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The Big House was built at the end of a new road that had been bulldozed from the Old Cabin west to a nearby glade that the Paulings called “Eucalyptus Hollow.” By the time that most of the construction was completed, excavations on the Pauling land had revealed that a small village of Salinan Indians, dating back thousands of years, had once been located in the area where the Big House was built.
However, an administrative battle with Robinson that arose over the future of the Institute provided Pauling with a compelling reason to remain highly involved, and he never did fully extricate himself from administrative duties at the Institute that bore his name.
By 1976, when Ava Helen was diagnosed with cancer, the pair seemed to treasure their time at Deer Flat Ranch all the more; Ava Helen took up the guitar and bought a grand piano, and children and grandchildren came to visit often.
Pauling, however, could never truly be removed from science, and spent much of his time at the ranch working on theoretical papers.
The home likewise featured dueling his and hers studies, as well as a garage that was specifically built to shelter a car while also housing Pauling’s collection of scientific journals.
Book cases were everywhere and, as time moved forward, the decor came to be dominated by framed honorary doctorates lining the hallways and mounted in every room.
] Linus and Ava Helen Pauling stayed in the Old Cabin when at Deer Flat Ranch from 1956 to 1964, and during much of this period, visiting family members would often sleep in the barn.
By 1961, a pre-designed kit home had been constructed for guests to use.
] In the years immediately following Linus and Ava Helen Pauling’s purchase of Deer Flat Ranch, the space quickly fulfilled its potential as a refuge from an extremely busy existence.
A few years after buying the property, Ava Helen told her husband More than a refuge even, the ranch gradually emerged as a kind of paradise for the Paulings.
One could reliably harvest ten abalone off the adjacent rocks at low tide, and Linus found that he greatly enjoyed harvesting these sea snails with his wife, pounding them shoreside to tenderize them for dinner.
At the ranch, a horse and a goat kept the cattle company, and marine life including otters and sea lions frequented the beaches.
Pauling held on to several of the Salinan artifacts as well as a small collection of human remains, all of which were repatriated once Pauling’s papers were donated to Oregon State University.