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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Jessica Wambach

423 N. 10th St., Cheney

The assortment of 6-foot trees Joe Chatburn planted when he built his Cheney home are now between 20 and 30 feet tall.

The Chatburn family moved to Cheney in 1959. Joe and his wife Yvonne bought a modest alfalfa patch the size of a city block and began building their home three years later with the help of three of their four children. By 1965, the five-bedroom two-story brick house was finished.

Although Joe is a teacher by trade, this wasn’t exactly his first shot at construction. His first job was restoring the family homestead house in Idaho when he was still in college.

“I had built two houses for us in Boise, Idaho. And I’d built a house for my parents,” he says. “I grew up on a farm and we were always carpentering and repairing and fixing things.”

His previous building experience led him to design what he calls the most unique feature of his home – storage space between studs in the walls.

“I think I’ve utilized almost every inch of interior wall space,” he says. “It’s just so advantageous and why waste the space?”

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