Your post made me think of a documentary I saw some years back about a lady with a dream.. there must be some synchronicity afoot here because I ran across a postcard of her just days before you posted. Your post made me think of her story.
She bought an old rundown opera house in what amounted to a ghost town in our Southwest. She painted marvelous murals inside of audiences in 16th century garb... sometimes it was her only audience.
But the place caught on and her opera house is now on our National register of Historic Places.
It sounds like the offbeat kind of place I'd stop to see.
Her name was Marta Becket and her story is interesting... http://www.amargosafilms.com/story.asp
no commerce intended here. Just an interesting character reminiscent of Thoreau, and a little coincidence.
I wish you and your husband the best.
Cogito ergo doleo.