Byron News: Newcomers welcome to Byron


A local seemingly abandoned property had been vacant for quite a few years and got a bit worse for wear each year. The yard collected more junk. The roof began to sag. People were curious.
A lot of people lost interest and ran away when they saw all of the abandoned vehicles and motors, including a trailer house behind the fences. This place was in a holding pattern. The original owners had died, and it seemed destined to just sit and deteriorate year after year.
Along came a couple named Leah and Levi Shetler. Both were raised in an Amish community in upstate New York and, having left the group, were settled around their other children in Ohio. Leah and Levi are the parents of 12 children, 11 living.
A trip to Texas in 2019 for a son’s wedding allowed them to take the long way home via Wyoming. The next winter, they visited and stayed awhile in an Air B and B between Cody and Powell. Wyoming has a way of getting its paws around you and pulling you back. Levi was hooked, but Leah took awhile. She said she felt like a ping pong ball, back and forth between Wyoming visits and then home to Ohio and family. But then, they found the old, abandoned mess of a house. They saw past the faults, and that the good bones of the house were still intact under all of the wreckage, so they offered.
At the same time, a few other venturers put offers in also, so it was back and forth, and finally, they could close on the house. That is where the adventure began. Levi moved out and began to work on the house while the kids, Suzanne, 16, and Paul, 14, finished their first year in public school in Ohio (up to that point, they had been home-schooled). Leah and the kids moved out here for the summer and began to strip up carpet, paint and haul away trailers full of junk.
They cooked outside on a grill as they worked to put in new plumbing throughout the house. They got the wiring done in the beginning. They took time to go hiking and find adventures; by the summer’s end, none wanted to return home. The investment of time and work made this their home. Suzanne and Paul enrolled in Rocky Mountain High School and have told their mom they enjoy the change here, the structure, respect for teachers and good influence at school. Leah says, “There is something about the basin that I love.”  
They both have benefited health-wise from the fresh air, which is a dramatic change from the pollution around Lake Erie. They hatched some chickens and are planning a greenhouse on the south side of their home. Under the carpet, they found hardwood floors, which they refinished. The sagging roof does not leak, and Levi knows what he needs to do to fix the problem.  
He is a builder of timber homes—post and beam construction. One of the things that most excited him about this property was the large, barn-sized garage. He can put together timber projects, mark them and then move to a property to raise. His first project was a commission to build a greenhouse using the methods he loves. He looks forward to building homes, barns and porches. His business is called Acts II (Acts 2) Timber Framing.
Leah grew up helping her dad in his furniture woodworking shop. She enjoyed working with lumber, and they make a good team. They have already made a run-down house into a home. How nice for our community to see what can be done with some vision and teamwork.
The next project is a stone fireplace. A few walls will come down, posts will go up and stonework will finish it.
Welcome to Byron. We look forward to getting to know you better and will enjoy watching the progress at the corner of Platte and Heart Mountain. Welcome home.
The Byron Rec. Department did a great job with the Halloween Trunk or Treat. Lots of little goblins cleaned out the trunks laden with treats and then headed into the town hall for shredded beef nachos before heading on to their favorite treat houses. It was good to see so many families get into the costume groove. And now, on to Thanksgiving. Time is flying.