ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
This year’s Hillsboro Folk Festival will have a unique dimension: celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Adobe House. The structure, made of mud-and-straw sun-hardened bricks, was built in 1876 southwest of Hillsboro by the Peter P. Loewen family. In 1958, the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce, prodded by a few visionaries, arranged to have the structure dismantled and moved to town as a historic artifact and a way to attract tourism to Hillsboro.
Like so many things we’ve grown up with, a lot of us Hillsboro natives take the old Adobe House for granted. We think of it as common and commonplace-just as it physically appears at face value. True, the Adobe House is no ornate castle or opulent mansion. But it is not common-it tells a rich and powerful story of hardy pioneers who braved inconvienences and obstacles of all sorts to build a home on this unforgiving prairie. And it is not commonplace-our Adobe House is one of the few adobe structures left in this country. It’s earned its place on the National Register of Historic Places.
If we tune our ears to hear it and see it, the Adobe House speaks eloquently of perseverance, integrity, hard work, simple living, and stability. These are traits we need to be reminded of in these days of creature comforts, convenience and instant gratification.
The original reason for moving the Adobe House to Hillsboro 43 years ago-to remind us of our heritage and attract guests to town-is as relevant today as it was then.
Take a moment Saturday to rediscover this marvelous old treasure. May she last another 125 years-for our sake and the sake of our descendants who will follow us.