Home on the Range
A couple re-creates the Old West in a former meat market in California.
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A lot of people wish they could visit the Old West, but thanks to an old meat market in Upper Lake, Calif., Tony Oliveira is actually living in it. He bought the property in 1990 and spent 14 years turning it into a beautiful reminder of what California once was. He fell in love with the building, originally a meat market-turned-bottling company and ice house, because of its location. Built in 1904, not only is it on Upper Lake’s Main Street, in the Clear Lake basin, but it also has a breathtaking backdrop of a beautiful western mountain range.
Oliveira realized that, despite its run-down state, the building and location would be perfect for what he had in mind. The final product is striking. He and wife Margie live on the second floor. The first floor is an antique shop that’s also a recreation of a western town. There’s a barbershop, a shoeshine shop, a saloon and even a livery stable. Future plans include a blacksmith shop, which will actually be a functioning barbecue pit for outdoor parties. The Oliveiras have put a lot of work into their 7,000-square-foot home, but it is well worth it. As the sun sets in the Old West, this couple feels right at home.
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