How large is the Farmstead? The Farmstead lies on about 1.75 acres of land along Dry Creek next to a modern-day organic farm. It includes a 2-story farmhouse with barns and other outbuildings. Just south of the Farmstead is another large historic barn.
How old is the farmhouse? The farmhouse is about 140 years old. The first section was in place by 1868, making it one of the oldest intact houses in Ada County. It is on its original foundation and has not been substantially changed since it was built. Additions to the main house were built in the 1870s and 1940s.
Who built the farmhouse? Phillip L. Schick homesteaded the property with his partner George Banker in the early 1860s. Schick later took over the homestead and built the house.
Who lived in the farmhouse? Members of the Schick family lived in the house from the 1860s until 1920 when it was sold to Frank Parsons, a gentleman farmer who lived in Boise. Parsons hired Basque farmers from Spring Valley Ranch to manage the property. The Echevarria family lived in the house in the early 1920s. In 1927, the family of Costan and Lucia Ostolasa moved into the farmhouse where their descendants lived until 2005.
What is the present condition of the farmhouse? The farmhouse is in surprisingly good condition for its age. The sandstone foundation is sturdy. The house has its original siding with hand-made nails, and many of the windows still have very old glass. Because of its good condition, the farmhouse was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on August 23, 2006.
How much will it cost to rehabilitate the farmhouse? Minimal rehabilitation of the farmhouse is expected to cost about $150,000. After that, it will cost about $12,000 a year to maintain using volunteers. Cost to restore the outbuildings has not yet been determined.
How will rehabilitation be funded? Funding for the farmhouse project will come from private donations, agency grants, in-kind donations, and membership in the Dry Creek Historical Society.
How will the Farmstead be used? The Farmstead will be used as a living history education center with opportunities for school field trips and adult education, as well as traveling exhibits on agricultural history. It will include a small rental area for meetings and social events. A 1900-era demonstration garden is being developed on site.
Who will own and manage the Farmstead? Ownership of the site will be transferred to Ada County in 2007 by Developers of Hidden Springs, Inc. Ada County will lease the site to Dry Creek Historical Society, which will rehabilitate and manage the site in perpetuity.
Is my donation tax deductible? Yes, your cash donation is a fully deductible contribution to the Dry Creek Historical Society, Inc. an Idaho non-profit organization.
For additional information contact Jay Karamales of the Dry Creek Historical Society at (208) 229-4006.
Dry Creek Historical Society, Inc.
The following agencies and organizations are supporting a restoration of the Schick-Ostolasa Farmstead through funding or technical support:
Ada County Board of Commissioners
Ada County Historic Preservation Council
Idaho Heritage Trust
National Trust for Historic Preservation
Idaho State Historic Preservation Office
Southwest Idaho Resource Conservation & Development Council