Nearly six years have passed since I first made a trip to Baker County to photograph this house. I had been warned about not entering the property, which I wouldn’t have done to begin with, but I was intent on seeing it and, if I got lucky, getting a good shot or two. This is one of those images, from 29 March 2010. Much time has passed, but the popularity of my original photograph hasn’t subsided. The house is owned by “Mrs. Effie”, widow of one of builder Archibald McRainey’s sons, Malcom Angus McRainey. In recent years, Mrs. Effie has become a hero to many (including me) for her refusal to allow looters and vandals to further harm the property. Some have complained that she should have done more to save it, but let’s face it, not many could afford the repairs necessary to bring this back to its original appearance. But it’s still important to Mrs. Effie. She lives next door, and if you have any notion of trespassing here, don’t be surprised if you’re met with a hail of gunfire. If you just have to see it, drive by and get a photo from your car window.
For more background from a local perspective, see Jessica McDaniel’s post.