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Walking Down Ranch

What is Old Will Be New Again!

Big changes are underway at the Walking Down Ranch Veterans Village-Lakeside in the heart of Lakeside on the main street. In the photo, workers begin the rehabilitation process on what was previously, “The biggest eyesore in town.”

In addition to warped boards and peeling paint, the façade of the building had more severe problems including separation and decay. The only solution, according to Dan Heath, the volunteer who oversaw this phase of the project, was to strip everything down to the original stucco and then either repair or replace that, depending on what problems were found. The long-term plan is to restore the building but retain a historic “Old Town Lakeside” look.

Some surprises are emerging in the renovation: the front of the building has underlying construction from different time periods including frame construction, siding, solid wood walls of large timbers, stucco, wood façade and what looks like adobe in some of the side walls.

This building is one of the few historic buildings remaining in town. What appears as one big building was originally two smaller commercial buildings built at different times and using different construction methods. The two buildings were joined together and over 80 years or more, served the community in many ways including mercantile stores, restaurant, pizza parlor, and event hall.

On Feb, 14, the old building will once again enter community life as the Veterans Village Thrift Store with proceeds to benefit local veterans and the community at large.

Behind and alongside the new Veterans Village Thrift Store, work is underway on the Veterans Village, which will provide temporary housing, counseling, job training, and placement services to assist veterans making the sometimes difficult transition back to civilian life. The complex is currently under a long-term lease but plans are underway to buy it for $575,000.

Volunteers and donations are always welcome. For more information, check this website, contact Maggie Heath at (602) 689-8056, or stop by the Veterans Village in Lakeside.