House with museum up for auction at $258,000, reports Suzanne Roig. Published in The Bulletin, Bend, November 11, 2021.
Just a 90-minute drive from Bend and a mere $258,500 will get you Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh memorabilia, a museum and a renovated historical home in Antelope.
More than 100 years of history is encased within the walls of the 3,000-square-foot building on Main Street.
On the market for six months at a higher price, the home is now being marketed by John Rosenthal, principal broker Realty Marketing/Northwest.
“There is no other property like this,” Rosenthal said. “It has such a storied history. There’s not much going on in Antelope.”
Successful bidders will find they are getting a home built in 1898 by the Ancient Order of United Workmen. The home in Antelope is one of two left still standing in the country, Rosenthal said. The other’s in Alaska.
Second, successful bidders will get a house full of memorabilia from the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh when the Indian guru used the home to print The Rajneesh Times in the mid-1980s.
And finally a houseful of artifacts from Antelope, a 294-acre city of 82 people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Antelope, while established at the turn of the century, is best known for becoming the headquarters of the Rajneesh cult, which had purchased the Big Muddy Ranch. The Rajneesh cult owned it from 1981-1985 and changed the name to Rajneeshpuram. The ranch even had an airstrip built.
The intent of Rajneesh was to create a self-sustaining community and for followers to be able to practice their religion freely. But tension between the community and the sannyasins, as the followers were called, led to the poisoning of county officials in The Dalles, the extradition of the Bhagwan and the members dissipating.
Memorabilia — some antelope heads, beaded necklaces, newspapers and photographs — is on loan to the High Desert Museum outside of Bend for an exhibit called “Imagine the World,” which begins Jan. 29 and runs through Sept. 25, Rosenthal said. The items will be returned to the buyer who also qualifies for a museum membership, he said.
The home has a stone foundation, all wood frame construction with a metal roof. It was used for social gatherings of ranching, mining and railroad construction workers at the turn of the century. Zoning allows for a live-work-play opportunity, according to the sales material.
“In addition to the history, the successful bidder will have access to strong internet service and recently remodeled bathroom and kitchen,” he said. The current owner purchased the property at an auction in 1995 and has kept it as a part-time residence and occasional museum.
Antelope is sandwiched between the John Day and Deschutes rivers.
The house was featured in a Netflix documentary in 2018 called “Wild Wild Country.” Two open houses are scheduled, Nov. 16 and Dec. 4. Sealed cash bids must be received no later than 5 p.m. Dec. 8, Rosenthal said.
“It will take someone with a vision,” Rosenthal said. “The price is cheap compared to Bend. There’s six-tenths of an acre there. You could park RVs in the back, or do something commercial. It’s a great place for an artist. There’s a lot of good light and 10-foot high ceilings.”