Back to the Land: the Terradise Story

The land now known as “Terradise” was purchased by newlyweds Trella & Ray Romine in 1952. Itching to get out of the city in an era where many people wanted to settle in suburbs, & with a dream of building a home “in a forest, on a hill, near a river,” the Whetstone plot the Romines originally called “the acres” had last been owned by Ms. Marie Thomas, & used as a weekend wilderness getaway. Historically, the land had a long history of use — originally, as a hunting grounds & regional highway for indigenous tribes in the area; & more recently, as a popular fishing hole & picnic grounds for Caledonia. Trella & Ray completed the Romine Residence in 1953; Ray told Trella he had enough money for either a diamond ring or a greenhouse for the couple’s longstanding horticultural interests. Trella chose the greenhouse. Terradise was soon abloom with cultivated flowers, alongside the native flora & fauna of this unique slice of Whetstone bottomlands. Preserved in its midcentury splendor, the Romine Residence remains a jewel of Terradise Nature Center today. Scan the QR code above to watch “Trella & Ray Build Their Dream Home: a mini-documentary by David Haldeman, cut from archival 8mm film footage by Trella & Ray Romine & friends as they constructed their home at Terradise!