MOSCOW — Maynard Fosberg’s home on the southeast corner of Mountain View Road and D Street was outside the Moscow city limits and surrounded by several acres of farmland when he and his wife, Margaret, purchased the residence and 20 accompanying acres for about $12,500 in 1951.
The two roads it sits on were unpaved and quiet at the time.
Now, the once-lonely home is in the middle of a dense residential neighborhood and the serene Mountain View Road-D Street intersection is bustling with commuters.
It was not until 2001 — 50 years after the couple purchased the property — that it was annexed into the city, along with several other properties, City Supervisor Gary Riedner said.
“We were outside of town a long time until they decided they wanted my tax,” said Fosberg, who turned 100 Sunday.
Fosberg, who served as a University of Idaho professor of soil science from 1949 to 1998 and an emeritus professor from 1998 to 2019, also owns 6 acres of land on the northeast corner of the intersection. He rents out the two homes on the property.
He, his wife and their two children watched the city gradually grow around their home. The Fosberg couple were married almost 69 years until Margaret, a former nurse, died in 2016.
Fosberg said there were essentially no homes, except his and the two he rents out, in 1951, from Hayes Street eastward.
“This was just like another island,” Fosberg said.
But over the years, houses started springing up — starting at Hayes and moving east toward, and then surpassing, the Fosberg property.
Fosberg said he farmed wheat on the southern edge of his 20-acre parcel off Mountain View Road, and grew barley on the 5-acre hillside off D Street.
Hay and grass now encompass the southern parcel and native Palouse Prairie habitat fills the 5-acre hillside.
Much of the Fosberg property was converted to a conservation easement 20 years ago. The easement ensures the land will retain its natural, scenic and agricultural function and provide valuable open space, according to an informational sign on his property.
“I just love this place,” Fosberg said. “The fact that it’s always going to be preserved is really neat.”
Fosberg said several people have inquired about his spacious property over the years, but he always replies with a “no thanks.” He said realtors know he is not selling, so they don’t ask anymore.
Fosberg said his daughter will inherit the 26 acres of land when he dies, but the property is expected to remain the same.
“She said, ‘Dad, I will manage this place just like you are doing it now,’ ” Fosberg said.
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