The Slack House
Originally built in 1864 and renovated in 2010, the Slack House is not only the oldest homestead on Teller, but it also intertwines the Slack and Chaffin family history. The story of the Slack House is rooted long before its beginnings with John “Jack” Slack, born in 1835, in Baltimore.
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The Chaffin House
Intrepid travelers, Elijah and Margaret Chaffin, headed west in 1864 from their native Tennessee. They traversed the wild west by ox-drawn wagons, bound for Oregon with their three children, his two brothers and their wives, and two other families. By summer, they made it to Bannack, Montana, where they met up with Mary Polly Chaffin, Elijah’s younger sister, who had moved west a year earlier.
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The Burroughs House
Thomas and Clara Burroughs first arrived in what was then called “Chaffinville” (present-day Corvallis) around 1881. They established a nursery on part of Elijah Chaffin’s land, now part of Teller, where they grew poplar, black cottonwood, and fruit trees. In 1888, they purchased approximately six acres for $302.50, where they would build the Burroughs home.
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The Quast House (Teller’s Office)
The Quast House story begins with John Summers, who was born in 1849 in Galloway Green County, Missouri. When he was only 19, he worked as a blacksmith traveling by horseback through Montana, until he finally settled in Corvallis in 1877, at age 28. Juda Chaffin, daughter of Elijah and Margaret Chaffin (homesteaders of the Chaffin House on Teller) married John, in 1878. Moving to various locations around the valley, the flourishing couple became substantial landowners and ranchers.
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