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Memorial created 04-29-2006 by
A Friend
Maureen Bridget Cavanaugh
January 7 1955 - April 4 2005

 

The Cavanaugh Homestead
500 South Lilac Drive
Golden Valley, Minnesota 55416
Phone 612-545-6713

 

One of the sad things that happened during Maureen's life was the destruction of her childhood home.

 

 

Her father built the house in a very grand style for the times. My guess is it was built in the early 1950s. It was made out of gray limestone and contained many large rooms, fireplaces, and decorative wrought iron. It looked massive and impressive. Sadly, it was not to last as long as the temples that Maureen studied. Highway 100 was expanded to six lanes and bigger overpasses. The state needed to come up by the Cavanaugh home to where Lilac Lane would no longer exist. Colonial Drive would be extended to a circle, which would allowed access. However, old man Cavanaugh was a contentious lawyer. He decided he would rather sue for the state to buy his home. What was sad, is that he did not realize that if successful, he would have to leave. He won and it fell to Maureen and Chris to help him pack. He was drunk most of the time because he realized he was losing a home that held all his memories. Because of the situation, and condition of Vincent, Maureen and Chris could not save everything. Much was thrown out.

 

 

Today, there is no sign of the homestead. All the trees were cut down so the land could be graded to meet the new needs of the highway.

 

 

 

This Memorial Weekend 2006, I placed a banner in memory of this once beautiful home that was where Maureen grew up in, until she left for college in 1972.

Update 2007: One year later the banner is still flying at the Cavanaugh homestead. Whoever mows and maintains the area has respected the banner and not removed it.

 

Like the House of Usher, it fell to dust. Maureen had no love for the home or for most of the memories it held. As Chris would write in her biography, she did not appreciate her father's ways. This would affect her all her life and shape her relationships for both good and bad.

 

I remember driving on Highway 100 while delivering some printing to a customer and seeing the front door was boarded up. I stop by and found one door open and was able to walk through he abandoned house. It looked so strange to see almost everything gone. No photographs, no furniture, no books, nothing in the kitchen but empty cupboards. On the floor in the living room an abandoned Christmas decoration. I sadly remembered the bittersweet and turbulent relationship I had with Maureen. I knew that soon her home would be no more and forgotten. I did not know until after Maureen had died of how the end was so painful and difficult. The work of dealing with her depressed and drunk father fell on her shoulders. Maureen did not deserve such a dysfunctional father. My inspection was sometime during the late 1980s, I cannot be more specific as it was just a short five minute investigation of my past.

 

 

 

Black Dog Apple Farm

 

 

4583 County Road 33 SE

 

 

Buffalo, Minnesota

 

In 1983 Chris and Maureen bought 80 acres on which rested a very old farmhouse, barn and other miscellaneous out buildings. The mutual dream was to start an apple farm and have space to raise their Newfoundlands. They ended up living in Buffalo for 15 years. Chris would recall that they never really made much money on the venture, but it was some of the happiest and most meaningful times of their lives together. They planted 2000 apple trees of many varieties. According to Chris they planted 5000 trees in all - many planted April 18-19 of 1986. From the main road I thought it looked more like a conifer forest than an orchard. There were also berries, critters, and big dogs.

 

In 1998 Maureen was ready to move on and they sold their farm to the James. Sadly, the James let the farm go to pot. The apple trees were neglected and became diseased. However, there is a happy ending to the vision of Maureen and Chris. Five years ago the Cummings bought the farm so they could have a place to raise horses. They really did not give much thought to the apples orchard. However, once they moved in with the seven boys, the idea of growing apples grew on them. Today all the trees are thriving. They have expanded the orchard and increased the apples to over 25 varieties. The current name for the farm is Honeybee Apple Orchard. Last year they had their biggest harvest to date and 2006 looks like an even bigger crop. It is a happy farm of horses, dogs, cats, bees, chickens and trees. Chris and Maureen would hardly recognize the place as the James enlarged the farmhouse.

The photos of the orchard farm were taken June 27, 2006.

 

 

 
 
 
 

The Honey Bee Apple Orchard when Maureen and Chris lived there.

 

The farm in 1985 - almost no trees.

 

The orchard in 1988. Small trees.

 

Today this view would show a solid wall of evergreen trees.

 

The barn and house - 1985

 

Sheep and chickens - 1987.

 

1988 - trees have grown well under Maureen's and Chris' green thumbs.

 

The Orchard in 1989.

 

Original Sign for the Cavanaugh/Plum Apple Farm which now resides in Chris Plum's new kennel room.

 
 
Maureen's Last Homestead

This is the home where Maureen experienced her last moments of life and dealt with her mortality.  The address was: 11430 Blackwelltown Road, Midland VA 22728.

THE BUSTLE in a house
The morning after death
Is solemnest of industries
Enacted upon earth,—
  
The sweeping up the heart,         
And putting love away
We shall not want to use again
Until eternity.

E. Dickinson

 
Maureen's Last Homestead
11430 Blackwelltown Road, midland, Va via Bing
 

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