Construction of the Snowy Plains Astrophysical Observatory started in 2002, once spousal permission was obtained. The site was my back yard on the East side of the property offering excellent views of the N-NE- E-SE-S-SW and Zenith skies. To the W and NW the house impedes the view, with a tree that eventually had to come down due S. At the time the land to the South was completely devoted to farmland so light pollution was extremely minimal.
Originally the observatory was designed to house a 16″ f5 reflector on a horseshoe mount with an 8″ f10 “planet killer” telescope mounted on top. The building was in fact built around the large mount for this telescope to avoid having to manhandle it into the shed after completion. Eventally it was clear that the telescopes for the shed were not going to get completed very quickly (and in fact are just starting to get worked on again 15 years later!) so instead a pier was added to the pad for the telescope and an 8″ SCT mounted in the shed (seen above in full operation.)
The observatory saw heavy use in the years between 2002 and 2007. Primarily the shed was used for imaging with the C8 including photometry and spectroscopy. Unfortunately with a couple of youngsters now on the scene, parenting took priority and the shed began to fall into disuse so in 2008 I sold off all of the gear in the shed and it became dormant, storing winter tires and garden equipment. With the kids now in their teens and a new awakening of astronomical interest I am now revitalizing the shed to once again use it actively.