs.
The lumber for the interior was hauled by wagon and team from a mill on Snow Mountain. The rough lumber was all hand-planed at the building site
There was an open stairway from the ground floor to the second floor.
The downstairs consisted of a living room, parlor, dining room, kitchen, pantry, bathroom and large back porch, front porch and a porch off the dining room. There was a small basement under the back of the house. There was a cupboard with an opening from the dining room to the pantry, so dishes and food could be passed through.
The bathroom, which opened off the kitchen and the living room, contained only a claw foot bathtub which drained outside. Toilet facilities were a wooden outhouse behind the house. Water for the tub was heated on the wood stove. There was no electricity and water was brought from a well behind the house.
Upstairs, there was a wide hallway with a balcony above the front porch. There were four very large bedrooms, each with its own heating stove.
The Brennan children grew up in the house. The stone house was very modern for its time, nicely furnished and was one of the most elaborate homes in the whole Paulina country. Everyone was welcome at the Brennan house and it was often a stopping place for travelers, but it was never a stage stop.
The house eventually ceased to be used as a home and the building was acquired by a large cattle company. The house was used for hay storage and eventually, the floors caved in.
For many years, the ruins of the old house were a historic landmark. Unfortunately, the house was reduced to a pile of rubble in 1995, and one of the iconic landmarks of the region was gone. The stone engraved with the date that was on the upper outside wall is now in the Caboose Park at the Bowman Museum.
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