Cluff House

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Cluff House

Another link to our past makes way for the future.

Maurine Cluff has 55 years of wonderful and sometimes emotional memories from her life with family, friends, and neighbors in the place that until just recently, she has called home.

Built on the Germann homestead in the late 1930’s, the house was originally along a dusty road, surrounded by a wire fence and hidden by palm and eucalyptus trees. Maurine remembers that she couldn’t wait to move in, which she and Ivan did after purchasing 480 acres of land from Walter and Elsie Germann, in January 1949.

Ivan and good friend Stan Turley soon formed a partnership to farm the land on this west side of Sossaman, south of the railroad tracks. “Ivan could fix anything;” and, had an old used caterpillar tractor, float, disk, and plow. As partners, they borrowed $8,000 from Stan’s dad, to purchase an old diesel engine and convert it to natural gas as power for the irrigation pump. Electricity was being rationed, so they had to use something other than an electric motor. Stan’s wife, Cleo, once commented that they really did start from scratch, “having about $200 between the Cluffs and Turleys.”

Ivan and Maurine put a lot of love into their home over the years, like many of us do, making improvements and adding rooms to accommodate their growing family. Trees hit by lighting, flowering hedges groomed to enhance the beauty of their property, a small air landing strip built across the road, historic artifacts discovered while clearing the land, pump engines so loud that they shook the house, and children boarding the school bus are just some of the sights and sounds that will remain forever in the memories of those that were lucky enough to call this their home.

This house is gone, but the lives it sheltered will always be enriched by its significance.