I recall applying for a job in Bend, Oregon (yup, what was I thinking). Somehow that place popped up to my attention once again. It seems that Ron Meyers is building a real-world Shire – a new subdivision is based on Tolkien’s characters in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Hobbit.
The houses — going for $550,000 to $850,000 — will feature gabled roofs with faux-straw thatch made from thin strands of PVC that promotional literature says “is essentially windproof, rainproof, fireproof and guaranteed not to
Meyers has taken the liberty of renaming an irrigation canal next to The Shire as Brandywine Brook. He’s happy to show off two Hobbit holes otherwise known as storage sheds. Still, the parts of The Shire that are complete — the small amphitheater, paved pathways, flowery gardens — have an undeniable Middle Earth quality.
When built out at 6.5-acres, The Shire will have 15 cottages and 16 town houses encircling a central gathering place called the sanctuary. The first properties will go on sale this winter.
Like Meyers, I haven’t read LOTR but enjoyed the movies immensely. I particularly loved Bilbao Baggin’s home with its rounded openings. It reminded me of Nari Gandhi’s creations. For ardent LOTR fans, you might enjoy walking down streets of Village Homes in Davis, California where they are named for people or places in the trilogy.