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Deacon Hill

Updated: Oct 18, 2019

In 2012 we bought 60 acres outside Austin with the intent of building our forever home. The property was once part of a 180-acre parcel that had been divided among three siblings when they inherited the land from their parents. One of those siblings still owns the other two-thirds of the original acreage and was actually born in a little dirt-floor house that was torn down long before we bought the property.

Deacon Hill,, DH, property, wildflowers, pasture

A creek forms one edge of the property we dubbed Deacon Hill, which causes about 2/3 of our property to flood with heavy rains. It made the land less expensive and more hilly, so we were fine with that. It's in a 100-year flood plain so we figured our odds were pretty good. Well, we've owned the land for 7 years now and it's flooded four times! We picked a high spot for our homesite and it survived the Hurricane Harvey aftermath, so it's all good though we do see an occasional patio bench or abandoned toilet that flows down when it floods.

Deacon Hill, DH, property, creek

Nestled beside the creek is an orchard of 80-year-old pecan trees. We haven't harvested them yet, though our neighbors do on their side of the fence. They also have cattle to keep the grass down, while we have to mow ours to keep up with the undergrowth. They must think we city folk are terribly inefficient. The first Thanksgiving we spent in our new house on the property, I used pecans from the orchard to make my late grandmother's pecan pie recipe. No one in our family or extended family eats pecan pie, but it felt right to make it anyway.

Deacon Hill, DH, pecans, grove, property, Austin

The original owners cultivated a large hayfield that was divided in half when the property was divvied up. We got one half and regrettably have not kept up with it. We did harvest it the first year we owned the property, but quickly learned the cost of paying someone to mow and bale it cancelled out any profit we would have made. We weren't living on the property yet and even now don't have a need for the hay, but it still feels like we're not being good stewards by letting the hayfield go to waste. Someday we may need it and will restore it to its former glory.

Deacon Hill, DH, property, hayfield, hay

In 2014 we sold our house in a gated community in Bastrop and moved to a rent house in downtown Bastrop so we could begin designing our future home at Deacon Hill. We hired an architect and (after a very disappointing experience) ended up designing our own home. This all took twice as long as we anticipated, but we learned a lot and eventually moved on to the property a couple of years later!

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