Even relatively new communities like ours have a history, albeit a short one. When I get curious about the good old days, I turn to our pioneers, Bud and Elly. They moved in five years ago last month, when only one other home was occupied. Those very first residents are no longer here, leaving Bud and Elly our longest tenured homeowners.
Like many of my neighbors, Bud and Elly moved to Woodstock to be near family. In 1994, their daughter and her family had moved to a subdivision on McConnell Road in rural Woodstock.
Several years later, their daughter began telling them about the nice new ranch homes just down the street from her. They really ought to come look at them, she said. She was referring to the other Epcon community that some of us visited before buying here.
Bud and Elly liked the homes, but the locations of the only lots available did not appeal to them. Then they learned there was a newer Epcon community just starting on the north edge of Woodstock. And that was how, in 2007, they arrived at Maples at the Sonatas.
On Bud and Elly’s first visit, they met with Kim in a trailer that had just been set up as her sales office. It was located where building 26 now stands. “There was nothing but dirt, mud, and the trailer,” Elly said. “There was one short street,” Bud added. “It wasn’t even blacktopped yet.”
But there were advantages to this brand new community. The preconstruction pricing was attractive, and there was a better selection of lots. Bud and Elly chose one facing a small creek. There were sticks in the ground marking where the corners of their building, a Canterbury-Abbey quad, would be.
“Kim took us out there and said this will be the view from your veranda,” Elly said. “We were just standing there in the mud.” It was hard to visualize.
They went back to the Epcon community on McConnell Road to look at models, since there were none here. They decided on an Abbey and signed the contract in March 2007.
Bud and Elly remember sitting in Kim’s trailer choosing upgrades and finishes from the samples she had. They selected their appliances from catalogs and took pictures and model numbers to stores to try to see what they had chosen.
At the time they bought, building 1, a Villa-Chateau quad, was under construction. Soon work began on Bud and Elly’s building, 24, as well as building 25, another Abbey-Canterbury quad. (If you would like to see the location of these buildings, click on this map.)
The construction process took longer in those days. It would be a year before Bud and Elly closed on their Abbey in March 2008. They visited regularly and took pictures, some of which accompany this post. It was also during this year that our clubhouse was built.
When they moved in, there was no landscaping at all around their home. That would come two or three months later. Bud remembered, “It was a bit of an unusual experience. We sat outside at night and could hear coyotes.”
During their first year here, Elly and Bud picked up a few neighbors, but the housing recession was looming and growth was slow. The community was already having monthly coffee socials, but only a handful of owners would attend. They tried starting a book club, but couldn’t make it work with the small number of residents.
It is difficult to believe that now, five years after Bud and Elly pioneered our community, we have a thriving book club of a dozen members and monthly coffees that nearly overflow the clubhouse.
I’m only guessing, of course, but I imagine the next five years could bring even more change to our young community.