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Sherry Whitmore

Photo by Paul Neevel.
Photo by Paul Neevel.

Raised on a farm in southern Oregon, Sherry Whitmore graduated from Eagle Point High School and worked at a Sizzler restaurant in Medford. “I came up here for management training and met Brian Whitmore,” she says. “Three months later, I moved to Eugene.” She got married, spent summers as a forest firefighter, then had three kids, Shelby, Maddie and Trevor, and became a stay-at-home mom. “I coached volleyball for 13 years, at Kidsports and at South Eugene,” she notes. “I coached both girls through high school.” But the couple divorced in 2000 and she found work with friends at The Tin Woodsman pewter company. After Trevor finished high school, she sold the house, bought a truck and a travel trailer and headed south. “I moved around a couple years, from Big Sur to Seward, Alaska,” says Whitmore, who spent a summer as Trailbridge campground host on her return. Intrigued by small houses, she took a workshop in 2012 with the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. “I met women who had built tiny houses,” she says. “I left with confidence.” Rather than pay for plans, she designed her own tiny house, had a custom trailer built and found windows on Craigslist. She started building walls in May 2013 and is now finishing exterior trim. “It’s the first thing I’ve ever built,” she says. “I’d like to be done in six to eight months. It’s so empowering.”