Late in the 19th century, a young couple, the Broughtons, bought this house in Dayton, WA, from the person who built it. They wanted to raise their family there in what was then a growing and bustling frontier town.
And so they did. The couple went on to have 11 children, and soon there were many people filling the rooms.
“My great-grandfather had 11 children, and then those children had children, and those children had children,” a descendant of the original Broughton patriarch said. “There are a lot of us now!”
Still standing, still stately, the Broughton house no longer houses a single family, but rather, is the meeting and gathering place for the clan. The rooms are open for family members who are from out of town, and need a place to stay.
Understandably, the Broughton people take great pride in the house, keep it up, landscape the grounds, lovingly tend to all the various chores and repairs any house needs. When you are standing there, on a quiet spring day with the sunlight dancing across the many details of a finely crafted home, you can almost hear the laughter of the first nine children, see the ringlets of a little girl as she dashes around the house, chased by a younger brother in a game of tag. The older children and adults sit on the porch, enjoying the cool breeze.
The warm sunlight casts an aura over both house and landscape, and the new green of growth and floral color add to the sense of welcoming. The soft glow behind the curtains adds to the sense that the house opens its gracious arms to both visitors and owners.
Once there was more land around the house, when the town was young and the original children were little. Now, nearly 150 years later, there are houses and sidewalks and cars. The old hospital, now a building for various services, is just across the street. And yet the Broughton House, as it did when it was first built, commands its place in the landscape.
How time passes.
August 19th, 2022
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