Della and Kevin Shapen honor locally made goods and Native and Western artifacts in one of the cutest sheds in the West.
Way up in the Ochoco mountains above historic Post, Oregon, an old shed with a small porch stands under a stand of pine trees, as if it had been there for more than a hundred years.
The shed looks antique, but it isn’t all that old. Made with care and using leftover materials from another building, the structure was constructed recently, as a way for Della and Kevin Shapen to house their growing collection of Native American. and Western artifacts.
The intentional rough-hewn building looks like it’s seen a lot of adventurers and gold seekers. Its front face mimics the false fronts of the Old West, when business buildings were clad with high two-story walls that hid the modest single-story gable behind it. The Shapens used siding from an old homestead that was torn down about 30 miles away.
Although extremely simple, the facade brings character and uniqueness to the little structure.
Cozy Wool Creations
The Shapens have a business called Oregon Wool Traders, selling handmade wool products such as slippers. Their Etsy store is consistently busy, especially around the holidays. Customers love the handmade quality and the authentic designs that reflect the place in which they are made. They get their fabric from Pendleton, a legendary wool production and manufacturing company founded in Oregon in 1909.
A Miniature Museum
The Shapens open their little house to friends and family occasionally. While there, guests enjoy the blankets, farm implements, household tools and artwork from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. “We collected so much over the years and the shed was almost like a repository,” Della says. “We needed a place to show them off!”
It’s also a place to showcase the products made by the Oregon Wool Traders. The biggest sellers are moccasins for babies and children, which are available both at Pendleton stores and at their online shop.
Gorgeous vistas of the snow-capped mountains inside the little shed are an every day occurrence to a guest who rises from a small bed covered with a Native American-design blanket. The cold is kept at bay with a simple electric heater; it doesn’t get hot enough during the summer to need electric cooling. “We had a violinist from Denmark stay over the holidays,” Della says. “The acoustics are surprisingly good.”
Lessons to Learn
A shed can be a versatile place. It can offer privacy, a place to get things done and even shelter for displays or stored items. Della and her family love coming out to the shed and have woven its unique look and its functionality into their business.