Alexander Smith / AWM contributoe
Life in quiet, rural Kansas was a peaceful and quaint for Steve and Jane Fry. Yet it was not enough. They wanted a bigger plot of land and didn’t want to rest until they made their dream come true.
They relentlessly searched the surrounding areas for the perfect piece of property. And when someone suddenly died, their estate property went up for sale. Because it was a desirable piece of land, they quickly made an offer. It was accepted and the Frys moved onto it as soon as they could. Little did they know that they were about to uncover a treasure in their backyard that would change their fortunes for the rest of their days…
The Frys have been lovebirds since their college days back in the 1970s. While at Hesston College, they both studied to become potters. And after a brief stint in Georgia, they moved back to their home state of Kansas. There they opened up their own pottery business named Elk Falls Pottery in Elk Falls, Kansas.
Although Elk Falls is one of Kansas’s poorest areas, it was easy for the newlyweds to find cheap property in the 1970s and make life work for them.
Their pottery business flourished for decades. But in 2004, it was time to find a new plot of land. That’s when they came across the estate sale and put in their bid. It included 600 acres of land.
Although the house had been stripped of all valuables and vandalized, it was on a beautiful piece of land.
While the home was built in 1896, Marion and Maude Frakes purchased it in 1904. Although he died in 1930, this staunch Republican and his wife’s philanthropic legacy was left in his backyard.
Artists created amazing sculptures which were placed in the estate’s secret garden.
Maude hired local farmers and handymen to create these sculptures and pieces of art while they were out of work during the Great Depression. To think that such beautiful creations came out of one of the worst economic times in American history.
Besides the amazing art, the garden is adorned with wonderful and ornate pieces and fixtures. There are gorgeous bridges across the streams and even lighthouses.
But when Maude died in 1954, the estate was left unattended. That meant vandals and thieves routinely raided it for the valuables. And by the time the Frys bought it in 2004, it had been nearly destroyed.
After the purchase, the Frys spent many weeks scouring the property to see what pieces of artwork could be salvaged. They found elephants and even a strange egg-like sculpture made by an anonymous Kansas folk artist.
Because the Frys have fallen in love with their new home, they are in the process of upgrading it and fixing what has been broken since Maude’s passing. And not only will it be the new home of their pottery business, the Frys plan to open a bustling bed and breakfast. Now their new property is a dream come true for these lovebirds.
Have you ever heard about the new Elk Falls Pottery estate? Do these pictures make you want to get out into the country and own a piece of property? Or do you already?
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Source : awmnews.co.uk