Owners: Michael and Nancy Melary
Address: 10700 Westside Drive, Cle Elum
Please do not trespass on private property to take photos!
Quilt Block: ‘Peony’ (in memory of Magdalena Zrebiec flower beds and her favorite, the peony)
Nancy Melary has been quilting since she retired in 2005. She belongs to the ‘Caring Cle Elum’ ladies quilt group that makes quilts for “Operation First Response’, a program to support our troops by providing supplies to wounded soldiers. They meet weekly at St. John’s Catholic Church in Cle Elum. Her favorite part of quilting is making ‘scrappy ‘ quilts, using what I have on hand to make pretty ‘Log Cabin’ quilts.
Farm History: Michael and Nancy to not have a historic barn or a farm, but the land on which their property sits has a lot of history in Upper County. This is that history…Joseph Zrebiec, son of Jacob and Maria Zrebiec, was born in Poland, Jan 16, 1874. He immigrated to the US as a young man to work in the coal mines of Pennsylvania, where relatives were located. He married in 1897 to Magdalina Grzywac, also born in Poland in 1876. They were the parents of nice children, three whom died in childhood. In 1904, Joseph moved his family to the Cle Elum area to work in the local coal mines. Later, Joseph left the mines to work as a subsistence farmer and rancher.
Their old, abandoned farmhouse is located on the nrth side of Zrebiec Road, just off Westside Drive. The outbuildings across the street from the home have collapsed, but the remnants of the building are clearly visible. Structures included a barn, a smokehouse, a milk separator shed, a hog pen, an outhouse and a root cellar. The field south of Zrebiec Road where crops were grown is gradually reforesting with native pine, but the field still has the remains of a log barn where it is likely winter feed was stored.
Farming life was very difficult. The couple worked 60 hours a week to sustain their family. Joe and ‘Maggie’ used horses to plow the fields where alfalfa was raised to feed the livestock and potatoes were raised for their winter meels. The Zrebiecs raised all their vegetables, fruit, hogs and chickens. Cows had to be milked twice a day, eggs gathered, meat butchered and prepared for storage by using the smokehouse, or taking it to town to store in the rental freezer lockers. They had no indoor plumbing, water was obtained from a nearby spring. The house did not have electricity until after Joseph and Magdalina had passed away in 1947 and 1961 respectively. Thank-you, Nancy and Michael for doing all this rich research on the Zrebiec Family history!