By Jeb Bladine • President / Publisher • 

Whatchamacolumn: This rural estate has stories to tell

Looking for a house with a history? Do you have a spare $5 million and a passion for isolated rural life?

Just head to Sheridan, turn right at the Highway 18 Dairy Queen, and back-road navigate toward the “All One Farm” estate at 11870 SW Dupee Valley Road.

Discover Oregon Real Estate lists the basics: 5,302 square feet, five bedrooms, three baths, multiple outbuildings, 367 acres, subdivision potential and $4 million worth of harvestable timber. There is a polished video showing and describing the property as the former commune, residence and workplace of the late Steve Jobs.

It was there, perhaps while gazing at the Gravenstein orchard, that Jobs named the iconic Apple Computer. He and Steve Wozniak, both college dropouts, co-founded Apple in 1976. Wozniak left the company in 1983, and Jobs was forced out by a 1985 power struggle. Jobs gained wealth investing in Pixar Animation Studios and returned to Apple in 1997 to help launch the iPod, iPad and iPhone ... he died in 2011 at age 56.

The Sheridan property history is augmented by a more recent human-interest story. In June 2022, local law enforcement confirmed that Prentis C. Hale III, 80, and spouse Karen Hansen-Pieri, 60, died by murder-suicide on the rural estate. Authorities did not identify, or report, which was the suspect, which the victim.

Hale may have been Prentis Hale III in his ultra-wealthy San Francisco family, but during his 25 years of local life around Sheridan he was simply “Rusty.”

One reader called Rusty a well-educated business entrepreneur who “moved to Sheridan to escape his family and the highly visible life in high society.” She described Karen as “a vivacious person with tons of energy and a love of all things herbal and alternative foods.”

Rusty’s close friend wrote this note to us: “Because of his family’s wealth and privilege, Rusty grew up in a world few of us can imagine — boarding schools in the East, then off to Yale and to finish his master’s degree in business at Stanford. His story is so complex that a novel would be fascinating to read … Despite all that wealth and privilege, the trust funds ran out and his life denigrated into rural seclusion and despair. He was a complex individual, deeply troubled, very generous if he respected you and always very secretive.”

The disruptive Hale family story is told in “Beyond His Control,” a book written by Rusty’s sister, Linda Hale Bucklin.

All proving, as many know, there are some fascinating stories in them thar hills.

News-Register Publisher Jeb Bladine can be reached at or 503-687-1223.