4480 NORTH KITSAP WAY
“The Most Complicated House in the World” – Marjorie Fairchild (Idaho Statesman – Tim Woodward –© 1994)
John Fairchild liked to tinker. One day John got inspiration from an article in 1944 that he read in American Home magazine about rammed earth construction. It’s an ancient technique of building that uses both concrete and natural earth to insulate and create a greener home. This article created a 20 year journey of home building that should be a model for persistence, dedication, and perseverance. And poor Marjorie, the most amazingly patient wife. Maybe being a librarian helped with the tolerance.
There were years of unrelenting work, punctuated by occasional nightmares, but it was worth it. Its walls, 15 inches thick, are made of rammed earth faced with logs. The pegged-plank ceiling is actually concrete. There isn’t a nail anywhere in the house. Door jambs are made of Owyhee rose stone. The house just oozes with history.
The house was designed by John, an attorney, judge, and the first corporate secretary of Trus Joist now TJ International. As quoted from Marjorie, “He drew out all the plans on a paper sack. He drew out the wiring and plumbing and everything on that sack. It’s the most complicated house in the world. I knew when I married him I’d stick with something like this. Forty lifetimes wouldn’t have been enough to do all the things John had going on in his head.”
Like many complicated things, the house looks simple. Art Troutner (yes, THAT Art Troutner), a Trus Joist founder, spent a lot of time discussing the plans that made it that way. The house was one of the first buildings in Boise to incorporate early Trus Joist construction methods.
John was good with dynamite (!), and he got a miner from Placerville to help. Together, they dug a 40-foot tunnel. It took seven months. And yes, the tunnel still exists today. The Fairchilds began building their home in 1950. They moved into a “shell” in 1954 and finished working on it in 1970, four years before John’s death. Aside from the obvious unique things in the home, there really is an abundance of additional home mysteries waiting to be explored. For instance, there are ** 135 ** stones from the original city hall that adorn the landscaping. John hauled them one-by-one when they demolished the original city hall.
Original City Hall
The Owyhee Mountains beckon in the distance. It is unbelievably quiet. It sits up on the hillside – not too high nor too low. At night you can see the city lights and the Capital Building. The sunsets are breathtaking. The array of wildlife is so vast. Deer are abundant and accent the hillside perfectly along with our newly found albino deer. Around 9:00am every morning there is a large quail run across the front road. About 50-75 quail make their pilgrimage forging for food. They look like little road runners! There are a variety of birds that also welcome themselves in our bird feeder.
A place like this would seem like it’s out of the way, but really it’s only five minutes to downtown, on the way to Bogus Basin, and close to an abundance of amenities. It’s the perfect combination of tranquil and active. Bike trails, Edwards Greenhouse, parks, access to North Boise, groceries, restaurants, nightlife, all right at your fingertips. And even cooler for the history buffs, it’s right on the Oregon Trail.
CHECK OUT THE BOISE ATTRACTIONS SECTION FOR MORE.
We wanted to keep the Inn small, quaint, and focused on quality. That’s why we kept it to just three suites. They are all charming in their own ways. With the area being so quiet, the views, and a focus on luxury bedding and linens, it’s a perfect environment for a romantic evening. Marjorie’s Library is the largest suite. It has a full fireplace, private hot tub room, refrigerator, microwave, and Keurig© coffee maker. It has a private drive and a private entrance so you can come and go as you please without worrying about disturbing others. The bedding in all rooms are of the finest linens and we only picked the best cloud-like beds. John’s Study is where John’s office was and we see why. It has a stunning view. The windows are huge and when you wake in the morning you’ll be looking right at downtown and the Owyhee Mountains. When you first enter your own private entrance, you will see the most inviting couch sitting by a warm faux fireplace. The room includes a Keurig© coffee maker, refrigerator, and microwave. Enter the bedroom and you’re treated to the same cloud-like luxury bed and linens. Joan’s Sweet, which also has a private entrance, is perfect for those that want a more humble, cozy offering. It’s on the first floor and comes with a kitchenette including a sink, refrigerator, Keurig© coffee maker, and microwave. All suites include HDTV with FREE Netflix.
Where ever possible, we try to emphasize a green way of living. The way the home is constructed is considered to be one of the most sustainable methods of home building. We emphasize local, sustainability, and do our best to source all products from Idaho manufacturers. It costs a little more, but we feel it’s the best way to support local and give back.
Keith and Marylee