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Nice – Then and Now

Posted January 21, 2015 in Community Featured, Pleasant Hill

Pleasant Hill has gone through several changes since the 1960s. Long-time residents know that just south of Oakwood Drive there were no houses, just cornfields. In fact, Oakwood Drive was really the edge of town.

Friendly neighbors help clear the snow at Danora Waterhouse’s home on Oakwood Drive. Photos by Rainey Cook.

Friendly neighbors help clear the snow at Danora
Waterhouse’s home on Oakwood Drive.
Photos by Rainey Cook.

It wasn’t until the early 1970s did other streets and houses start appearing. Homeowner Danora Waterhouse remembers all this. She has lived in her home on Oakwood Drive since 1968. She remembers the cornfields and empty lots to the west of her home. She also remembers watching all the development and building happen right before her eyes.

Now, Oakwood Drive stretches west of her for miles. Her backyard is also her neighbor’s backyard.

She also fondly remembers when she brought her new baby daughter home for the first time; her neighbor brought her a small cedar tree in a tin two-pound coffee can. She planted the beautiful cedar in her front yard. As Pleasant Hill grew, so did her daughter and that tree. That was thirty-five years ago.

Much has changed in and around her own home as well. She’s remodeled her kitchen. She’s added a window in one of her bathrooms to gain natural light. She’s also added two brick patios, a pergola and landscaping in her backyard where corn used to grow.033

One of her favorite parts of her home is her garden and flower space.

“I have eight seed magazines that have already arrived,” Danora says. “All my annuals are from seedlings and my perennials start in small pots.”

Although a little early, Waterhouse does have a plan. She takes January off of any outside or inside chores. Once February hits she starts spring cleaning, washing windows and tackles any painting that needs done. This takes her through the end of March.

It’s at that time that she’ll revisit her eight seed magazines with more vigor.

Until then she appreciates the seasons for what they each bring. She speaks fondly of her neighbors and how they all look out for one another. She shares that with every heavy snow fall she benefits from Iowa-nice neighbors who snow blow her driveway and sidewalks.

“My neighbors are very friendly,” Waterhouse says. “We don’t see a lot of each other in the winter, but once it starts getting nice again, we are all out talking and working on our yards.”

Would you like your home featured in this column in an upcoming issue of Pleasant hill Living? If so, email Darren Tromblay at

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