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In the early spring of 1949, Joe and Lelia Brugman carried their household goods the few steps from the old farmhouse in which they had been living since 1945 into the new rustic home they would love so much for the next 37 years.   Click below for video of the move.   (You'll need a high speed internet connection to view the video clips.)

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Their association with the Juanita area went back into the 1920’s when Lelia’s mother,  Ida Hart Frye, and aunt, Cora Andrews, settled on 20 acres where Happy Church is now located.  Lelia inherited the property when Ida died in 1930, and between then and the late 1970’s, she and Joe bought and sold a number of properties in the area.  They acquired the 15 acres surrounding Bedside Manor in about 1945, sold their lovely Laurelhurst home, and moved into the old farmhouse for the next four years.


At the end of World War II, lumber, plumbing materials, and every other kind of building material were impossible to buy as the country recovered from the wartime economy.  Not to be deterred, Joe bought a sawmill, had many of the trees on the property felled, and hired a man to run the mill and produce the lumber for the house.  The huge fir supporting  beams, the floor joists (some with bark still on them), the 2-by-fours, and the maple flooring were some of the products of the mill. 

Click below for video of the mill and construction of the house. 

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Although Joe continued his orthopedic practice in Seattle until 1960, he put in many hours of work on the house and property in his “spare” time.  When it came time to pour the concrete floor in the basement, the workmen dumped the stuff and left.  Joe stayed up all night spreading and smoothing the concrete on his hands and knees.  In the morning he went to Seattle, to work a full day with bleeding knees.

According the Lelia, “there were 19 buildings on the place that he [Joe] tore down, rebuilding some.”  The ones that remained included a barn, a chicken house, a milkhouse, and a shed.  The barn burned down and was replaced in 1960 with a new one that is now located in the northeast corner of the property.

Old Barn                                                                                                       New Barn

                               Old Barn                                                                                           New Barn

You can see the chicken house in the background of the picture below:

Chicken House in Background

After they were settled into the new house, the old farmhouse was moved across the street, just to the west of the current location of the Happy Church.  A family by the name of Tyler lived in that house until the 1970's.  Here's another video clip, showing that house being moved.  In the clip, the house is in the middle of what is now NE 132nd St.

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The property had the remnants of an old orchard, including 3 cherry trees, 7 apple, 2 pear, 2 hazelnut, and 4 plum as well as grape vines.

A few acres had been a commercial raspberry farm, so for some years they sold raspberries, hiring pickers and selling to fruit packers while also running a u-pick enterprise.  Lelia notes, “ many people from the Midwest where raspberries don’t grow were so thrilled to see, eat, and pick them.”  They kept bees and sold the honey, and also sold apples in season.  This Bedside Manor sign hung out on the road until the street was widened in about 1978.

Bedside Manor Sign

Joe had worked on farms during his Iowa youth and delighted in being a “gentleman farmer”.  He hired a distant cousin, John Steyart, to run it for a number of years. There were pigs, chickens, horses, and cows.  There were pastures in which they grew hay, and a large vegetable garden.

All this bounty came in handy during the Korean War when Lelia noted they “were issued food stamps for butter and meat and sugar. We had few problems as we had beef cattle, pigs, chicken, and milk.  We exchanged those stamps with friends for sugar so we could make our canned fruits and jams. The girls [daughters-in-law] and I learned to make butter in [the] electric mixer.  Dad found a used pressure cooker when none were being made, and [we] canned peas and corn and so lived pretty well with the garden.”

After John Steyart moved on, they “had several no-good hired men.  Finally one left without notice, the cows hadn’t been milked, so Dad called the butcher, and that was the end of that.”


Though the livestock disappeared, Joe and Lelia continued to garden until Joe lost his sight at the age of 94.  They canned fruit and made cider and jam for many years.

“The Farm” was a gathering place for the entire extended family from its earliest days.  Pappy made sturdy picnic tables and benches from nail kegs and  boards which were placed in the shade of the fruit trees. "Inlaws and outlaws”,  berry growers, beekeepers, and medical colleagues from Columbus Hospital attended huge picnics at Bedside Manor. Grandmother noted that it was a lot of work but they were glad to do it.


                                                               1975 "Inlaws and Outlaws" Picnic

The two sons, Joe and Bill, had moved their families to southern California in the 1950’s to find work, but spent every summer vacation at “The Farm” where the 8 grandchildren roamed the rural landscape, rode horses, picked berries, mucked about in the small lake, slept out in the milkhouse and the barn, and built a treasure-house of happy childhood memories.

Croquet on the front lawn

                                                              Croquet on the front lawn - July 1958

In 1984, at the age of 94, Grandmother got up from dinner, went into the living room, sat down, and quietly passed from this life.  Pappy continued to live in the home he had built until a few days short of his 100th birthday in October 1986.

Joe and Lelia’s grandson, Barry, and his wife, Christina, purchased the property from the estate in 1986 and spent several months upgrading the interior and finishing the basement.  It has been their pleasure to preserve Bedside Manor for the whole family and to share its hospitality with the wider community.

Pictures from the 1991 family picnic are shown below.

1991 Family Picnic 01

1991 Family Picnic 02

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