I only recently found out that this little house was not only real, but that it is located just a few miles away from where I live. I had to see it to believe it…so my next day off…I made the quick drive across town, turned a corner and there it was. This little house and the story behind it were the partial inspiration for the Pixar animated movie Up!…which, if you haven’t seen it, is one of the most amazing love stories ever created.
The real person behind the house, Edith Macefield, refused to sell her little home no matter how high the offer…even at $1 million…she held her ground. So the development known as Ballard Blocks was built around her. In an unlikely twist, this development brought Edith a caretaker who would look out for her the rest of her life — the construction superintendent, Barry Martin. There’s a lot to their story…click HERE to read more about it and find out about the book Barry eventually wrote.
People have come for years to visit the house…to see this treasure…to take some pictures and share them…and often to add some balloons to the fence in Edith’s honor. This is encouraged…and usually there lots of free balloons for everyone.
The actual story behind Edith’s refusal to sell is much less dramatic than the Up! story though…she wasn’t really trying to make a stand against new construction at all…in the end, she just wanted to stay in her home…the home her mother had died in years before, the home she was used to, the home she loved. It was as simple as that, according to all accounts about it.
It finally went up for sale recently, with stipulations for anyone bidding that some kind of Macefield tribute on the site is a requirement of purchase — even if the surrounding development swallows up the spot, they must create something in her honor on that spot. It will be interesting to see what becomes of the little house…I’m glad I found out about it in time to make a connection and dig a little deeper into the history of this beautiful area I now call home.