5. The Village House

A family home, now a beloved business center

The Village House, currently Isabel’s Espresso and Honey Bee Consignment, was first built across the street by brothers Oscar and Bertie Weeks. According to Oscar’s son Lincoln Weeks:

My dad (Oscar) moved the house off the lot to here and remodeled it. When the real estate company went into it, they tore it up and remodeled it again. Over just a little further was Uncle Hiram’s old barn [where the large house across the street is]. The roads aren’t as wide as they were then, so I can’t tell you the exact spot. The water tower and silo were built by the big barn where the old market was [the water tower in the Village Green]. There was a cow shed on the east side of the barn and a horse stable on the west end with 4 horses, and the northeast corner was the grainery. They used their work horses with wagons for transportation. When Oscar retired Harlan Weeks got the house, tower and barn. After Harlan retired, the property was sold to Washington House and they remodeled it.

- Interview with Lincoln Weeks, February 27, 1985

The Village House has witnessed Lopez Village change over the course of the past century. Before the house was moved to its current location, the area where it sits was a wheat field. Since Harlan retired and Washington House Realty moved in, various businesses and organizations have called this building home. These range from Island House Realty, Safeco Insurance, the Lopez Community Land Trust, massage therapy studios, barbershops, consignment stores, to cafés - first Zephyr and now Isabel’s Espresso. This building has played an important role in Lopez Village, serving the community for decades.

If you’ve been to Lopez before, you may recall that a large pear tree used to stand in front of the Village House. The Pickling Pear Tree was supposedly planted in 1865 by Hiram Hutchinson, and was one of the first fruit trees on Lopez. The famous tree blew down during a windstorm in November of 2020, it's passing mourned by the community.

The following is a recollection of the tree by Richard Weeks, grandson of Oscar Weeks.

"I can tell you that my Mom made the best pickled pears off of that tree that I've ever tasted. She'd leave the stems on the little pears, peel them and put three or four whole cloves into each pear around the greatest circumference. She'd pickle them in a vinegar/sugar/cinnamon brine. Then she'd water-bath can them into wide mouth and pint and quart jars and put them on the shelf in the root house until the holidays. Those were better than any pickled apple. Much less grainy, and no red food dyes. And - of course - the pears were made with a secret ingredient - a whole lot of love.

The windfalls made excellent "hand grenades" too! Sometimes they'd even carry a more lethal payload, as the yellow jackets would eat their way into them - but it was a bit dicey who would get the worst of it - the target or the thrower! I got my ear chewed on more than once because I'd come home from playing "Army" under the pear tree with the Gettmans, my cousin Noel, or Mike McCabe and be covered in rotten pear "sauce." Another use for the green windfalls was seeing if you could "skip" them down the road to the porch on the old Lopez store. My brothers didn't get in trouble for that one - just me - the road wasn't paved until I came along.”



308 Lopez Road