Welcome to the Hill House
(A photo of the house February, 1998)
Currently I (Joe Brandt) am fortune enough to be one of the Hill house's
Other occupants have been:
The reason the house is still called the Hill house is because each house
purchased by the observatory was named after the last owner of the house.
||Walter & Margie Arbogast
||Henry & Nettie Sheets
||Dale & Ruby Hill
||Grote Reber, Fred Crews,
George Grove, Howard Lake, John Findlay, Richard Emerson, Charles Dunbar,
T.K. Menon, Omar Bowyer, Bill Meredith, Bill Waltman, Lloyd Berkner, Lewis
Burchill, Dave Hog
||Pat Palmer, Bill Waltman, Eugene Epstien, Pigeon, Pollion, Brown,
Bailey, Ben Zuckerman, Maddox, Alan Barret, Yervant Terzian, Frank Drake, Michael Dewey, Henry Grahn
||Art Robichaud, Zigmond Turlo, Bill Ogden, John Schraml, Karl Wesslling,
Pete Henderson, Magne Hagstrom, John Finley
||Art Robichaud, Magne Hagstrom, Bob Swenson, Karl Wesslling, Pete
Henderson, John Payne
||John Payne, Magne Hagstrom, Jesse Davis
||Michael M Davis & Family
||Richard Fleming & Family
||Craig & Pepper Moore
||Wolfgang Batrla (Rich on LOA)
||Rich Lacasse & Family
||Joe, Shelly, Patrick,
Laura & Steven Brandt
The following is an article, which first appeared in the April 1974 issue
of The Observer, written by Richard Fleming.
The setting was 1914, as early America
was still being discovered, .... at least in West Virginia.
As the late afternoon shadows of Middle
Mountain drifted across the beautiful valley of Deer Creek in Pocahontas
County, West Virginia, Walter and Margie Arbogast carefully selected the site
of their new home. It would be on a plot of newly logged land containing of
future meadow and farming fields, 3 or 4 springs, and access to the small
road (Hannah Run Rd.) leading to the village of Arbovale, a half a mile away.
The house was to be about 100 yards from the edge of Hospital Run, which lead
from Arbovale to Deer Creek -- a little over a quarter mile northwest of
the house site.
The Arbogasts moved into the house
in 1915, (see photo) and lived there until
1920. Henry and Nettie Sheets and their children, Delora, Orville, and Gay,
bought the 59 acres in April 1920. The Sheets family, growing with the addition
of Jamie and Susie, lived in the house until 1950.
The farm was then purchased by Dale
and Ruby Hill, who lived in the house until 1956. The Army Corps of Engineers
bought the farm, along with other farms in the valley, as the site for what
was to become the National Radio Astronomy
Observatory. Each house that was purchased was named after
the last family living in it. Therefore the Arbogast/Sheets/Hill House became
the Hill House.
Since the Hill House was in such good
shape and had four bedrooms upstairs, it was chosen to be the first residence
hall for scientists and engineers working on the site. The house was remodeled
inside, bathrooms were added, a furnace was installed, the kitchen enlarged,
and a laundry room added.
Through the years many people have
lived in the house and enjoyed the meals prepared by Nellie Arbogast, Virginia
Irvine, Verna Tracy, and Cleo Harper before the new and present residence
hall opened in 1959. Even after the new hall opened, many people lived at
the Hill House.
I have listed the names and dates of
people who have lived in the Hill House at one time or another; some were
co-ops, some summer students, some transients and some permanent. Some of
the names are based upon recollection, and some on records. If I missed anybody,
please let me know because I am preparing a "Hill House History Book" that
will become a permanent member of the house.
Well, in 1998 the house is now occupied by Joe and Shelly Brandt, with
our three kids Patrick, Laura and Steven, our two horses Twix and Dusty,
two dogs Shadow and Nipper, and three cats Smooch, Hershey and Boo. It's
still a wonderful place to raise kids, and enjoy life.
Also See "History of the Arbovale Post Office"
Other views of the Hill house are:
Last Update 3/02/2001
- Recent 1998 image shown at top of the page hill1998A.jpg(62Kbytes)
- A wonderful view taken by Wolfgang Batrla in December 1985 of the house
in an astronomical setting with the 85ft, jupiter, venus and the moon
in the background hill1985.html. (69Kbytes)
- Reduced size color image of the house in 1974 hill1974_s.jpg(190Kbytes)
- Full size color of the house in 1974 hill1974.jpg (451Kbytes)
- B&W of front side of house (Year unknown, Estimate 1960's)
- B&W of front side of house in 1914, hill1914.jpg (215Kbytes)